Know Your Childcare Benefits

| September 29, 2020

Raising children and pursing a degree or training program at Hopkins are both challenging and time-consuming endeavors. If you are doing both at the same time, during a pandemic, we see you and recognize the additional pressures you are facing.

In this post, we summarize the key benefits you should know about and where to go for more information and support if you need it.

If you are interested in connecting informally with peers who are also parents, email and UHS staff will connect you with other interested learners. While UHS primarily serves the East Baltimore schools, they are happy to help all students and trainees find a peer support network.

An information session about caregiving benefits geared specifically for students and trainees will be offered on October 22, 2020 at 2pm. (If you are not able to attend live, a recorded version will be available after the session.)

Parental Leave

Open to: eligible full-time graduate students and postdoctoral trainees

Eligible full-time graduate students and postdoctoral trainees shall receive no less than 8 weeks of fully-paid new child accommodations.  Full details about this policy, as well as contacts in each academic division, are available in this document.

To be eligible, you must be a full-time graduate student who is admitted to a graduate program, and engaged in a full-time program of courses, credits, seminars and/or research as approved by the Chair of the department/program or designated faculty member.

COVID-19 Caregiving Relief Fund

Open to: eligible full-time doctoral and medical students and postdoctoral trainees

The COVID-19 Caregiving Relief Fund (CCRF) provides reimbursement for unanticipated expenses related to distance learning, school-age care, other incremental childcare expenses, elder care, educational support, and technology expenses incurred as a direct result of COVID-19.

CCRF was created to respond to increased financial costs you may incur given school closures, and incremental child care and elder care expenses. The program is designed to provide the greatest assistance for those having the greatest demonstrated need.

The progressive benefit structure has a maximum benefit of up to $800 per month for those earning up to $50,000 per year; $600 per month for those earning up to $100,000, and $400 per month for those earning up to $175,000. Eligible expenses must all be incurred on or after September 1, 2020.

Computer and technology expenses must be incurred on or after July 1, 2020 and are capped at $1,000 per eligible parent. Applications open October 1st, 2020.  For more information and details on how to apply, visit the CCRF page of the HR website.

Child Care Vouchers

Open to: eligible full-time doctoral and medical students and postdoctoral trainees

The child care voucher program awards tax-free funds to help you pay for care for your children under the age of six (6), who are not yet in kindergarten. Awards are based on your family’s income and may be used for any paid care that enables you to work or study, including licensed child care centers and in-home care.

You may qualify for child care vouchers of up to $5,000 per year, with eligibility and maximum benefits determined by the family’s adjusted gross income. The enrollment period for 2021 funding for students and trainees is Nov 2-20, 2020. Read more about vouchers on the HR website.

Full-time, benefits-eligible Hopkins employees, doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, house staff, residents, interns and trainees with salary level up to $175,000 can access this benefit. Funds are available per-eligible person, so households with two Hopkins affiliations can submit for reimbursement up to the maximum monthly amount, not to exceed 100% of the cost of care.

Parenting Support Group

Open to: Any Hopkins student who is a parent

This is a drop–in group run by the Homewood Counseling Center for those who are simultaneously navigating roles as students and parents. It’s a space to connect with others who are facing similar challenges, and to give and to receive support. The group is held every other Wednesday from 3:30-5:00 pm.  Register here and contact Dr. Shemika Brooks for additional information. Students from all nine academic divisions are welcome to join this group.

For additional support group options available in Fall 2020, see a full list on a previous post on our blog.

Additional Caregiving Resources Open to All Students and Trainees

This is a partial list of available programs; more details are available on the JHU Family and Caregiving Programs site.

  • The Lactation Support Program includes information on how to register to use a lactation room on Johns Hopkins campuses.
  • The Maryland Family Network offers personalized child care resource and referral for families seeking center-based child care in Maryland through their LOCATE service. To request resource and referral service in Maryland, complete and submit the LOCATE: Child Care Registration Form, call 1-800-999-0120, option 2, or email
  • Komae is a cooperative childcare app that provides a flexible child care management option. In Greek, komae means village. The platform allows you to join with trusted friends and family in a “Sitter Village” and schedule care. Rather than texting around or feeling guilty about asking for a favor, you can ask your entire village at once through Komae. Identify and vet families with similar parenting styles and COVID-19 protocol practice to build their pod for shared childcare and education.

Additional Caregiving Resources open to full-time doctoral and medical students and postdoctoral trainees

More details are available on the JHU Family and Caregiving Programs site.

  • Free Premium Membership to allows families to post jobs, perform detailed searches for caregivers, and access to the safety center for best practices on hiring safely. You may now request Expert Assistance to receive one-on-one support in your care search. Care specialists will conduct an assessment based on the kind of care you need, help find caregivers that match your requirements, and present options to you, saving you valuable time.
  • Subsidized Backup Care by Care@Work provides up to 20 days of back-up care per year at a reduced rate that’s based on your salary. pre-screens qualified caregivers to help you find in-home backup emergency care for children and adults, or in-center backup care for children. Use backup care when your regular care arrangement is unavailable and you still need to work or attend classes. Register using your JHED ID, without, at

Please note that your eligibility for the benefits listed above depends on your student/trainee status and in some cases, your income level. To confirm eligibility according to your student status, reach out to student affairs or academic affairs contacts in your academic division, such as the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs for Homewood learners. To learn more about Family and Caregiving benefits, visit the JHU Family and Caregiving Programs website, or contact the JHU Benefits Service Center at 410-516-2000 or