JHU Child Care Vouchers

The Johns Hopkins University child care voucher program provides financial assistance to faculty, staff, and students to use with child care providers that fit your family’s needs.

Families with qualifying income levels are able to receive $5,000, $2,500, or $1,000 tax-free vouchers to assist with paying for care for your children under age six. Vouchers can be used for any paid child care, provided in-home or in-center.

You are eligible for the voucher program if you are full-time faculty or staff, a full-time doctoral or medical student, post-doctoral fellow, or resident/house staff/intern/trainee who meets eligibility requirements.

To determine how much your family may be eligible to receive, find your family’s adjusted gross income (AGI, as reported on your previous year’s tax return) and the number of children under age six you have in the table below. The voucher amount is shown in the column on the right.

Award tiers effective January 1, 2023

Voucher Eligibility

The Johns Hopkins University Child Care Voucher program is designed to reimburse up to $5,000 per year to help cover the cost of child care for those who meet the following criteria:

Have a child under the age of six, not in kindergarten. Eligible care includes any type of paid care.
Meet family adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility requirements.
Are full-time faculty or staff of Johns Hopkins University and have completed the 120-day probationary period (90 days for Bargaining Unit employees), or;
Are full-time post-doctoral fellows, doctoral or medical students, residents, or house staff. Contact your department if you are not sure of your status.

If you have a spouse or legal partner, he or she must be employed or enrolled in school at least 15 hours per week, be actively looking for work, or have documentation that a disabling condition prevents full-time caregiving, to qualify for this program.

Voucher Application

All award recipients must apply each year during Annual Benefits Enrollment in the fall, to qualify for funding the following year. Voucher awards follow the calendar year and applications during fall annual enrollment apply for the coming calendar year. Applications are only accepted outside the enrollment period for newly hired employees; newly enrolled students; those who have a qualifying life event; and during mid-year student enrollment periods. Refer to ENROLLMENT WINDOWS below for more detail.

Complete these steps to apply for the JHU child care voucher:

1. Obtain your income document(s).

Gather a copy of your most current, complete, and signed federal 1040 tax form that lists your dependent(s). If you and your spouse were married filing separately, or if you filed as Head of Household and have a domestic partner who contributes to household or child care expenses, you must submit tax statements for yourself and your partner.

2. Obtain your child(ren)’s birth documents. 

  • Faculty and staff, please make sure all of your dependents under 6 years old are added to the benefits portal. If you have a new dependent who was not claimed on your most recent tax return, the system will request documentation.
  • Students and learners, gather a copy of your dependent child(ren)’s certified birth certificate or passport, who is under 6 years old. Dated hospital discharge papers are acceptable for newborns for whom you have not yet received a birth certificate.

3. Complete the online application.

Vouchers are awarded on an annual basis, following the calendar year. You must apply during Annual Enrollment each fall, to qualify for funding the following year.

  • Faculty and staff apply in myChoices Benefits Enrollment. If you are approved, you will see your approval in your myChoices Benefits Confirmation. Benefits annual enrollment occurs in October each year.
  • Students and learners apply in the online form. Annual enrollment occurs in November each year, and mid-year enrollment periods without life events are in February and September. You will receive communication from childcare@jhu.edu regarding your approval.

Enrollment windows

Applications are only accepted outside the annual enrollment period for new hires, new students, and those who have a qualifying life event, such as a birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs. You must apply within 30 days following the date of your life event. Mid-year applications for voucher will be pro-rated according to your award effective date, then you may submit for reimbursements as care expenses are incurred through December 31st of the award year.

  • Newly Hired Employees: Apply for the voucher when you elect your benefits within 30 days of your hire date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following completion of your 120 day probationary period, (90 days for bargaining unit).
  • New Students/Learners: Apply for the voucher within 30 days of your enrollment date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following your enrollment date, so long as you complete the application and submit all required documents.
  • Qualifying Life Events: Birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs will allow you to enroll in the program outside of annual enrollment. You must enroll within 30 days of the life event and the benefit will become effective on the 1st of the month following the date of your life event.
  • Mid-Year Student Enrollment Periods: There are three open enrollment periods for students. Annual enrollment to receive a full-year of voucher funding occurs in November. Additional enrollment periods occur during the months of February and September, to receive a prorated voucher award. Award effective dates for applications completed in the middle of the award year are March 1 and October 1, respectively.
Spending Voucher Funds

Up to two weeks after your effective date, your voucher award will load into WEX, where you can view and manage your funds. Pay your provider out of pocket in full, retain the receipt, and upload it to WEX to be reimbursed from your voucher fund. Access your account at WEXINC.COM, formerly Discovery Benefits.

View the WEX Child Care Voucher Flyer.

Create your account with WEX. 

  • Click on the link in the welcome email message from WEX, which is sent to your Hopkins email address. (Check your spam or junk inbox folder.)
  • Or, go directly to the WEX website, and under Participants, select HSA, FSA, HRA/Wellness & Commuter login. Under New User, select Get Started; enter your information and social security number; then click Next to create your account.

Pay your provider in full, and keep the receipt.

Printed invoices and handwritten receipts are acceptable. Use the Dependent Care Verification Form if you do not have a receipt.

Select File a Claim to submit your reimbursement request with receipt.

  • Log into wexinc.com and select File a Claim
  • Select Pay From Childcare Voucher Program

Tips: Set up Direct Deposit by selecting Accounts > Profile > Payment Method > Update. This will speed up the turnaround time for you to receive your reimbursement to 2-3 business days.

You can also set up a Recurring Reimbursement to automate the process. Recurring Dependent Care Request Form – WEX/Discovery Benefits

Your flexible spending account card cannot be used for the Voucher. 

How to get help with your WEX Account

Contact Participant Services by phone at 866-451-3399 or by email at customerservice@discoverybenefits.com. You can also use live chat or search hundreds of help articles directly from your online account.

How to get help with your Voucher Award

Contact JHU Benefits and WorkLife by phone at 410-516-2000 or by email at childcare@jhu.edu.

FAQs

Eligibility

AM I ELIGIBLE?

Eligibility is dependent on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the number of children under age six (6) that you have in child care. If you have a spouse or legal partner, he or she must be employed or enrolled in school at least 15 hours per week, be actively looking for work, or have documentation that a disabling condition prevents full-time caregiving, to qualify for this program.

Faculty and Staff:

Full-time Johns Hopkins University faculty, staff, and bargaining unit members who are full-time benefits-eligible and have completed their 120-day probationary period (or 90 days for bargaining unit) may be eligible for the Child Care Voucher program.

Students and Learners:

The following graduate students are eligible for the Child Care Voucher program:

  • Full-time doctoral and medical students
    • For students of Whiting and Krieger, this includes non-resident and post-certified full-time doctoral students)
  • Full-time postdoctoral fellows
    • School of Medicine fellows who receive their pay from a sponsoring institution, and are not paid by JHU, may have a conflict of interest with receiving child care voucher and/or scholarship funds. Contact your fellowship administrator to confirm. It is your responsibility to identify potential conflicts and decline to receive the funds as needed. Please notify benefits@jhu.edu if you must decline due to conflict of interest.
  • Residents, interns, and trainees
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE VOUCHER BENEFIT?
  • If your spouse/partner is a stay-at-home parent and will not have taxable income in the award year, you do not qualify for the child care voucher. Spouses or legal partners must be employed or enrolled in school at least 15 hours per week, be actively looking for work, or have documentation that a disabling condition prevents full-time caregiving, to qualify for this program.
  • Foster children are not qualifying dependents.
  • Faculty and Staff: Those who are not employed by Johns Hopkins University; visiting faculty; temporary, limited, part-time, or casual employees; and those who are not benefits-eligible, are not eligible for this program.
  • Students and Learners: Visiting scientists and researchers; undergraduate and master’s students, are not eligible for this program.
  • Benefits-eligible School of Medicine fellows who receive their pay from a sponsoring institution, and are not paid by JHU, may have a conflict of interest with receiving child care voucher and/or scholarship funds. Contact your fellowship administrator to confirm. It is your responsibility to identify potential conflicts and decline to receive the funds as needed. Please notify benefits@jhu.edu if you must decline due to conflict of interest.
WHAT ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND NON-RESIDENTS OF THE U.S.?

International students here on a visa and individuals who do not have U.S. residency are eligible as long as they are otherwise in the eligible group and meet all other criteria. Individuals can check with their divisional administration about eligibility. As long as you are an enrolled student who meets the above criteria, you are eligible to participate.

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE IS IN THE U.S. ON A VISA THAT DOES NOT ALLOW THEM TO WORK?

The IRS requires that if you have a spouse or legal partner, they must be employed or enrolled in school at least 15 hours per week, be actively looking for work, or have documentation that a disabling condition prevents full-time caregiving, to qualify for this program. If your spouse or legal partner has a visa that does not allow them to work in the U.S., then actively looking for work in the U.S. is not an acceptable status, and you do not qualify for the voucher program.

I HAVE MULTIPLE CHILDREN UNDER AGE SIX. HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY CHILD CARE VOUCHER?

For each additional pre-kindergarten child you have under the age of six, the AGI caps rise by $10,000. The IRS defines Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as gross income minus adjustments to income. (In 2021, AGI was line 11 on Form 1040.) Please review your family income and the award tier table above carefully.

I’M STILL NOT SURE IF I’M ELIGIBLE. WHO SHOULD I TALK TO?

Employees, please contact Benefits and WorkLife at 410-516-2000 or ChildCare@jhu.edu.

Students, please ask the divisional contact for your own school, listed below:

Berman Institute Tasha Delane
tdelane5@jhmi.edu
Carey Business School Jessie Su
Carey.Student@jhu.edu
Krieger School Renee Eastwood
rseitz5@jhu.edu
includes non-resident and post-certified full-time doctoral students
Peabody Conservatory Peabody Student Affairs
peabodystudentaffairs@jhu.edu
SAIS Khorey Baker
khorey.baker@jhu.edu
School of Education Dawn Kostik
dkostik@jhu.edu
School of Medicine SOM Benefits Office
SOMBenefits@jhmi.edu
includes fellows who are paid by partnering institutions instead of JHU; see FAQ #2
School of Nursing SON Records Office
SON-Records@jhu.edu
includes fulltime PhD or DNP students, and all DNP Advanced Practice Students; excludes Executive DNP students
School of Public Health Karen Unterberger
ksteve12@jhu.edu 
Whiting School of Engineering Christine Kavanagh
christinekavanagh@jhu.edu
includes non-resident and post-certified full-time doctoral students
WHAT IF I DID NOT FILE US TAXES LAST YEAR? HOW DO I VERIFY MY INCOME FOR ELIGIBILITY?

If you do not have a US tax form for the prior year, you may submit alternate documentation of income in the form of one of the options below. Documentation of spouse or domestic partner’s income is also required. If you have additional questions about alternate documentation, please contact (410) 516-2000 or benefits@jhu.edu.

  • A letter from your supervisor, sponsoring organization, or national government stating your annual income. It must be on letterhead, be signed, and have legible contact information in case we need to verify income. In our experience, sponsoring organizations are happy to provide this type of letter.
  • A W-2 or other annual income statement.

Types of Care

IS THE PROGRAM FOR CHILD CARE EXCLUSIVELY?

The Child Care Voucher program is for care of dependents directly related to your work schedule (or school schedule for students). Dependents are those for whom you provide more than 50% of the financial support for the year. Eligible care is for dependent children up to the age of 6, who are not enrolled in kindergarten.

HOW DO I FIND QUALIFYING CHILD CARE? WHICH CHILD CARE PROVIDERS MAY I USE?

Child care vouchers can be used for any legal care, which includes licensed centers and family child care homes, as long as the caregiving individual claims the income on their taxes. To qualify, the care provider must claim the cost of care as taxable income.

Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, and students have access to enhanced child care resource and referral through the Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE service. The LOCATE database includes all registered and licensed family and group child care in Maryland. To request services, complete and submit the LOCATE: Child Care Registration Form. LOCATE Corporate Enhanced Referral Service will contact you as soon as possible. You may also contact LOCATE at 1-800-999-0120, or LOCATEcorporate@marylandfamilynetwork.org.

More information on finding child care is available on the HR website. For assistance finding state-licensed child care outside of Maryland, contact the Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program (JHEAP), 888-978-1262.

WHAT IF I DO NOT PAY MY INFORMAL CAREGIVER?

You must pay for care and provide documentation, such as a receipt, to receive the voucher. If your provider does not create receipts, you can use an alternative form, available on the WEX website.

CAN I USE THE VOUCHER FOR BEFORE OR AFTER CARE FOR A CHILD OLDER THAN 6 YEARS?

No. Johns Hopkins University limits the use of child care vouchers to children up to age 6. However, if you are a full-time faculty, staff member, or SOM housestaff you may choose to use a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) for before/after school care costs. Employees see the DCFSA section for more information, and SOM housestaff contact SOMBenefits@jhu.edu.

WHAT ARE ELIGIBLE EXPENSES?

Eligible expenses include paid child care provided during scheduled work or school-related hours. It must be for care during the parents’ work hours or school schedule. Examples include:

  • Licensed day care centers and nursery schools;
  • Family child care homes in which the caregiver reports payment as taxable income; or
  • Individual caregivers who report your payments as taxable income, i.e. a neighbor, friend, or relative.
WHAT EXPENSES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE?

The following expenses do not qualify for the Voucher:

  • Paid kindergarten;
  • Before or after-care for children enrolled in kindergarten;
  • Care during non-work or non-school related hours;
  • Care that is unpaid or unreported as taxable income by the caregiver;
  • Supplies, medical bills, or costs that are not for caregiving; and
  • Tuition to hold a spot at a center.

If you have a spouse or legal partner, he or she must be employed or actively looking for work, enrolled in school, or have documentation that a disabling condition prevents full-time caregiving, to qualify for this program.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY IN-HOME PROVIDER REPORTS CARE PAYMENTS AS TAXABLE INCOME?

Just ask your provider. It is the responsibility of the caregiver to report care payments as income.

Reimbursement

HOW DO I RECEIVE THE FUNDS?

First, you must pay the center or care provider in full each month and obtain a receipt or documentation of payment. Then, submit your receipt each month to WEX to be reimbursed from your child care voucher fund. When you are approved for the voucher, your full award will be loaded into WEX for you to access up to two weeks after your award effective date. If you become eligible for the voucher with an effective date of February 1st through December 1st, the voucher award amount will be prorated.

See the “How to Spend Voucher Funds” tab above for more information.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE REIMBURSEMENT?

Reimbursements can be expected 2-3 business days after your receipt has been uploaded to WEX. If you set up direct deposit, you will see those funds within 3-5 business days after your receipt has been uploaded. If you have not set up direct deposit, you will receive a paper check in the mail within 7-10 business days.

HOW DO I CHECK ON THE STATUS OF MY REIMBURSEMENT?

Visit your WEX dashboard to review the status of your reimbursement. Click here to create or log into your WEX online account, and beneath Participants, select “HSA, FSA, HRA/Wellness & Commuter Login.” Students who use the voucher are granted access to WEX as they are approved for funding.

CAN I SUBMIT CHILD CARE EXPENSES RETROACTIVELY?

You may only be reimbursed for care that occurs between your effective date and December 31 of the award year. People who apply mid-award-year due to a qualifying life event will have a mid-year effective date. You have until April 30 of the following year to submit any eligible expenses incurred during the prior calendar year.

Example: Parent elects child care voucher in October 2021 for the 2022 benefits period. Care provided during calendar year 2022 may be reimbursed, and parent must file receipts dated January 1, 2022-December 31, 2022 in WEX before April 30, 2023.

Funds

CAN I GET VOUCHER ASSISTANCE AS SOON AS MY CHILD GOES TO CARE?

Vouchers are awarded on an annual basis, following the calendar year. You must apply during Annual Enrollment each fall, to qualify for funding the following year.

Applications are only accepted outside the annual enrollment period for new hires, new students, and those who have a qualifying life event, such as a birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs. Mid-year applications for voucher will be pro-rated according to your award effective date, then you may submit for reimbursements as care expenses are incurred through December 31st of the award year.

  • Newly Hired Employees: Apply for the voucher when you elect your benefits within 30 days of your hire date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following completion of your 120 day probationary period, (90 days for bargaining unit).
  • New Students/Learners: Apply for the voucher within 30 days of your enrollment date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following completion of application and submission of all required documents.
  • Qualifying Life Events: Birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs will allow you to enroll in the program outside of annual enrollment. You must enroll within 30 days of the life event and the benefit will become effective on the 1st of the month following the date of your life event.
  • Mid-Year Student Enrollment Periods: There are three open enrollment periods for students. To receive a full-year of voucher funding in beginning January 1, you must apply in the preceding November. Additional enrollment periods occur during the months of February and September, to receive a prorated voucher award. Award effective dates for applications completed in the middle of the award year are March 1 and October 1, respectively.
IF I JOIN MID-YEAR, HOW MUCH AM I ELIGIBLE FOR? WHAT ARE THE PRO-RATES?

If you apply mid-year, your voucher effective date will be the first of the month following the date of the following conditions for these circumstances:

  • Newly Hired Employees: Apply for the voucher when you elect your benefits within 30 days of your hire date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following completion of your 120 day probationary period, (90 days for bargaining unit).
  • New Students/Learners: Apply for the voucher within 30 days of your enrollment date. Your voucher effective date will be the 1st of the month following completion of application and submission of all required documents.
  • Qualifying Life Events: Birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs will allow you to enroll in the program outside of annual enrollment. You must enroll within 30 days of the life event and the benefit will become effective on the 1st of the month following the date of your life event.

If you become eligible for the Childcare Voucher with an effective date of February 1st through December 1st, the voucher award amount will be pro-rated based on your award effective date. The chart below outlines the pro-rated voucher amounts based on effective date.

If you receive a voucher with an effective date of January 1st and your tier changes mid-year due to a qualifying life event such as birth of a child, your increased amount will be pro-rated based on the effective date of the new award.

CAN I RECEIVE MORE VOUCHER FUNDS IF I HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD?

Voucher funding is awarded per family/household, not per child or per parent. If you have multiple children, you cannot receive multiple voucher awards. However, for each additional pre-kindergarten child you have under the age of six, the AGI caps rise by $10,000. Five thousand dollars ($5,000) is the amount allowed by the IRS to be excluded from income per family, per calendar year, for employer-sponsored dependent care assistance. This total includes voucher, dependent care flexible spending and backup care earned benefit; and it is not adjusted to accommodate multiple dependents.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I USE ALL THE FUNDS?

WEX will track your usage of the child care voucher in total with your DCFSA up to the maximum benefit of $5,000 annually. Funds in excess of $5,000 will be reported as taxable income. The $5,000 cap is aligned with IRS guidelines for non-taxable employer contributions to dependent care flexible savings accounts.

MY SPOUSE ALSO WORKS FOR JHU. CAN MY FAMILY RECEIVE TWO VOUCHER AWARDS?

No. Voucher awards are limited to one award per family/household, not per spouse or per child. If you and your spouse are both approved for the voucher, you will receive one award for your family.

  • If both spouses are faculty or staff, then the voucher will default to the parent who carries the child(ren) on their insurance.
  • If one spouse is faculty/staff and one is a learner/student, then the voucher will default to the faculty/staff member.
  • If both spouses are learners/students, then the voucher will default to whomever has an existing WEX account; if no account exists, then we will ask you which parent should administer the voucher for your family.
EVEN AFTER RECEIVING THIS VOUCHER, I WILL NEED MORE HELP PAYING FOR CHILD CARE. ARE THERE ANY OTHER PROGRAMS?

We understand that paying for child care can be challenging. Many families consider flexible work schedules, part-time care or other informal arrangements to find an affordable solution. We encourage you to request Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE: Child Care Resource and Referral service; complete the registration form to connect with a specialist who’ll provide resources and referrals to child care that meets your budget.

The Maryland State Department of Education also offers financial assistance to eligible working families. For more information about the Maryland Child Care Scholarship, visit the MSDE website.

You may be eligible for the Johns Hopkins Child Care Scholarship if your child is enrolled at one of the three JHU partner centers. If you would like to join the waitlist to enroll your child at one of our partner centers, read more here.

CAN I USE THE CHILD CARE VOUCHER IF I ALREADY RECEIVE FUNDING FOR CHILD CARE FROM ANOTHER SOURCE?

Yes. Eligibility is not affected by participation in other programs. If you are receiving assistance from the Child Care Scholarship, the state of Maryland, or another private or public funding source outside of JHU, you are still eligible for the child care voucher.

CAN I USE THE CHILD CARE VOUCHER IF I AM ALSO USING A DEPENDENT CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (DCFSA) OR BACKUP CARE?

Yes, however, the combination of tax-free benefits from the Child Care Voucher, the DCFSA, and Backup Care through Care@Work cannot exceed $5,000 per year. You are responsible for monitoring your usage of these funds at WEX and Care.com. Five thousand dollars ($5,000) is the combined total allowed by the IRS per family, per calendar year, for employer-sponsored dependent care assistance. This total is per family, not per parent, for the pre-tax voucher. If you exceed $5,000 in any calendar year, the excess funds are reported as taxable income.

For more information about the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, available to full-time faculty or staff, visit the DCFSA webpage. SOM Housestaff should contact SOMBenefits@jhu.edu.

For more information about Backup Care, available at a reduced rate for staff, faculty and students according to specific eligibility guidelines, visit the Backup Care webpage.

Taxes

HOW DO I FIND MY ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME (AGI)?

Your federal income tax return indicates your AGI. It is on line 11 if you filed a Form 1040 or 1040-SR in 2021.

WHAT IF I HAVE A NEW DEPENDENT WHO WAS NOT CLAIMED ON MY MOST RECENT TAX RETURN?

We understand and accept that a new dependent might not be claimed on last year’s tax forms. When enrolling for the Child Care Voucher, the system will request documentation of your new dependent. If you have not yet received a copy of your child’s birth certificate, dated live hospital discharge papers are acceptable.

WHAT TAX DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

To verify family income, you must show documentation of your annual adjusted gross income. If you have a spouse or domestic partner, their income must be included. Submit a completed, signed (or e-filed) copy of your most recent US federal income tax return.

  • If you and your spouse were married filing separately, BOTH tax forms are required.
  • If you filed as Head of Household and have a spouse or domestic partner living in your home who contributes to household or child care expenses, BOTH of your tax forms are required.

If you do not have a completed US tax form, you may submit alternative documentation. Documentation is required for both you and your spouse or domestic partner, unless you are single or divorced. If you have additional questions about alternate documentation, please contact (410) 516-2000 or benefits@jhu.edu. Accepted alternative income documentation includes:

  • A letter from your supervisor, sponsoring organization, or national government stating your annual income. It must be on letterhead, be signed, and have legible contact information in case we need to verify income. In our experience, sponsoring organizations are happy to provide this type of letter.
  • A W-2 or other annual income statement.
  • If your spouse/domestic partner is enrolled in school, then proof of enrollment for at least 15 hours per week, as well as stipend or income statement if any.
DO I HAVE TO PAY TAXES ON MY CHILD CARE VOUCHER?

For those who receive a W-2 from the university: You are allowed to exclude from income up to $5,000 of employer-provided, dependent care assistance in any taxable year, in combination with your dependent care flexible spending account and backup care earned benefit. These child care dollars are considered employer-provided dependent care assistance. The maximum amount that may be excluded from income is $5,000 from all sources. Refer to IRS Publication 503IRS Form 2441, and IRS Form 2441 Instructions for guidance pertaining to child and dependent care expenses.

For students who do not receive a W-2 from the university: The child care dollars awarded to you are taxable. It is your responsibility to claim these funds when filing your tax return.

For students who are non-resident aliens and receive a W-2 from the university: The child care dollars are not taxable income. You do not need to claim these child care dollars when filing your tax return (1040NR).

For students who are non-residents and do NOT receive a W-2 from the university: The child care dollars awarded to you are taxable. The university is obligated to report and withhold (14%) on the child care dollars awarded to you. To determine your residency status, you may be required to complete a Foreign National Information Form (FNIF).

If you need tax help, eligible employees and students may receive financial and tax services through the Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program (JHEAP). Call 888-978-1262 to request services or visit CCA@YourService – company code: JHEAP for additional online resources.

WHAT IF MY FAMILY’S AGI OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES LAST YEAR ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM THIS YEAR?

Eligibility for childcare voucher and scholarship is determined primarily by family income (AGI). If you experienced a qualifying life event that has caused your AGI at the time of this application to be lower than your AGI from your taxes last year, you will need to provide additional documentation. Approved Life Events included: divorce or separation, change in student status, death of a spouse or partner, or spouse job loss or layoff. Documentation is required in all cases. Please refer to the list below for acceptable documentation. When entering your AGI in the application, you should enter your revised AGI based on the life event experienced.

In order to be considered, the revised AGI must fall within the income ranges for eligibility. Families whose AGI is outside of the stated ranges are not eligible. You will still need to submit the required tax documents and dependent verification if your income circumstances last year are different from this year.

Additional Required Documents:

  • Divorce or separation – 1. Official court document on letterhead or court stationery, must clearly state the effective date; 2. Proof of applicant’s wages (i.e. W-2, Box 1). Temporary separation can only be considered if the separated spouse is not contributing whatsoever to child care or household expenses. 
  • Death of spouse or partner – 1. Death certificate; 2. Proof of applicant’s wages (i.e. W-2, Box 1)
  • Job loss or layoff – 1. Employer’s letter on letterhead outlining terms of layoff; 2. Proof of unemployment benefits; 3. Proof of family’s wages (i.e. W-2, Box 1)
  • Change in student status – 1. Official enrollment or transcript to demonstrate student status, and wage/stipend statement if any; 2. Proof of family’s wages (i.e. W-2, Box 1)
WHAT IF MY FAMILY’S AGI OR TAX CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AWARD YEAR? CAN MY AWARD BE ADJUSTED?

Yes. If your family’s AGI changes at any point in the award year and becomes lower than your AGI at the time of application, this is a qualifying life event that allows you to resubmit your application and provide new documentation. Reasons for this change include divorce or separation, change in student status, death of a spouse or partner, job loss or layoff; as well as a more recent, completed tax filing. Documentation is required. If approved, your award will be incrementally adjusted according to the pro-rated voucher amounts based on effective date. In the application, select the proper life event, “A change in child care needs,” or “Other.”

WHY IS THE FULL AMOUNT OF MY VOUCHER REPORTED IN BOX 10 OF MY W-2 IF I DIDN'T SPEND IT ALL?

Hopkins must report all of the dependent care assistance provided to you in Box 10, whether you spend it or not. When completing your tax returns, you can enter any amount you forfeited or didn’t spend, which is then excluded. Refer to IRS Publication 503, IRS Form 2441, and IRS Form 2441 Instructions for guidance pertaining to child care and dependent care expenses.

Additional Questions

IS THERE A WAIT LIST TO GET IN TO THE VOUCHER PROGRAM?

There is no wait list however, there are defined enrollment periods. Refer to the FAQs about funds to read about enrollment periods.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Vouchers are awarded on an annual basis, following the calendar year. You must apply during Annual Enrollment each fall, to qualify for funding the following year.

Faculty and Staff apply in myChoices Benefits Enrollment.

Students and Learners apply in the online form.

Applications are only accepted outside the annual enrollment period for new hires, new students, and those who have a qualifying life event, such as a birth, adoption, marriage, or a change in child care needs. You must apply within 30 days following the date of your life event. Mid-year applications for voucher will be pro-rated according to your award effective date, then you may submit for reimbursements as care expenses are incurred through December 31st of the award year.

Call 410-516-2000 or email childcare@jhu.edu if you have any questions.

In the unlikely event of a change in funding or availability,
please note that JHU reserves the right to pause, reduce, or discontinue the program for any reason.

If you use greater than $5,000 in combination of Child Care VoucherDependent Care Flexible Spending, and Backup Care benefits for any 12-month period, it will be applied to your wages, as required by the IRS.