UMB Child Care Grant

Overview

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Child Care Grant Pilot Program is available to assist working parents at UMB. The taxable, need-based grant will help eligible employees pay for qualifying, work-related child care.

Funds are awarded primarily based on financial need through an application process. There will be five tiers of awards with a fixed number of grants within each tier. The tiers will be based on a range of annual household (employee plus spouse) income up to $90,000. Annual household income means the adjusted gross income amount from your IRS Form 1040 that was filed for the previous tax year. (If you were married but filed separately, you and your spouse will need to submit both IRS 1040 forms). The limited number of available grants will be awarded based on financial need and on a first-come, first-served basis in situations where multiple applications within the tier with the same financial need are received.

The grant is offered on a fiscal year basis. The application process will typically occur before the beginning of the fiscal year. Because the current fiscal year is already underway, the first grant will be spread across the months remaining in the fiscal year. Employees must reapply for each fiscal year for which they qualify. Grant amounts may vary from year to year based on funding availability. 

The grant, which is taxable to the employee, will be paid to the employee monthly throughout the remainder of the fiscal year and be included in the second paycheck received each month. Participants must apply and will be selected based on the criteria provided in the chart below, eligibility parameters as defined by the program, and available funds. Because the program is need-based, the lowest-paid employees in each tier receive priority if the demand exceeds the available funds.

Purpose of the Program

The University recognizes that the cost of child care is a tremendous burden for working parents, and even more so for parents of limited means. The purpose of this program is to provide qualifying employees, whose household income is less than $90,000 per year, the opportunity to apply for a UMB Child Care Grant. This grant is a taxable offset of the employee’s child care costs; it is a fixed monthly payment that can be applied toward the cost of child care.  

Plan Year

The plan year for the UMB Child Care Grant is on a fiscal year basis.

Employee Eligibility

Regular staff, regular faculty, and postdoctoral fellows (on payroll) working 50 percent FTE or more are eligible to apply for the UMB Child Care Grant. In addition, these eligible employees must have bona fide work-related (child care required during work time) unreimbursed child care costs in excess of the UMB Child Care Grant, and they must meet the need-based criteria as defined for each tier (see Appendix A). Employees who add a dependent (i.e., newborn) during the plan year are eligible to apply for the next fiscal year’s grant. An employee who participates in a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account may also participate in the UMB Child Care Grant Pilot Program because this program is an after-tax plan.

Qualifying Dependents

Qualifying dependents include all children who are under age 6 or are still in preschool. Human Resources (HR) will validate qualified dependent(s) based on the employee’s most recent IRS Form 1040. If the child is claimed as a dependent by another, proof of your dependent relationship is required (i.e., birth certificate). Please contact HR Benefits for more information.

Qualifying Child Care Providers

Qualifying child care providers are limited to licensed or unlicensed child care providers that will attest in writing in the form of a signed receipt that they have received compensation to provide child care each month.   

The care may be provided by a relative or non-relative but cannot be provided by your child under the age of 19 (tax dependent or not), the child's parent, or another tax dependent who is paid by you for the child care. Other restrictions, as identified by the IRS, may apply.

Amount of Financial Assistance
  • The total funds allocated, percentages, and income levels are set by the University each fiscal plan year and may vary from year to year based on funding availability.
  • The UMB Child Care Grant amount for employees working less than full time will be determined based on 1.0 FTE but prorated based on actual FTE.
  • A committee with campus representation will determine who will receive the grant. The amount of the grant would be confirmed based on the available funding and qualifying participant’s need.
  • The grant award recipients will be notified that their application has been accepted or declined (reason provided) by the end of the month preceding the first grant payment. If the application has been accepted, the notification will indicate the amount of the monthly grant, the period over which it will be paid, and the expected amount of additional taxable income.
  • If the child is removed from qualified child care resulting in an overpayment of the UMB Child Care grant or if an overpayment is made to the employee by UMB for any other reason, the overpayment will be recouped by the University via payroll deduction from a future paycheck. Employees must agree to the recapture of overpayments via payroll deduction on the enrollment form, as this is a condition of the grant.
  • The amount of the UMB Child Care Grant may not exceed the employee’s child care expense.
Application Process [Automated]
  1. The deadline to enroll in the UMB Child Care Grant Program for each fiscal year will be announced before the application period opens. If the application is accepted, an acceptance letter will be sent to the recipient indicating the amount of the grant and the beginning and end date for grant payments. (The amount of the grant will be spread across the months remaining in the current fiscal plan year).
  2. Application forms are available through the link at the end of this page. A new application must be submitted for each year you wish to be considered for the benefit.
  3. Incomplete forms will be rejected.
  4. Forms received after the deadline will be rejected.
  5. HR will validate eligibility and ensure all required documentation is attached, including the employee’s most recent IRS Form 1040 proving eligible household adjusted gross income and dependent relationship. If the child is claimed as a dependent by another, additional proof of your dependent relationship is required (i.e., birth certificate).
  6. You must indicate if you are currently receiving child care assistance from other sources. This may result in a reduction of the UMB Child Care Grant as the grant amount is limited to the total unreimbursed child care expenses. 
Monthly Submission Process [Automated]
  1. Employees whose applications have been approved must submit a Monthly Child Care Grant Program Expense Filing by the first Friday of the following month along with a copy of child care payment receipts for the period, and proof of receipt of any other child care assistance benefits that may have been received that period. The purpose of the attestation is to ensure the employee paid for child care expenses during the filing period. It is not a reimbursement request.
  2. Monthly Child Care Grant Program Expense Filings must be submitted through the automated process by the first Friday of the following month in which the expense is incurred.
  3. The grant payments will be included in the second paycheck each month. This payment is contingent upon you having paid for child care for that month. Example: The amount received in December is based on you having paid for child care that you incurred in December. It is not based on when the recipient actually paid for the care.
  4. There may be exceptions to the pay schedule deadlines due to the year-end December deadlines. For accurate year-end processing, the deadlines will be adjusted to ensure the awarded grant amount has been paid to each participant and will be communicated to the participants.
  5. Late monthly expense filings may result in the termination of the employee’s UMB Child Care Grant benefits.
  6. UMB is advancing the payments based on the expectation that your monthly expense filing is done on a timely basis. If receipts are not submitted with the monthly expense filing, the advanced payment may be deducted from the next month’s grant payment.
Administration

DocuSign will be used to collect the UMB Child Care Application and the Monthly Child Care Grant Program Expense Filing. This tool will automate the submissions, and any attachments will be securely sent. Applications and expense fillings will be validated and timestamped. 

A committee of campus representation will be formed to review and select applicants who will be awarded the UMB Child Care Grants.

Tax and Other Liability Issues

The Child Care Grant is considered taxable income to the employee. Taxes will be withheld from the paychecks in which the grant payments are received.

This information should not be understood to be tax advice. Professional tax advice to determine the impact of the UMB Child Care Grant on personal tax liability should be sought by the employee.  

NOTE: It is the responsibility of the employee to select a qualified child care provider, including any screenings or background checks.

Annual Approval Process
  1. The senior vice president of administration and finance will provide the annual grant allocation for the fiscal year.
  2. HR will work with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) to market the program, including creating and updating a website with detailed information about the program.
  3. All submissions (application and expense filings) are submitted through an automated system that will date-stamp the submissions. HR will review for eligibility purposes and ensure all required documentation is attached.
  4. HR will ensure that the employee’s employment status, household income, and dependent information indicate eligibility for a UMB Child Care Grant.
  5. Based on the employee’s household income and the number of qualified applicants, HR and the UMB Child Care Grant Committee will determine which applicants will receive the UMB Child Care Grant and the amount of grant the employee will be eligible to receive.
  6. HR will notify the selected applicants that they will receive the UMB Child Care Grant, including when and how they will begin to receive the grant, the grant amount, and when the grant period will end.
  7. Should eligibility change midyear (i.e., new hire or newborn), employees will need to wait until the next fiscal year to apply for a UMB Child Care Grant. Likewise, employees should notify HR immediately if circumstances change midyear whereby the employee has reduced child care costs, no longer has child care costs, or no longer qualifies for the UMB Child Care Grant, so that the grant may be reduced or discontinued in alignment with the date they became ineligible and to ensure no overpayments are made.
Appendix A: UMB Child Care Grant Chart Based on Household income
TierHousehold IncomeMaximum Amount of Total Annual GrantNumber of Grants Awarded 
I < $50,000 $5,000 20  
II Between $50,000 and $60,000 $4,000 10  
III Between $60,001 and $70,000 $3,000 10  
IV Between $70,001 and $80,000 $2,000 10  
V Between $80,001 and $90,000 $1,000 10  

*Application is open through November 17th