Updates to MSU Backup Dependent Care Benefit for Faculty, Staff and Students 2019-2020

caregiver reading book to a childBy Jaimie Hutchison
August 26, 2019

Backup dependent care is fill-in childcare or elder care when the family’s primary source of childcare or eldercare is not available during the faculty or staff member’s work hours. MSU offers faculty, staff and students two options for backup dependent care for childcare and one option for backup dependent care for elders. 

  • Kennedy Care and Kennedy Care: Safe At Home: This provider is for eldercare or childcare in your home, and is subsidized by MSU. The rate for faculty or staff is $7 per hour for care for any number of children that the faculty/staff member has custody of. The student rate is $3 per hour, up to 40 hours per year (July 1-June 30), per child. Kennedy Care: Safe At Home will try to accommodate any MSU faculty, staff member or student anywhere in Michigan. They care for healthy and mildly ill children. Any hours used over the 40 hours of care will be directly billed to the faculty, staff or student.
  • Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center: This is center-based care in East Lansing less than two miles from Michigan State University (less than one mile away, depending on where you are on campus). Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center is licensed by the State of Michigan Department of Human Services. MSU currently has a contract for drop-in childcare services for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. There is no fee for this care up to 5 days of care per child, per year (July 1-June 30). Any days over 5 will be directly billed to the faculty, staff or student. You may use half or full days for this care. 

There is paperwork to fill out prior to services being delivered for Kennedy Care, Kennedy Care: Safe At Home, and Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center. 

The total faculty or staff benefit is 40 hours or 5 days, per child or elder, per year (an increase of one day, or eight hours, for all faculty, staff, and students this year). 

This means that three days at Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center PLUS 16 hours with Kennedy Care: Safe At Home would be your full benefit for the year for a child. Any hours over these hours will be billed to the faculty or staff member directly. You can combine care resources for children, please keep track of your total hours. 

Can you pay on your own if your benefit runs out or if it is not during working hours? 

Yes. Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center charges $48 per day for drop-in care. Kennedy Care and Kennedy Care: Safe at Home charges $22-$28 for per hour, depending on the number of children/elders.

What are the typical reasons that Spartans use backup dependent care?

  1. Childcare is closed for training or for a holiday.
  2. Snow days (as space is available. First come, first serve).
  3. Eldercare provider is sick.
  4. Childcare provider is sick or out of town.
  5. School is closed for a teacher training day, or for conferences.
  6. Spouse or grandparent usually watches elder or child and they have an appointment or are ill.
  7. Overall, it is a safety net for when childcare or eldercare emergencies happen or when normal childcare arrangements break down. 

Here is more information on MSU’s backup dependent care. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.  

We made these changes to reduce the cost for students and to increase the number of days for faculty and staff to provide fuller coverage of backup dependent care. Here is what recent users of Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center and an in home care user said about the backup dependent care services offered by MSU: 

  • “I have two children and they have been at Bailey Preschool and Childcare Center this week since our regular daycare is closed for the holiday. The staff is helpful, caring, approachable, and have taken good care of my kids. Overall, this has been a positive experience. So thankful MSU has [backup dependent care] available!” - MSU Employee
  • “We used childcare in our home when our son had a mild fever. This allowed both of us to still teach our classes. We are very grateful for this service and we were very pleased with the service!” –MSU faculty member
  • “We used all four days of our backup dependent care benefit when our child’s school was closed for training and updates. We were very pleased with Bailey and our school-aged son was taken care of and we were still able to go to work.” –MSU employee


Information is valid as of date article posted. The most current information is always available at MSU’s backup dependent care.