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Penn’s New Backup Care Program Gives You and Your Family a Safety Net

December 8, 2009, Volume 56, No. 14

At Penn, we know how stressful it can be to manage your personal and professional life, especially if you’re a caregiver with multiple responsibilities.  Emergencies can strike at a moment’s notice, making it difficult to manage all of your priorities on any given day.  Whether your babysitter cancels at the last minute, your elderly parent needs medical care, or you have a spouse or partner who can’t be left alone after surgery, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to rely on when the unexpected occurs and you need to get to work?  Well, now you do.

As of January 4, 2010, eligible faculty and staff will have access to temporary in-home backup care services—seven days a week, day or night—to help you meet your family’s needs while you work.  Through a partnership with Parents in a Pinch, Inc., a company that provides expert in-home backup child and adult care, you’ll be able to manage your professional responsibilities even when there’s an unexpected dependent care need.

Regular full-time faculty and staff members are eligible for up to ten days of in-home backup child and/or adult care per calendar year, including weekends and holidays.  Penn will partially offset the cost of care, which can be expensive, through a subsidy program that depends on your annual base salary.

Child care is available for children up to 17 years in age who reside in your household. Parents in a Pinch can provide you with a professional caregiver that meets your family's specific needs and expectations. You’re covered even if you need to travel out of town on business—a caregiver can come to your home while you’re away or one can be provided at the location to which you travel.

Adult care is available for adults age 18 and older in your immediate or extended family, whether they live with you or not. This includes your spouse or domestic partner, your or your spouse/partner’s parents, siblings, grandparents and adult children.  If you have an adult relative who relies on you for care but doesn’t live with you, adult care services can be provided in the location at which he or she resides (even if it’s in another city).

 Arranging backup care is easy—just contact Parents in a Pinch at 800-688-4697 during their call center hours to request services, preferably at least 24 hours in advance.  While Penn provides a subsidy, you’re still responsible for a portion of the cost when you use backup care services. Fees vary based on the number of hours you utilize these services, the number of children who receive care and your annual base salary, so be sure to discuss the fees ahead of time when you call.  Keep in mind that some services require more advance notice and cancellation fees apply. 

Visit the Human Resources website at for more information, including cost structures, eligible dependents, types of services provided, how to make arrangements for backup care and more.  You’ll also find a list of Frequently Asked Questions about these backup care services.

—Division of Human Resources


Almanac - December 8, 2009, Volume 56, No. 14