Back-Up Care Program

Back-Up Care Program

Solutions for Your Entire Family

UCSF has partnered with Bright Horizons® to offer high-quality back-up care to eligible UCSF Faculty and Residents and Clinical Fellows (as appointed by the Office of Graduate Medical Education).

When school is closed, a sitter cancels, or a regular caregiver is unavailable, back-up care is arranged for you, including:

• In-home well and mildly ill child care
• In-home adult and elder care
• Center-based child care, on a space-available basis.
• Get academic support for your child. The Back-Up Care Program offers virtual 1-1 tutoring for ages 5-18.

Program Details
• Access up to 20 days of back-up care per academic year (July 1-June 30)
• In-home care for children, adults, and elders – $10/hour for up to 3 dependents
• Center-based child care – $30/child/day or $55/family/day
• 4 hour minimum for all care requests
• Effective May 1, 2021, back-up care days can be redeemed for virtual 1-1 school-age tutoring provided through Bright Horizons. Exchange 1 back-up care day (and a $30 co-pay) for 4 hours of tutoring, scheduled in 1-hour increments. See the Tutoring FAQs for more details.

For information about the Back-Up Care Program policies and procedures, please read the Bright Horizons FAQs (pdf) and the questions frequently asked by UCSF families.

COVID-19 Policy
Learn about Bright Horizons’ back-up care COVID-19 policy, including health screenings, exclusion criteria and mask/face coverings at

Out-of-Network Reimbursement
If the Back-Up Care Program is unable to provide you with the care it typically covers, you may be offered out-of-network reimbursement of $100 per day to offset the cost of care you source on your own. Each reimbursement day counts as a back-up care day. Out-of-network care reimbursement is not offered retroactively and applies only to care provided by someone outside your household. Refer to UCSF Families’ FAQs to learn more.

Mildly Ill Care is Back
After being suspended at the start of the pandemic, mildly ill care will be available again starting July 1, 2022. You will be able to reserve mildly ill care online, via the app or by phone. Note: with the return of mildly ill care, out-of-network reimbursement for this type of care will be possible only if Bright Horizons is unable to fill your care reservation.

Returning Participants: Important Information
You may simply reserve care as you have previously by calling 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737), or via the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program sign-in web site. Co-pays apply.

1st Time Participants: Register & Reserve Care
Registration, via phone or online, is free and is required prior to scheduling care. Eligible employees can register and reserve care either online through a password protected website, phone or app. UCSF students, please follow registration instructions on the Back-Up Care for UCSF Students page.

Enter Employer Credentials to create your profile >>  (Be sure to click on REGISTER at the top right of the sign in box.)
1st time participants, create your profile using the following instructions:
Employer Username:  UCbackup
Employer Password:  Care1

Download the App: Search “back-up care” in the App Store or Google Play
Phone: 877-BH-Cares (877-242-2737)

Your UCSF ID number will be required. This is a 9-digit number (starting with “02”), which can be found by logging into MyAccess and clicking on “My ID” at the top of the page. Be sure to use your name as stated on your UCSF Earnings Statement when creating your account. Registration in advance of needing care will help prevent delays in the scheduling process. You may schedule care 60 days in advance up to the day care is needed, including the day care is needed.*

For additional help getting started, see the 3 step guide.

Back-up Care Program eligibility is limited to the following:

• UCSF Faculty in the Ladder Rank, Professor in Residence and Clinical X series
• UCSF Faculty in the Adjunct and Health Sciences Clinical Professor series with appointments of 51% or more paid by UCSF
• UCSF Residents and Clinical Fellows (as appointed by the UCSF Office of Graduate Medical Education)

If you are unsure of your UCSF appointment, please contact your HR Generalist.

Eligible participants may use this benefit for a family member such as a child, step-child, spouse/partner, parent or in-law. Children through 17 years of age are eligible as are adults 18 years and over.

Quality of Care
Child care centers in the network must be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or meet or exceed state child care licensing requirements. All in-home care agencies in the network are credentialed and employ trained caregivers. All center and in-home care providers participate in an extensive screening and training process. See the Bright Horizons FAQs (pdf) for more details.

Days/Hours Available
Hours vary depending on the type of care needed, and the service is designed to provide care when employees need to be at work. In-home care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during your work hours. Center based care hours vary based on the center’s operating hours. There is a 4 hour minimum for all care requests.

For program information please contact 877-BH-Cares (877-242-2737).
For other information please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

*For same day care, Bright Horizons will make every effort to secure care for your dependent. For same day request, contact Bright Horizons by phone and they will walk you through your options for same day care.

UCSF Families’ FAQs

If, during the back-up care reservation process, I select or accept the option to use in-home care, how do I request an in-home caregiver who is vaccinated against COVID-19?
Each time you make an in-home care reservation on the Back-Up Care Program website or mobile app, go to the Provider Preferences feature and select “I request a vaccinated caregiver” from the drop-down menu for “If you have a vaccination preference, indicate to the right. Otherwise, please leave blank.” This specification will be visible to the in-home care agency when it receives the care request. Bright Horizons has communicated to its contracted agencies that, in such cases, they should decline a care request if the reservation cannot be staffed with a vaccinated individual. Also, Bright Horizons has instructed the in-home care agencies, as a best practice, to set up a welcome call with the family within one day of staffing confirmation. If you make a reservation by phone (877-BH-Cares), tell the care consultant you require an in-home caregiver who’s vaccinated against COVID.

What happens if Bright Horizons informs me they are unable to fill my request for a vaccinated in-home caregiver?
Assuming Bright Horizons is unable to provide alternative care, Bright Horizons will offer you the $100/day out-of-network reimbursement to help offset the cost of sourcing care on your own. Please note each reimbursement day counts as a back-up care day. Out-of-network care reimbursement is not offered retroactively and applies only to care provided by someone outside your household.

What can I do if the confirmed in-home caregiver is not vaccinated despite my request?
If Bright Horizons is unable to provide another caregiver who’s suitable or there is not enough time for Bright Horizons to find a suitable caregiver, you may cancel the reservation and request the out-of-network reimbursement. Once again, each reimbursement day counts as a back-up care day. Out-of-network care reimbursement is not offered retroactively and applies only to care provided by someone outside your household.

I’m concerned I won’t have enough time to find care on my own if Bright Horizons tells me they cannot fill my reservation. What can I do?
If you make your reservation via the Back-Up Care Program website or app, in the “Special Instructions” feature you may include a deadline for care availability notification and, thereby, give yourself adequate time to make other arrangements if necessary. For instance, you might say, “Please let me know whether you can fill my care request no later than 48 hours before the care start time.” If you make your reservation by phone, give the care consultant your deadline.

Can I use my UCSF Back-Up Care benefit at the UCSF child care centers?
Yes, you can use back-up care – on a space-available basis – at the UCSF child care centers.

Return to top of page.