The HUCTW Childcare Fund is a need-based program that helps HUCTW members with the costs of childcare incurred during the calendar year. The 2021 Fund helps with childcare costs incurred between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Late cycle applications for 2021 are due Monday, March 15. The application is available here.
In order to apply for the Childcare Fund, you must:
- Have a child or children, aged 0 – 12 (up to the child’s 13th birthday), or be expecting a child, who will be in the care of either (1) a licensed childcare center, family provider, after-school program, summer camp, or vacation camp or (2) an in-home provider with a social security or tax ID number (we are required to have record of this number).
- Have childcare costs incurred during working/traveling hours.
- Be a member of the HUCTW Bargaining Unit.
Please note that recently we have also launched a pilot program for children with documented special needs, where we will provide childcare assistance for kids with special needs, ages 13 -18. You must provide documentation of your child’s special needs as a part of your application.
The types of childcare that are eligible include things such as: daycare, nannies or in-home care, after-school programs, daytime summer camps, pre-school, and public kindergarten (not private). However, please note that if you elect to receive your award through a tax-free flexible spending account (FSA), kindergarten of any kind is not an eligible expense. Public kindergarten is only an eligible expense if you receive your award directly through the HUCTW office.
The awards are determined based on your household income and the cost of your care. Childcare awards cover only a portion of the childcare costs for each applicant. This portion may vary somewhat from year to year depending on the number of applicants in any given year. All eligible applicants who apply on time will receive an award. Award letters should be emailed to you by early November.
Accessing Your Award Money
Recipients can choose for their awards to be delivered to them in one of two ways.
- You may choose to receive your award through a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) during Open Enrollment — the advantage of this method is that your award money is not taxed. We will provide you with a PDF form that you can fill out to enroll in an FSA — this form needs to be returned to the Harvard Benefits Office. Then, beginning in January 2021, you can start submitting your childcare expenses for reimbursement. The FSA is managed by an outside vendor. You submit your childcare receipts to this vendor during the course of the year, and the vendor reimburses you with money from your HUCTW Childcare Fund award. Please note that this award money is not deposited into your FSA all at once — every pay period 1/26 of your award is deposited into your FSA until by the end of the year, your whole award has been deposited. You can apply for reimbursement any time of the year, but will only be reimbursed with what has accrued in your account so far. Learn more about how FSAs work in the “Pros and Cons of the Two Delivery Methods” document below. It is very important that you read this document if you have never used a Dependent Care FSA before. You can only use this method if you apply to the fund by the first deadline (October 21, 2020) and if you submit a PDF FSA enrollment form by the end of Open Enrollment. Applications and forms received after these deadline are not be eligible for FSA delivery, unless you have a qualifying event like child birth, marriage, or divorce.
- If you do not choose the tax-free FSA option, your award will be delivered to you by the HUCTW office through your paycheck. You will apply for reimbursement for your childcare expenses on a quarterly basis (every three months) using our verification form, and we will deposit the award money in your paycheck. If you choose this option, the award is considered “extra compensation” and will be taxed at approximately 38%, but a portion of the tax withheld can generally be recovered when award recipients submit their tax returns for the year to the IRS. When we send you your award letter, we will also provide information to help you determine which delivery method is best for you, if applicable.
If you would like to compare these in more detail, please see the “Pros and Cons of the Two Delivery Methods” document.
How to Apply
You need to complete two steps in order to apply for the Fund:
- Fill out the Childcare Fund Application.
- Provide us with the first page of your most recent 1040 federal tax return form. Your child/children must be listed as a dependent on this form (unless your child is not yet born). Those who are married and file separately, please provide both tax return forms. Form submission methods are listed below. Example of a 1040 tax form
The deadline to submit completed applications for late cycle awards is March 15, 2021.
If you have access to a computer, please use the online application. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact us.
Your application is not considered complete unless you provide us with your 2020 1040 tax form. You can submit your 2020 1040 tax form in one of the following ways:
- Upload your most recent 1040 tax form to the HUCTW secure server (our preferred method)
- Or send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (if you don’t have an electronic copy, scans and cellphone photos of tax forms are fine. You can black out social security numbers.)
- Or send it by mail to: HUCTW Childcare Fund, 15 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138
- Or send it by fax to 617-661-9617
If you and your partner/spouse file your taxes separately, we need his/her/their tax form as well. If you don’t have a 1040 tax form, please email us and let us know (email@example.com).
The late cycle deadline to submit 2021 applications is March 15.
- 2021 Childcare Fund Application
- 2021 Childcare Fund Verification Form (for current awardees only)
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Claim Form (for current awardees only)
Please contact the Childcare Fund coordinators if you have any questions.
Tel: Please call 617.610.2553 and ask to speak with Tasha regarding the Childcare Fund.