Child Care Assistance Program

Cute Babies

Child Care Assistance Programs are offered to all full-time faculty and staff members.

Villanova University Backup Care Reimbursement Program

(Administered by Health Advocate EAP + Work/Life Services)

This plan is administered through Health Advocate, who also provides our Employee Assistance and Work/Life services. All full-time permanent faculty and staff are eligible and the benefit amount described below is provided on a one per family basis.

Eligible Dependents (for your tax dependents only)

Employees develop their own backup care arrangements through formal or informal resources for:

  • Children, including infants through preschool, as well as kindergarten to age 12
  • Elders and adults with disabilities

Examples of Emergency Backup Care

  • Unexpected emergency when the regular arrangement is not available
  • Illness – elder, child or caregiver, child care provider
  •  School or child care closings (weather, teacher meetings, school holidays, etc.)
  • Extensive late evenings/out-of-town travel requires additional evening care at home
  •  Employee needs to work, when they are not normally scheduled to work
  • Parent or parent-in-law, who is normally independent, needs temporary care
  • Spouse, who is normally independent needs personal care (i.e. due to surgery)

Even the most reliable child care and elder care arrangements don’t always run like clockwork. Some interruptions are easier to plan for -- like holidays and school vacations. Others -- like heavy snow that closes your child’s school, or a care provider’s sickness -- come out of the blue, leaving you to scramble for coverage.

No matter what the cause of your backup care need, the Villanova University Backup Care Reimbursement Program, is here to help. We give you two very important kinds of support:

  • Expert advice by phone from consultants who understand the critical importance of good backup plans and can help you plan for your family’s unique needs. Call the Health Advocate EAP + Work/Life at 866-799-2728, option #2, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, for a free consultation.
  • A financial subsidy to reimburse you for certain kinds of backup dependent care -- at a rate of up to $50.00 per day for up to 5 days per year.

Having a well prepared backup plan means you can respond to just about any backup care need -- for your infant, toddler, school-age child, or adult relative -- with confidence. You can call the Health Advocate EAP +Work/Life specialists at 866-799-2728, option #2 as a resource to discuss your options.

Limitations

This reimbursement may be used to offset the cost of emergency backup care provided by an agency, in-home caregiver, friend, relative or neighbor. It may not be used to pay the child’s parent/step-parent, or anyone claimed as a dependent on the employee’s or spouse’s federal income tax return.

Procedure

Step 1: Identify your family’s needs

Before you begin searching for backup care in your community, consider when you are likely to need care. Think about your predictable backup care needs -- school holidays or your elder’s in-home care provider’s vacation, for example. And think about your unpredictable needs, too. What will you do if your toddler’s child care center closes because of a snowstorm?

Step 2: Understand your options

Health Advocate EAP +Work/Life specialists can assist in finding resources and information on options available in most communities. The possibilities range from informal care, where a neighbor might help you out for a morning or a day, to more formal options, such as drop-in child care centers or adult day care.

Step 3: Submit for reimbursement

Pay for your backup care (by cash, check, or charge account) and ask your provider to sign the Emergency Care Affidavit/Employee Reimbursement Form. Then sign the form yourself and send it to the Villanova University Backup Care Reimbursement program:

by fax: 610-644-1134

or by mail:

Villanova University Backup Care Reimbursement Program

Attn: Health Advocate EAP + Work/Life Services

835 Springdale Drive, Suite 100

Exton, PA 19341

Emergency Care Affidavit/Employee Reimbursement Forms must be received by Health Advocate within 60 days after the date of the care being provided in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Your reimbursement will be included in an upcoming paycheck. For tracking and tax purposes, we will report to your employer the number of days of care you use and the amount you have been reimbursed. If you have questions about your reimbursement, please email:

tporter@healthadvocate.com or mhageman@healthadvocate.com 

Please note: The 2014-2015 annual Child Care Subsidy limit is $750. The information below reflects the increased amounts effective 6/1/2015.

This benefit plan is administered through WageWorks, who also administers our Flexible Spending Accounts and Commuter Benefit Plan. All full-time permanent faculty and staff are eligible and the benefit amount described below is provided on a one per family basis.

The Child Care Subsidy Plan is an employer-funded pre-tax plan. The University provides a calendar year contribution of $1,000 pro-rated over each pay period, which can be used for qualifying childcare expenses for eligible tax dependent children up to the earlier of age 6 or the start of kindergarten.

Eligible Expenses

Au Pair; Babysitting (work-related, in your home or someone else’s, but not provided by your own tax dependent); Child Care, Educational Services (for preschool, but not kindergarten or above); Nanny; Preschool; Nursery School; Summer Day Camp.

Government Requirements

This program runs on a fiscal year (June 1st - May 31st) and only eligible expenses incurred during that time period will be considered for reimbursement. The University does provide a 2 1/2 month grace period to incur claims and another 2 1/2 months for submitting claims. This is the same as is provided for the FSA programs. This means that claims must be incurred by the August 15th following the completion of the plan year and submitted no later than the October 31st following the completion of the plan year. Keep track of your account balances, and plan ahead to make sure you spend the full amount before the plan year ends. Otherwise, you will forfeit the remaining balance in accordance with IRS regulations. The IRS limit for you and your spouse combined is $5,000 annually for pre-tax employer and employee contributions toward dependent care expenses. This plan is subject to annual non-discrimination testing to verify that it does not favor highly compensated employees, in accordance with IRS regulations. We will advise our employees who are impacted if there is a testing issue in any given calendar year.

Participating in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If you enrolled in the employee-funded Dependent Care FSA and wish to change your election, you may do so by completing a new enrollment form. If you enrolled in the maximum $5,000 permitted by the IRS and also wish to enroll in the new Child Care Subsidy Plan, you must reduce your contribution to $4,000 as the maximum applies to all employee and employer funds.

Enrollment

An open enrollment period is held in the spring for employees to enroll in the Child Care Subsidy Plan effective June 1st. In accordance with IRS regulations, you must elect to enroll in the plan prior to the start of the plan year. Enrollments and changes are permitted mid-year only within 30 days of a qualifying life status event (e.g. marriage, divorce, birth, adoption of a child). 

WageWorks Claim Process

Once the Human Resources Department has processed your enrollment with WageWorks, a confirmation of your election and a link to the WageWorks website is e-mailed to you. This is where claims process details can be found.