Children and Parenthood

Raising a family while nurturing a career is complex, exhausting, expensive and fulfilling.  At Harvard University, there are many resources and programs to support your journey.

Child Care Resource and Referral Service

Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free, confidential help for all Harvard paid faculty, staff, and postdocs and their household members. You can reach the EAP at 877-327-4278 any day, at any time for referrals to child care programs, elder care resources, services that support family members with chronic illness, legal advisers, financial advisers, and behavioral health professionals.  Harvard benefits eligible faculty, staff, and postdocs should go to HARVie for more details and online resources.

Crimson Cares: A Guide to Harvard’s Resources for Prospective and New Parents was created to provide employees with the resources and information you need and to understand the programs and policies available to you in your role as a working parent or as a manager of a working parent.

Harvard Affiliated Child Care Centers

Harvard paid faculty, staff, and postdocs have priority access to child care centers in Longwood, Cambridge and Allston.  As an employee at HSPH, you also have priority access to any community based Bright Horizons Center in Massachusetts.  For a listing of Harvard affiliated centers and more information click here.

LMA Family Childcare Network: A Program of the Longwood Institutions

The LMA Family Childcare Network is an exciting new opportunity for employees of the Longwood area institutions. This Network, launched in September 2013, provides access to in-home family childcare providers in neighborhoods surrounding the LMA and in outlying communities.

Family childcare providers are well-trained and licensed professionals. They will provide your child, age infant to preschool, with a nurturing quality home setting with fewer children than traditional center based childcare. In collaboration with well-known and respected Nurtury (formerly Associated Early Care and Education), the LMA Family Childcare Network has carefully selected family childcare homes who will provide quality care to LMA members’ children.

Back Up Child Care

Harvard offers back-up and emergency care options for those times when you must get to work and your regular arrangements for a child, or adult relative, fall through.  Faculty, staff, and postdocs paid by Harvard have access to Parents in a Pinch.  Employees of Harvard may visit HARVie for information and to register for the program.

School’s Out Vacation Camp

Harvard offers the School’s Out Vacation Camp program to give parents options during school vacations and one hard-to-cover week at the end of the summer.  Harvard faculty, staff, and postdocs may visit HARVie for more information.  For a list of programs serving your area, you may contact Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program 1-877-327-4278 for referrals or visit the Child Care @ Harvard website.

Child Care Scholarships

Benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and postdocs at Harvard may apply for financial assistance to help pay for child care or back-up child care through several scholarship funds provided by the University.  Scholarship information and important dates vary according to your employee group. Employees of Harvard should visit HARVie for further details.

SOURCE  (Subsidy for Occasional, Unplanned, and Respite Care Expenses)

This program helps faculty and staff pay for back-up care. (Formerly Just In Time Care)  It can be used to help pay for any kind of back-up arrangement you work out:  Parents in a Pinch, a neighbor, family member, back up center etc.  To find out more about eligibility, please check out HARVie for more details.

Adoption Assistance

Harvard’s Adoption Assistance Plan supports faculty, staff, and postdocs financially with costs related to adopting a child.  Harvard paid employees can find more eligibility information and resources on HARVie.

Mother’s Rooms

Harvard University recognizes the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both working mothers and their infants, and in promoting a family-friendly work environment.  The Harvard Longwood Campus has 10 mother’s rooms across HSPH, HMS, and HSDM equipped with Medela hospital grade pumps for a working nursing mother’s use. For working and nursing guidelines, locations of mother’s rooms and logistics of the mother’s rooms on Harvard’s Longwood Campus, please visit this website.  Read more about Harvard’s history with mother’s rooms and response to recent changes in federal law.

Nannies and Babysitters

The WATCH Portal allows members of the Harvard community to offer and procure a range of services. Need a tutor for your child or someone to walk your dog? Need eldercare or someone to rake leaves? Now, households seeking help can post jobs and find students with specific skills while Harvard students seeking jobs can post a resume and browse jobs by type.

Family Medical Leave and Flexible Work Arrangements

Harvard offers Family Medical Leave benefits for when one is faced with caring for yourself or a dependent.  Our leave of absence administrator will provide you with customized plans based on your employment and situation.  The Work/Life program manager can help you think through flexible workplace arrangements that will help meet your department needs with the schedule you are proposing. Managers and supervisors are not obligated to grant requests, and some units and jobs may not be suited to flexible schedules. Please contact your HR Partner to talk through potential options that best meet your personal and department needs for the particular job you are currently in.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

A dependent care FSA allows you to set aside money for expenses used to care for a dependent child or adult so that you (and your spouse/partner) may work, attend school or job-search.  Harvard faculty, staff, and postdocs can learn more on HARVie or through a Watch and Learn.

Child with Special Needs Support

The Exceptional Caregiving website is designed as a web portal to provide essential information on a range of topics relating to children with special needs and to point you in the right direction to learn more. The site includes information and resources on topics such as: special education services, post-secondary education, health information and health insurance, connecting with other parents, work-family integration, and advocating for your child.  Harvard paid faculty, staff, and postdocs may find out more by clicking here.

Educational Work/Life Seminars

Harvard Longwood Campus offers lunch time seminars on topics related to parenting, searching for child care, home buying and more!  Keep checking our webpage for current listings, more information and registration.