Access to qualified family care for children, disabled adults and elder family members is a serious consideration. CU System Administration offers a family care benefit for eligible employees through Bright Horizons.

We know employees have their own unique family circumstances, and one of the most common needs is finding qualified family care. Whether you’re seeking care for children, disabled family members or elder adults, Bright Horizons can help you identify long term options, reduce your care costs or fill in when your established care plans fall through.

CU System has partnered with Bright Horizons to help employees better manage work, family, and personal responsibilities. There are two programs available to eligible employees:

  • Enhanced Family Supports
  • Back-Up Child, Adult, and Elder Care

Who is Eligible? All permanent, benefits-eligible System Administration staff

Enhanced Family Supports

Establishing regular care for your family members can be a stressful task, but Bright Horizons offers support in your care service search. This includes:

  • Sittercity membership: Access to a nationwide network of child caregivers with profiles, references and available background checks. Users can even locate qualified pet sitters and dog walkers through Sittercity.
  • Years Ahead membership: Understand and find the right level of care for their aging loved ones.
  • Preferred enrollment status at community-accepting Bright Horizons child care centers.
  • Tuition discounts at participating partner centers nationwide.
  • Tutoring and camp discounts at participating partner centers nationwide.

Back-Up Child, Adult, and Elder Care

Even solid, longstanding care resources can experience disruption. When your established care options fall through, Bright Horizons can help fill in. Eligible employees qualify for 10 uses per calendar year for back-up child, adult, and elder care.

What counts as one “use”?

  • Drop-in center care: 1 day, no matter the number of hours
  • In-home care: up to 10 hours
  • 4-hour block of online tutoring (have 90 days to use the block of hours)   

Employees are responsible for a copay, paid at the time of care via the portal:

  • In-center copay: $15/child or $25/family (2+ children) per use
  • In-home copay: $6/hour (4 hour minimum per use)
  • Tutoring copay: $15 per 4 hours

How it Works

If you previously created an account through the existing Bright Horizons benefit, you will need to create a new account to take advantage of the expanded benefits going forward.

  1. Visit the Bright Horizons client portal and create an account using your employee ID (if you do not know your Employee ID, you can look it up in the employee portal). 
    1. CU System employees log in through the same portal as CU Boulder employees, so the registration page will indicate “University of Colorado Boulder.” This is the correct page for CU System employees — please do not click “Change my employer.”
  2. Create your care profile:
    1. Employee profile: Provide your relevant contact and employment information.
    2. Care recipients: Enter your relationship, care location(s), and health information, and download/complete any required care forms.
    3. Authorized contacts: Add any adults (e.g., spouse/partner, grandparent, friend) as emergency contacts and/or individuals who are authorized to pick up care recipients.
    4. Care locations: You can choose locations near your home and/or along your work route.
  3. When ready, make a reservation for care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find a short selection of FAQs related to the Bright Horizons benefit. For a more detailed FAQ, visit the CU Boulder Bright Horizons page.

Q. What is the difference between back-up care and Sittercity/Years Ahead?

A. Back-up care is care arranged and provided through Network Providers via the Bright Horizons reservation process. This service is not a long-term, permanent care solution and the employee is responsible for a modest co-pay.

With Sittercity and Years Ahead, employees can search for both regular and one-time care service. Employees are responsible for searching, screening, arranging and paying for the full cost of care.

Q. What services are included with the Sittercity benefit?

A. Your free premium Sittercity membership enables you to quickly find babysitters, housekeepers, pet care, and more and includes unlimited basic background checks at no cost. The service also includes online forums, tools, and resources that will help you choose someone that meets your preferences and needs for occasional and everyday child care, care for children with special needs, household help, and even dog walkers.

Q. What services do I have access to through Years Ahead?

A. Years Ahead connects you with elder care tools and resources — including search tools and referrals. Your Bright Horizons benefits include free access to this online elder care platform.

Q. Which ages are served by virtual tutoring?

A. Tutoring is available for your dependents ages 5-18.

Q. Who provides the virtual tutoring?

A. Tutoring providers are selected based on their quality, learning platform and breadth of topics. Varsity Tutors and Sylvan Learning are two nationally recognized tutoring providers and our current partners for this program. Learn more about these providers.

Q. What is Bright Horizons Back-Up Care?

A. Bright Horizons Back-Up Care can be used anytime you need to be at work, but your family member needs assistance or support.

Examples of when you can use back-up child care include:

  • Your child’s school or center is closed.
  • You have a change in your work schedule and need in-home child care for evening and weekend hours.
  • You are in between child care arrangements.
  • Your regular caregiver is unavailable.

Examples of when you can use back-up adult and elder care include:

  • Your parent’s regular in-home care provider is unavailable.
  • Your grandparents live out of state and need assistance.
  • Your parents live with your sister…and your sister has a temporary conflict and is unable to care for them.
  • Your mother-in-law is in the hospital and you would like someone to be with her for support.
  • Your spouse or partner (or other adult family member) is recovering from an injury or surgery and needs assistance.
  • You are recuperating from an injury or surgery and need assistance for yourself.

Q. What type of back-up care is available?

A. Care in high-quality centers for well children, screened in-home caregivers for children, and in-home adult and elder care is available. Care recipients may include infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, teens, and adult and elderly family members.

Q. Can I use a flexible spending account (FSA) to pay the copay associated with care?

A. If there are copays, they must be paid with a standard payment method. Often, copays may be reimbursable through your FSA program (subject to the terms of your employer’s FSA provider). In order to get reimbursed, you must submit the proper paperwork to your FSA vendor.

Q. What pet care services do I have access to through Sittercity?

A. As part of your free Sittercity membership, you can easily use the online database to find options for all your pet care needs — dog walking; coordinating check-ins, visits, pick-ups and drop-offs; pet sitters and/or overnight care; bathing, grooming and training resources; and more.