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Caregiving Support

American University provides resources to faculty and staff to help with caregiving responsibilities. The University understands that balancing work and family obligations can be challenging, and especially so during COVID. We have highlighted programs and services available to AU faculty and staff. Please contact if you have any questions.

Child Development Center (The Center)

AU offers an early childhood education center on main campus that is partially subsidized for our faculty and staff.  AU’s Child Development Center (The Center) provides on-campus, high-quality education and care of children 2-1/2 to 6 years of age. We offer developmentally appropriate educational programs for preschool children, support families within the campus community, and promote the overall education mission of the University.

The Center is currently accepting applications for fall 2021 for a limited number of openings. Please contact Veronica Chirlin at for more information or to enroll in the program. The Child Development Center will be open from 9 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday, beginning on Monday, August 30, 2021.

Bright Horizons® Caregiving Services

AU full-time faculty and staff have access to Bright Horizons caregiving services and discounts. The Back-Up Care Advantage program provides a national network of childcare centers and in-home care agencies that are available to at a moment’s notice when your regular arrangements fall through. Benefits include subsidized emergency back-up care for children and adult/elder relatives, referral services and discounts for non-emergency childcare, elder care, pet sitting, tutoring, and housekeeping services.  

Emergency Back Up Care Includes:

  • 15 days per employee per calendar year.   
  • In-Center: employee copay of $15 per child per day or $25 per family per day 
  • In-Home: employee copay of $8 per hour (up to 3 care recipients, 4-hour minimum copay required) 
  • Same day coverage if needed 

Other Bright Horizon caregiving support includes nanny placement consultation, placement and discounts at local Bright Horizons care centers, referrals and search tools for tutoring, test preparation, sitters, eldercare planning, pet sitters and housekeepers.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

If you signed up for a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) last November during open enrollment or have a qualifying life event, you can use your FSA to pay for the care of a dependent. Qualifying dependents must live with you and are 12 years old or younger. A person age 13 or older qualifies if they are physically or mentally incapable of self-care and regularly spends at least eight hours a day in your household. Dependent care FSAs are designed to reimburse you for eligible dependent care expenses so that you can care for your loved ones while you're at work.

Parent Support Group

The AU Parent Support Group is an opt-in group of faculty and staff who share information, support and guidance as parents. The group gets together to share helpful information about AU’s benefit plans, ways to maintain healthy lifestyle when balancing work and family, and offers informal networking opportunities. To join the listserv or the Teams site, please email