Dependent Care Support

The WorkLife Office team actively listened to feedback from MSU faculty, staff and students this year and incorporate changes to the options for backup care, with input from the MSU Caregiving Working Group in 2022, and Childcare Task Force in 2019. We understand that professional care is important for your loved ones, children, adults, or elders, and want you to choose the right services for your family. Whether you are faculty, staff, student or administrator, you can choose a service that works best for you and your specific needs.

There are lots of hours in a day and it’s okay to take a few for you. MSU offers Dependent Care Support for children and elders through a couple of different subsidy options. Book a few hours or a whole work day of care when you need it.

Traditionally, dependent care (previously referred to as backup care) was used when school was closed or your daycare provider took a day off, but you still needed to get to work. 2020 shifted the entire caregiver spectrum, with closed or reduced capacity, safety concerns and parents/guardians working from home where dependents were also spending their days. The work may have changed, the days may look different, but there is still the need for support — it just looks a little different now.


  • Quiet time to write or research
  • Create and/or give a presentation
  • Practice for your dissertation
  • Attend to an appointment
  • Give yourself reflection time

The WorkLife Office will subsidize care for up to 40 hours or five days per child or dependent adult per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). In some cases, you can use childcare for a few hours or a few days at a time. This is backup dependent care, meaning that this service is intended to be used when your typical childcare or eldercare provider is not available during normal work hours. If you have several children, you can reserve care for them on different days. A total of five days, or 40 hours per dependent will be subsidized. Please note that these services can often serve more than one child at a time.


  • 5 days at Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center = Full Benefit Use
  • 16 hours of in-home care through Kennedy Care: Safe At Home + 3 days at Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center = Full Benefit Use

You are responsible for keeping track of hours used, especially if mixing care providers. You will be billed for usage over 40 hours.

*Please keep in mind, these services are subject to availability of space and yearly funding.

Backup or Emergency Dependent Care Services

Kennedy Care

Safe at Home is a division of Kennedy Care, a leader in home health care based out of Ann Arbor, MI. Kennedy Care: Safe at Home can serve MSU faculty and staff around the state of Michigan. Kennedy Care provides passionate caregivers assisting with important everyday tasks to keep clients safe in their homes. Back-up child care is available for children ages six weeks to thirteen years old who are both healthy and mildly ill. Back-up elder care is available for seniors. The Kennedy Care team is devoted to delivering excellent client experiences and is available 24/7, across the state of Michigan.

  • Phone: 800-790-7233, calls can be taken between the hours of 6am-9pm. Please reserve care at least four hours in advance.
  • Email Address: 
  • Website: (childcare)  or Kennedy Care (eldercare)
  • Pre-registration required. Please visit the website here: to schedule childcare or eldercare.
  • Ages served: 6 weeks to 13 years old, seniors (various ages accepted for at-home care)
  • Serves well and mildly ill children and dependent elders
  • Hours of Operation: flexible
  • Facility: Services provided in your family’s home.
  • Cost/MSU Subsidy: Staff and faculty pay $7.00 per hour for a home aide or in-home childcare provider; students pay a discounted rate of $3.00 per hour for a home aide or childcare provider

Additional details of service:

  • Advanced notice: The more advanced notice provided to Kennedy Care (weeks to months), the more likely service can be arranged. Based on demand, on-call staff cannot be guaranteed.
  • Cancellation – A service cancellation should be made 48 hours prior to the service. All cancellations must be emailed to A subsidized charge equivalent to 4 hours of care (4 hours are also subtracted from your subsidized hour bank) will be assessed for cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance. Details at
  • MSU families are eligible for up to 40 hours of subsidized dependent care per dependent, per family. Hours beyond the 40 hours of subsidized care will be charged at the full Kennedy Care hourly rate for service at the expense of the user of the services.
  • Location limitations may apply to service, although Kennedy Care and Kennedy Care: Safe At Home have care providers all over the state. To inquire whether you live in a coverage area, contact Kennedy Care at or 800-790-7233.

Bailey Preschool & Childcare Center

  • Phone: 517-220-2939
  • Website:
  • Address: 300 Bailey Street, Suite 100, East Lansing, MI 48823, one block north of campus
  • Ages served: 0-12 years
  • Serves well children: children who are without sickness
  • Hours of Operation: 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Facility: Daycare center
  • Drop-in emergency care available; you must call first to inquire about space
  • Smaller time frames of care available, but if you use over 3 hours in a day, it will be considered a full day.
  • Costs/MSU subsidy: MSU will pay up to five full days of care per child at Bailey, at no cost to the parent.

Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center, a newly built licensed center that just opened in 2018, is designed to ensure that each child is presented with opportunities to grow socially, emotionally, physically, academically, and independently. The center owner, Sheryl Howard, has been in the childcare field for over 30 years, and owns two other care centers in the mid-Michigan area. The programs at Bailey use curiosity, trial and error, hands on activities, creative discovery centers and child-based curriculum to make learning fun, positive, and meaningful. It is their teachers’ role to encourage and teach fundamental skills, such as early literacy skills, basic math skills, social-emotional readiness, and trust in a fun, positive, and meaningful way. This form of care only serves children who are without sickness. (also known as Care@Work)

  • Website: (sign up with MSU NetID/email to create your account to search for free)
  • Ages served: flexible
  • Serves well children and elders
  • Hours of operation: flexible
  • Facility: flexible–you set with the provider
  • Cost: dependent. You are responsible for selecting care providers, negotiating rates, and paying for 100% of the cost. The MSU subsidy is free access to the search function and contacting service providers. is also available for some backup dependent care. Try Care-on-Call to broadcast your needs and find last-minute care to take place in your home. Free access to searching for and contacting care providers is provided for MSU faculty and staff when registering with your MSU NetID. While you continue to have free access to to search for care providers, you are responsible for selecting care providers, negotiating rates, and paying for 100 % of the cost.

If you have questions or comments, you can call (517) 353-1635 or email