Postdoctoral Scholar Childcare Reimbursement

The PX Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified on December 9, 2022 establishes Childcare Reimbursement and Dependent Care Programs for Postdoctoral Scholars.

Please note that updated forms for the Childcare Reimbursement process will be added in the future, to better-reflect the process at UCSC.

A.  Childcare Reimbursement Programs 

Childcare Reimbursement Programs are University programs that provide funds to Postdoctoral Scholars for qualified childcare-related costs. For more detailed information, refer to the Postdoctoral Scholars Childcare Reimbursement Program Fact Sheet and the childcare article in the PX Collective Bargaining Agreement.

I. Childcare Reimbursement Program

Summary of important elements:
  • Program is effective beginning October 1, 2023 - Expenses must be incurred (i.e. services rendered) on or after October 1, 2023 to be eligible.
  • Qualified dependents include children aged 12 and under, living in the Postdoctoral Scholar's home.
  • Care must be from a licensed childcare provider to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • In order to be eligible for reimbursement, documentation of eligible expenses must be received in accordance with the following schedule:
    This table lists quarterly expense periods and the associated deadline to submit a reimbursement request.
    Date Expenses Incurred Submission Deadline Date
    October 1- December 31 Submit no later than January 31
    January 1- March 31 Submit no later than April 30
    April 1- June 30 Submit no later than July 31
    July 1 - September 30 Submit no later than October 31
  • Annual allotment is applied per calendar year (January 1- December 31). Beginning eligibility is for up to $2,500 as of 10/1/23, and increasing by $100 each October 1 thereafter (see following schedule).  The additional $100 of eligible expenses for 2024, 2025, and 2026 must be incurred on or after October 1st of that year in order for the increased amount to be eligible for reimbursement.
    • October 1, 2024: $2600.
    • October 1, 2025: $2700.
    • October 1, 2026: $2800.
  •  For Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellows and Paid Directs:
    • If external grant or fellowship provides a childcare benefit but it is less than the contractual amount, the University will supplement up to the allotted annual limit, in accordance with the terms of the contract and the reimbursement process.

II. Professional Travel Childcare Expense Program

  • Professional Travel Childcare expenses are part of the same annual allotment as the Childcare Reimbursement Program, and have the same requirements and expectations as above (in I), except the following:
    • Reimbursement may be requested for the following while on University-approved travel:
      • Extra childcare at home
      • On-site childcare
      • Transportation of child and/or caregiver to approved travel location
      • Food and lodging for a caregiver when they stay overnight to care for the child
      • Shipping of breastmilk home for child

III. Submitting a Request for Reimbursement

To submit a request, complete UCSC's Postdoctoral Scholar Childcare Reimbursement interim form via Docusign.

In completing the Docusign process, be sure that you:

  1. Complete all required fields in the form, as well as any additional fields relevant to your request.
    (Be sure to include the Childcare Provider’s license number in the Taxpayer ID No field.)
    If any of your expenses are related to the Professional Travel Childcare Expense Program, please include the dollar amount in the designated field, and include any documentation of PI/supervisor approval of that travel with the attached invoices/receipts. (You may use the Dependent Care Information section to upload any relevant travel-related documents)
  2. Attach all invoices/receipts related to the request in the section indicated on the form.
  3. Sign the form and complete submission of the Docusign document.

Postdoctoral Scholars must submit documentation of eligible expenses in order to receive the reimbursement, in accordance with the submission eligibility deadlines above (see A.I).

To expedite the reimbursement process, please submit only one request per submission eligibility period, with the collected receipts for the expenses incurred during that period. Once Academic Personnel has certified that the form is complete and all the eligibility requirements have been met, the reimbursement will be processed as a one-time payment. Payment will normally be in the same form as the postdoctoral scholars' regular pay (i.e., check or electronic deposit).

Note that invoices/receipts for the same expense may not be submitted to both the Childcare Reimbursement Program (including the Professional Travel Childcare Expense Program) and the Dependent Care Program.

Questions about the submission process may be directed to

B.  Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Program (DepCare)

Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees may also participate in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Program (DepCare), a federal program which allows employees to place funds in a pre-tax account for the purposes of paying childcare costs as determined by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations and documented in the University’s plan documents.

  • Must enroll annually, during a Period of Initial Eligibility, or Open Enrollment for the following plan year.
  • Eligibility: Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees (job codes 3252, 3255, 3256) who are eligible for the Postdoctoral Scholars Benefit Plan with at least 50% time appointment. (Fellows and Paid Directs are not eligible.)
  • Benefit: Eligible Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees may contribute up to $5,000 per calendar year.

For more information, refer to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Summary Plan Description for Postdoctoral Scholars.