Dependent Care Support

Formerly known as Backup Dependent Care

Policy Revised August 2019, Page Updated May 2020 (see Kennedy Care Covid-19 message)

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 Childcare Task Force. We understand that professional care is important for your loved ones, children 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.

Read: Dependent Care Support is Available

The WorkLife Office will subsidize care for up to 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, call 24 hours a day. Please reserve care at least four hours in advance.
  • Website: (childcare)  or Kennedy Care (eldercare)
  • Pre-registration required: Childcare form, Eldercare form. Complete it, and send to or visit the website here: for childcare.
  • Ages served: 6 weeks to 13 years old, seniors
  • 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 24 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 24 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.

August 2020 Virtual Assistance Training Update from Kennedy Care:

Kennedy Care is now offering Virtual Assistance Training for all child care providers on staff. This resource provides the tools and knowledge needed to best aid students while they navigate through online learning. The training includes information on three Learning Management Systems (LMS) in detail that include Google Classroom, Seesaw, and Schoology.  If your family uses a different LMS platform Kennedy Care will offer additional support.  Furthermore, the training will include strategies for communication between students and teachers, engaging educational teaching resources, and plans for accountability for grades K-12.

May 2020 COVID-19 Update from Kennedy Care: 

"As everyone is trying to adapt to these new circumstances, and challenges we want families to know that we're here to help. Kennedy Care is designed to provide high quality child care services to support working families. It's our mission to make a lasting impact on communities and we want to provide support to essential workers who need us the most right now. Regardless, if you're working from home and you're in need of additional support or a first responder, we're here as a resource to you. 

Safe At Home will operate with special COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure everyone's safety. We're following all CDC guidelines and best practices. We're staffed with trained, experienced and local child care professionals. We are taking into consideration the health of the child before accepting service requests. We added extra fields to our service forms so that we are more informed. Additionally we're evaluating our caregivers' health before each visit to ensure they're not presenting any symptoms. Our team also has access to masks if needed. 
Safe At Home is proud to offer peace of mind to families so they can focus on their critical jobs. When you can't be there, we can keep your child Safe At Home. Request care:"


Bailey Preschool & Childcare Center

COVID-19 Update: As of May 2020 Michigan childcare centers are closed due to the novel coronavirus. Bailey Preschool & Childcare Center will be available once guidelines have changed and childcare centers are allowed to re-open. 

  • 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.

The current version of MSU Backup Dependent Care program went into effect on January 1, 2019.

Child Information Record Form

Read the article to learn more.

If you have questions or comments, you can use our contact form found here: Or you can call (517) 353-1635 or email