Family and dependent care resources

USC provides support and resources for all stages of your life, and the lives of your family members as well.

Enhanced support during COVID-19

Options specific to the pandemic are outlined below. Also, see Bright Horizons’ Enchanced Family Supports FAQ as well as their FAQ on Back-Up Care.

Also see Bright Horizons’ health and safety protocols.

Onsite child care centers for children (ages six weeks through five years)

USC offers child care programs at both UPC and HSC, in centers operated by Bright Horizons. These programs continue to operate with increased health, safety, and hygiene measures in place. Bright Horizons is complying with capacity and density guidance from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and enrollment prioritization is currently based on the following criteria, until county guidelines allow a return to normal capacity levels:

  1. Families with a USC employee required to work onsite and families with a USC employee teaching or conducting research onsite or remotely
  2. Families with a USC employee working from home in a non-teaching and non-research role
  3. Postdoctoral scholars and students

More information about our child care centers is available below:

Back-up dependent care (ages one month to 18 years, and elder care)

Several options are available through Bright Horizons’ back-up care program, which is a care option when your normal child care or elder care options are not available. Note that back-up care is not limited to families enrolled in USC child care centers. Benefits-eligible employees can create an account on the Bright Horizons site to access these options. Visit Bright Horizons (first time users, click on “First time user” at the bottom, then on the sign up page use username: USoCal, password: Benefits4You). Bright Horizons can also be reached at 877-BHCares (877-242-2737). NOTE: Benefits may vary by location, and some employees are governed by contracts that do not include these benefits; check directly with Bright Horizons. Once you have an account, you may access in-home or center care:

In-home care provided by a Bright Horizons’ employee – A vetted caregiver cares for your dependents in your home, with health screenings conducted daily for both the caregiver and family. Bright Horizons will use best efforts to assign the same caregiver for all families who choose a continuous care giving option. When non-continuous or occasional care works best for a family, it is not always possible to provide the same caregiver each time. In-home care:

  • Has a co-pay of $6/hour per child/elder, for up to 3 dependents needing care
  • Requires a minimum of 4 hours/day
  • Can be booked up to one week in advance

Please watch this video on Bright Horizons’ in-home back-up care, including new safety protocols required of all in-home providers.

In-home care provided by a SitterCity.com nanny – SitterCity nanny services can be accessed through the Bright Horizons website, which provides you a free premium SitterCity account and unlimited free basic background checks. You provide information on your needs, and nannies/sitters registered on the site who meet your criteria can initiate contact with you. Nanny services are not managed nor provided by Bright Horizons; they are managed and provided by SitterCity. Note that:

  • Costs vary by nanny and number of children
  • Length of nanny services must be specified (e.g., 3 months)

Center care –The Bright Horizons website allows you to enter your zip code to find which of their centers are open near you. Please note:

  • The cost is $15/day for one child; $25/day for up to 3 children (center age limits vary; check with Bright Horizons)
  • Spots can be reserved up to one month in advance of when you’ll need care

USC has secured the benefits below for families of all benefits-eligible employees - effective through June 30, 2021.

Learning pods

Helps families find educators who can guide in-home learning for children (ages 5 to 18 years) in small groups or one-on-one. This benefit can be accessed through Sittercity and includes the following features:

  • Parents can post a learning pod job or browse for sitters and educators that meet their needs
  • Educators will be badged on the Sittercity site as “Ready to Teach”
  • Learning pods can be virtual and/or in-home

Tutoring and school support discounts

USC employee parents can access enhanced tutoring and school support discounts through the following providers:

Varsity Tutors 

  • For children five to 18 years
  • Expert live instruction on diverse subjects: math, science, languages, literature, and more
  • 1:1 online tutoring: 40,000+ tutors and instructors
  • Small group online tutoring: easily create live online small group tutoring sessions
  • Suite of learning tools: including live instant homework help, adaptive testing and grade readiness assessments, learning lab, and weekly progress reports
  • 20% off hourly rates for private or small group academic support and individual classes
  • 20% off academic and enrichment packages

Revolution Prep 

  • For children ages five to 18 years
  • Full-time educators available for online private and small group tutoring, test prep, and academic support
  • Help with core school subjects (+ APs), as well as admissions, standardized, and postgraduate tests
  • 20% off hourly rates for private or small group academic support
  • 33% off and first month free for Adventure Math
  • 20% off private test prep

Marco Polo Learning

  • For children ages three to seven years
  • Award-winning early education curriculum, covering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) and literacy topics
  • 3,000 learning games available, with more added weekly
  • Highly engaging and interactive app, with companion guides for parent participation
  • 50% discount on annual subscriptions and 20% off month-to-month plans with Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports

Don't forget - Bright Horizons also offers a free website packed with educator-approved learning ideas across the curriculum - for kids up through school age. Visit Bright Horizons' World at Home.

A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account that can be used for dependent care expenses including child care and elder care. This program runs in accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines and parameters. Employees can enroll in up to $5,000 in pre-tax withholding per calendar year through WageWorks. A list of eligible expenses is available here. Additional information can also be found on the WageWorks and Employee Gateway sites.

USC employees who need child care to work during the pandemic, which the IRS classifies as an allowable event, can enroll by logging into Workday and clicking on the Benefits application (the icon is a shield with a heart, tooth, and glasses). Click on Benefits in the Change section. Under Benefit Event Type, select I want to change my Flexible Spending Account. Select the date when you want to officially enroll in the program (cannot be retroactive) and click Submit.

Sponsored by the Center for Work and Family Life and USC Center for the Changing Family, ParentConnect is a Slack workspace that supports working parents/caregivers of school-age children. Channels in the group focus on young children, teens, distance learning, activities to support family well-being, and relevant HR benefits. It's a place for working parents and other caregivers to:

  • Discover and share solutions for work-life-family integration
  • Learn about the latest research conducted by USC faculty
  • Receive updates from University HR on benefits
  • Build community when and where they choose

If you're interested in joining the ParentConnect Slack, please email CWFL@usc.edu.

Unpaid Temporary Staff Leave

Staff are welcome to discuss the possibility of an unpaid temporary leave with their supervisors and HR Partners. These are approved at the discretion of the department based on staffing and work needs.

Faculty Leave of Absence

The Faculty Handbook provides a comprehensive list of leave types available to faculty. Please see the Faculty Handbook or contact your Dean of Faculty for more information.

Paid Family Leave to care for dependents in quarantine

Employees who are unable to work because they need to care for a family member who is quarantined may be eligible for Paid Family Leave. Please visit the EDD website or contact your HR Partner for more information.

Child care

Finding reliable child care isn’t just important to working parents, it’s essential. That is why USC is committed to providing employees with access to high-quality child care options. Whether you are a new parent or new to USC, we encourage you to use the information here to explore your options and review our resources. For more information, contact USC’s child care administrator, Olivia Ortega-Sanchez, at ortegasa@usc.edu.

Finding reliable child care isn’t just important to working parents, it’s essential. That is why USC is committed to providing employees with access to high-quality child care options, including dedicated centers at both UPC and HSC, operated by Bright Horizons:

Back-up care for dependents ages one month to 18 years - and elder care

Bright Horizons’ back-up care is an option when your normal child care or senior care options are not available. Note that back-up care is not limited to families enrolled in USC child care centers. Benefits-eligible employees can create an account on the Bright Horizons site to access these options. Visit Bright Horizons (first time users, click on “First time user” at the bottom, then on the sign up page use username: USoCal, password: Benefits4You). Bright Horizons can also be reached at 877-BHCares (877-242-2737). NOTE: Benefits may vary by location, and some employees are governed by contracts that do not include these benefits; check directly with Bright Horizons. Once you have an account, you may access in-home care:

In-home care provided by a Bright Horizons’ employee – A vetted caregiver cares for your dependents in your home, with health screenings conducted daily for both the caregiver and family. Bright Horizons will use best efforts to assign the same caregiver for all families who choose a continuous care giving option. When non-continuous or occasional care works best for a family, it is not always possible to provide the same caregiver each time. In-home care:

  • Has a co-pay of $6/hour per child/senior, for up to 3 individuals needing care
  • Requires a minimum of 4 hours/day
  • Can be booked up to one week in advance

Please watch this video on Bright Horizons’ in-home back-up care, including new safety protocols required of all in-home providers.

Elder care

Elder care support is now available via Bright Horizons back-up care.

Back-up care for dependents ages one month to 18 years - and elder care

Bright Horizons’ back-up care is an option when your normal child care or senior care options are not available. Note that back-up care is not limited to families enrolled in USC child care centers. Benefits-eligible employees can create an account on the Bright Horizons site to access these options. Visit Bright Horizons (first time users, click on “First time user” at the bottom, then on the sign up page use username: USoCal, password: Benefits4You). Bright Horizons can also be reached at 877-BHCares (877-242-2737). NOTE: Benefits may vary by location, and some employees are governed by contracts that do not include these benefits; check directly with Bright Horizons. Once you have an account, you may access in-home care:

In-home care provided by a Bright Horizons’ employee – A vetted caregiver cares for your dependents in your home, with health screenings conducted daily for both the caregiver and family. Bright Horizons will use best efforts to assign the same caregiver for all families who choose a continuous care giving option. When non-continuous or occasional care works best for a family, it is not always possible to provide the same caregiver each time. In-home care:

  • Has a co-pay of $6/hour per child/senior, for up to 3 individuals needing care
  • Requires a minimum of 4 hours/day
  • Can be booked up to one week in advance

Please watch this video on Bright Horizons’ in-home back-up care, including new safety protocols required of all in-home providers.

More support for your family as it grows and changes

Getting married, having a baby, helping your kids learn from early childhood through college, and caring for yourself and your family – USC offers resources to help.

Learning at home

Bright Horizons, USC's child care provider, offers World at Home, an online learning platform for parents to support children learning at home. Designed by education experts, World at Home features videos and activities for curriculum areas including language, STEM, mindfulness, cooking, and more. Visit worldathome.brighthorizons.com (no log-in required).

College prep

Tuition help for your family

Tuition Exchange

Center for Work and Family Life - help for many family-related situations

Bright Horizons Family Matters - online resource with live and on-demand webinars, podcasts, videos, and more to support employees throughout various life stages

ParentConnect Slack group - for employees who are working parents/caregivers of school-age children. Resources are shared from Center for Work and Family Life, HR Benefits, and USC Center for the Changing Family. Members can learn and share, get updates on relevant benefits, and come together in community. To join, email CWFL@usc.edu.