Back-Up Care - Employees

Are you a student looking for back-up care? Please view the Back-Up Care for Students.
Collage of different caregiving situations from children to adults to elders

Dealing with unexpected disruptions in caregiving—whether for child, adult or elder—can be extremely stressful, especially when you still need to fulfill your work obligations. Fortunately, there are backup care services available to help you. The University of Arizona provides eligible employees with up to 80 hours of backup care per fiscal year. Third-party vendor Bright Horizons provides this service and is available nationwide to employees with dependents/qualifying relatives.

Back-Up Care Program Overview

  • Provider: Bright Horizons
  • Back-up childcare in high-quality centers OR your own home
  • Back-up adult and elder care in your own home
  • Easy booking online, up to 30 days in advance
  • Use it for gaps or closures in your regular options, sick children, unexpected evening/weekend needs, and you need to fulfill work obligations.

What's New

  • 80 hours of care instead of 10 scheduled usages.
  • Childcare coverage now includes in-home and/or in-center care options
  • The co-pay is $6.00 per hour (4-hour minimum) for in-home care (both adults and children) and $3.00 per hour (8 hours minimum) for in-center childcare. Co-pays include care for up to three people.
  • In-home backup care for adult and elder* loved ones.
  • CANCELLATION POLICY: you must cancel by 5 PM local time at least two (2) business days before the date of care.

*According to IRS publication 501

This webinar details when you might use the Back-Up Care Program, how to enroll and register, and how to request care. 

STEP 1: Enroll with the University of Arizona

Employees must enroll annually with the University of Arizona first before requesting care with Bright Horizons.


STEP 2: Register with Bright Horizons

Register with Bright Horizons. Please allow Bright Horizons time (two to three days) to process your eligibility. 

Registering means:

  1. Creating an account with Bright Horizon. It does not automatically register you in the Back-Up Care program. That is STEP 3. 
  2. Indicating your life stage and interests. You may skip this step and come back to it.

There is no cost to register with Bright Horizons. You will be charged a small co-pay only when you utilize the program. 


STEP 3: Complete your Profile on Bright Horizons

After you create an account with Bright Horizons, you will need to complete your profile. It may feel like you're requesting care initially, but you're not. 

Your profile includes:

  • Your contact information
  • Your dependents and information about them a caregiver would need to know.

This process can take as little as 5 minutes or up to 15 minutes, based on your unique family situation. Please allow extra time to complete and upload documentation. 

Once you complete your profile, you are fully registered for the Back-Up Care Program and can request care when needed. 

Important Program Information

Program Guidelines

Learn what circumstances qualify for backup care services, what the fee structures are, and how to begin using services.

Directrices del programa

Conozca qué circunstancias califican para los servicios de cuidado y de respaldo, cuáles son las estructuras de tarifas y cómo comenzar a usar los servicios.

Service Exception Dates

Services are not available during academic closures or University holidays. If you have commitments during these times, please call 520-621-1530 at least five days in advance.

About Bright Horizons

Meet the Provider: Bright Horizons

Your university has partnered with Bright Horizons® to help you better manage your work, family, and personal responsibilities.

Bright Horizons Back-Up Care provides access to back-up care for your children, adult, and elder family members during a lapse or breakdown in normal care arrangements.

How to Get Started Using Bright Horizons

Bright Horizons logo

Download the App

Search "back-up care" in the App Store or Google Play. If registering for the first time using the back-up care mobile app, enter:
Username: Arizona | Password: Benefits4You

Download the HIP app

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is not a complete list of FAQs. To see the complete list of questions and answers download and view all FAQs. FAQs English | FAQs Spanish

Yes. All eligible employees and students must apply each fiscal year to receive subsidized backup care services.

No. Eligible University of Arizona employees do not have to pay a membership fee to receive subsidized backup care. However, program participants may be responsible for paying the nonsubsidized hourly rate in some circumstances. Refer to the Program Guidelines above for details.

Yes. Registration in the program is a two-step process: University registration and vendor registration.

Bright Horizons takes several business days to process eligibility. Please allow this time before trying to create your account. If you need care before you can register with Bright Horizons, please call them at 1-877-BH-CARES (242-2737). They will expedite your request so that you can schedule care. 

Yes. In the case of two eligible parents – a pair of employees, a pair of students, or an employee-student pair – each may register for the service using their NetID and password.

Dependent Care and Tax Liability Issues - Employees

The Internal Revenue Service has determined that employees may allocate up to $5,000 per year in a dependent care assistance account established by their employer. This $5,000 allocation includes the combined monies applied to the following UA-sponsored pre-tax programs:

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)* for dependent (child and/or elder) care only (excludes medical expenses)
  • UA Childcare Choice Employee Reimbursement Program for Qualified Childcare Expenses
  • Employee Sick and Back-Up Childcare (includes the entire value of the program -employee and employer costs)

*You may designate an amount of pre-tax salary to be placed in a dependent care-related and/or medical expenses-related FSA. These tax-free dollars may then be used to reimburse you for qualified out-of-pocket medical care and/or dependent care (childcare/elder care) expenses. You reduce your taxable income, as no Social Security, federal, or state income taxes are taken from the designated dollars and this amount is excluded from your taxable income.

Please note that dependent care expenditures that exceed the $5,000 limit may be subject to income tax. The annual FSA figures (total costs) will appear on your Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement. This information is not intended to serve as tax advice. Please consult your professional tax advisor to identify the full tax implications of program use and to determine the optimal use of dependent care offerings. For information about the status of your FSA or qualified deductions, contact ASI at or at (800) 659-3035.

Dependent Care and Tax Liability Issues - Students

Childcare can be a major expense for many students. Please contact a professional tax advisor to determine if you are eligible for a tax credit. Additionally, subsidized monies applied toward childcare can be considered “scholarship” income and may be subject to taxation. This information is not intended to serve as tax advice. Please consult your professional tax advisor to identify the full tax implications of program use and to determine the optimal use of dependent care offerings.

Contact Us

Have questions about this program?

Connect with the Life & Work Connections Team
Phone: 520-621-2493

Have questions about your benefits?

Connect with the HR Solutions team