Child Care: Financial Assistance for Child Care

U-M Child Care Subsidy Program (students) — U-M Office of Financial Aid

The U-M Child Care Subsidy, administered by the U-M Office of Financial Aid, provides funds to undergraduate and graduate students to assist them with the cost of state-licensed child care. Students may apply even if they are not currently using licensed child care, but must be enrolled in a licensed program (center or home setting) in order to receive the grant (to search for licensed child care options, click here).  

For the 2014-15 academic year, the Child Care Subsidy provides up to $4,860 per academic year for one child, up to $7,128 for two children, and up to $9,380 for three or more children, based on family income. Spring/summer half-term awards are also available.

To qualify, a student must demonstrate financial need and utilize child care because he/she is a single parent, or if married, has a spouse/partner who is also a student and/or gainfully employed. International students may be eligible. For all eligibility criteria, and to apply, please visit www.finaid.umich.edu/Types_of_Financial_Aid/child.asp or call (734) 763-6600.

Child Care Expense Loans (students) — U-M Office of Financial Aid

Students with unmet financial need may apply for loans to cover child care expenses. For more information, visit www.finaid.umich.edu/ or call (734) 763-6600.

U-M Child Care Tuition Grant (faculty, staff and students) for the U-M Children's Centers

The U-M Child Care Tuition Grant (CCTG) is a program that assists families with young children with the cost of licensed child care at our U-M Ann Arbor central and north campus centers: Towsley Children’s House, North Campus Children's Center, and the Health System Children's Center. The program is funded by the Provost’s Office. It is available to income-eligible U-M faculty, staff and students with a child already enrolled at a participating U-M center. 

Eligibility for the Child Care Tuition Grant is determined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines for Washtenaw County based on family size and median income, and the grant amounts vary according to these criteria. For more information, please read the information below or contact Judy Collins at judymc@umich.edu or (734) 647-7144. Families may also pick up a CCTG application from their participating U-M center.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR U-M STUDENTS: You must apply for the Child Care Subsidy through the U-M Office of Financial Aid (see first section, above) prior to applying for the Child Care Tuition Grant. If awarded the Child Care Subsidy, the amount of the CCTG may be reduced.

U-M Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to set aside pre-tax money from your paychecks to pay for child care expenses for your eligible dependents incurred so you can work, or if you are married, so you and your spouse can work, or your spouse can attend school full-time.

Eligible dependents are your children under age 13 and any other person who is a qualified IRS dependent, regardless of age, who is mentally or physically incapable of caring for himself or herself.

Federal tax laws place limitations on the amount you can contribute to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account each plan year. You may choose an annual contribution of any whole dollar amount up to the maximum family amount for which you qualify. You maximum contribution depends upon your annual earnings in the prior calendar year, your tax filing status, your spouse's annual earnings, and several other factors. The minimum annual contribution is $120.

To receive a reimbursement from your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, you must have accumulated sufficient contributions to cover your claim at the time your request is made. You may file a claim for reimbursement after your dependent receives the eligible services. You may claim up to the amount you have already contributed to the account at the time your claim is made. You have the option of submitting a claim online or completing a paper claim form and mailing or faxing it along with your itemized documentation. For further information, see Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts on the Benefits Office website, or contact the HR/Payroll Service Center at (734) 615-2000 or 1-866-647-7657 (toll free).

If you/your partner are employed outside of U-M, inquire with that employer’s benefits office.

Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Development and Care Program

The Child Development and Care Program is a State of Michigan program for income-eligible families who need assistance with child care costs. Parents may qualify if they need child care for employment, high school completion, or family preservation (treatment activity for a health or social condition). University students who are employed at least 20 hours per week may also be eligible. For income guidelines and eligibility, please click here

To download an application, visit www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-4583_237004_7.pdf

Child Care Network — Family Support Program

Child Care Network/Great Start to Quality Southeast Regional Center (community-based, not a U-M program) has some funding to assist income-eligible staff and undergraduate families with a portion of their tuition costs in a licensed child care center or home setting (parents in degree programs beyond undergraduate, including fellowships, are not eligible for CCN scholarship assistance). Low-income working families have priority. For consideration, please visit CCN’s website: www.childcarenetwork.org and click on the ‘Family Scholarships’ tab for more information and the application.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit is available to employees with children who meet income guidelines. Depending on income and number of children, employees may receive a credit (or refund, if they pay no taxes). Employees can collect a portion of their EIC payment in their paycheck. Although this money need not be used for child care, it can help with the cost of care. If you wish to receive an advance in your paycheck, you must submit a Form W-5 to Payroll (734) 615-2000 (central campus) or (734) 764-3125 (Health System). For complete information, consult your tax advisor and please visit: www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96406,00.html

Child and Dependent Care Credit

The credit is a percentage of the amount of work-related child and dependent care expenses you paid to a care provider if you meet specific conditions. For more information, consult your tax advisor and please visit: www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106189,00.html

Other Financial Assistance for Families

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a health and nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well and stay healthy. WIC also provides nutrition education and counseling and help accessing health care. WIC also provides breast pumps to qualified nursing mothers.  For additional information: www.fns.usda.gov/wic/ or call 734-544-6800.

Washtenaw County Health Insurance Plans

Several plans are available to uninsured, income eligible children, individuals and families. For more information: www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/ph_hltencd.html.

MIChild

MIChild provides health insurance to low-income children of working families without health insurance. To be eligible, you must not qualify for Healthy Kids/Medicaid. MIChild provides comprehensive medical and dental coverage.  You must be a Michigan resident to qualify. For additional information: www.michigan.gov/mdch/1,1607,7-132-2943_4845_4931---,00.html.

Washtenaw County Prescription Plan

The Washtenaw County Prescriptions Plan is a prescription drug discount program for Washtenaw County residents without or with limited prescription drug coverage. There are no income or age restrictions. For more information: www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/whp/WCPP.