1. Do I qualify?
Faculty & Staff:
Full-time Johns Hopkins faculty and staff who are fully-benefited, who have completed their 120-day probationary period (or 90 days for bargaining unit), and who have a net taxable income of less than $50,000 may be eligible for the Dependent Care Voucher program. There is no waiting period.
Only the following graduate students are eligible for the Dependent Care Voucher program:
- Full-time doctoral students (for students of Whiting and Krieger, this includes non-resident and post-certified full-time doctoral students)
- Full-time postdocs
2. Who is NOT eligible?
Non-benefited temporary, limited, part-time, and casual employees, and undergraduate and master’s students.
3. I am an international student here on a visa. Am I eligible?
As long as you are an enrolled student who meets the above criteria, you are eligible to participate.
4. My salary is higher than $50,000. Can I participate?
Possibly. Remember that taxable income is your salary minus eligible deductions. It is almost always lower than your total salary and sometimes significantly lower. Please review your tax form carefully. (In 2017, taxable income was line 43 on Form 1040 and Line 27 on Form 1040A.) We want as many people as possible to be able to take advantage of this benefit.
5. I’m a non-resident. Am I eligible?
Non-residents who meet the criteria of being full-time doctoral students, full-time postdocs, residents or interns are eligible. Please ask your divisional contact if you are unsure of your eligibility.
6. I’m still not sure if I’m eligible. Who should I talk to?
Please ask the divisional contact for your own school, listed below:
TYPES OF CARE
7. Is the program for child care exclusively?
The voucher program can be utilized for care of dependents, which are those for whom you provide more than 50% of the financial support for the year. Eligible dependents are children up to the age of six or dependents who are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves.
8. Which child care providers may I use?
You may use any center-based provider or family child care home that is licensed or registered according to state regulations.
Hopkins faculty, staff and students have access to an enhanced resource and referral service at Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE. LOCATE’s database includes all registered and licensed family and group child care in Maryland. Find more information here: http://bit.ly/locate-childcare.
Remember that an individual who provides in-home child care, like a nanny or grandparent, is providing a legal form of care, but is not licensed, so those informal child care arrangements are not eligible for participation in the dependent care voucher program.
9. My child is 8 years old and I need before and after school care in order to work. Can I use the dependent care voucher for this expense?
No. Current IRS guidelines limit the use of dependent care vouchers to children up to age 6. However, if you are a full-time faculty or staff member, you may choose to use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for your before/after school care costs. See http://bit.ly/flexible-spending-account for more information.
10. How do I know if my provider is licensed?
Just ask. All licensed providers will immediately know their licensing or registration status, and should be able to easily provide a copy of their license/registration for the application process. If your child is cared for in a group setting, whether in a center or family child care home, it is likely that it is licensed.
You can also consult the Maryland Family Network LOCATE program to inquire about licensed providers. http://bit.ly/locate-childcare
11. What are eligible expenses?
Expenses must be for the following types of dependent (child) care provided during work or school-related hours:
- Nursery Schools
- Licensed Day Care Centers
12. How do I receive funds?
In most cases, you will pay the child care provider in full each month. You then submit your receipt to JHU and you will be reimbursed for the eligible amount. Funds are delivered via the same method by which your paychecks are processed.
IMPORTANT EXCEPTION: If you are using a center that is affiliated with JHU (i.e., Homewood Early Learning Center, Johns Hopkins Child Care and Early Learning Center (Bright Horizons), Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center, Y Preschool at Weinberg, or the Downtown Baltimore Child Care Center), your child care provider will reduce the tuition by the eligible amount, and you will pay the remaining balance each month. JHU will then reimburse the provider directly for the eligible amount.
13. How long does it take to receive the reimbursement?
Reimbursements can be expected 3-4 business days after processing is completed and an approval letter has been received.
14. What happens when I use all of the funds?
If you have received the maximum dependent care benefit ($5,000 annually), we will let you know, and you will not receive further reimbursements for that year. You may reapply the following calendar year. Please note that the $5,000 cap is aligned with IRS guidelines for non-taxable employer contributions to dependent care flexible savings accounts.
15. What if I have more than one child under the age of 6?
Five thousand dollars ($5,000) is the combined total allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) per family, per calendar year, for employer sponsored dependent care assistance. Unfortunately, this total is not adjusted to accommodate multiple dependents.
16. Even after receiving this voucher, I will need more help paying for care.
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 contact LOCATE at for specific resources and referrals to child care that meets your budget.
The state of Maryland also offers financial assistance to eligible working families. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/child-care-scholarship.
17. Can I use the Dependent Care Voucher program if I already receive Maryland or other funding for child care?
Yes. If you are receiving assistance from the state of Maryland or another private or public funding source outside of JHU, you are still eligible for the dependent care voucher program.
18. I already receive a scholarship from Bright Horizons. Can I also apply for a voucher?
You may not use both a JHU Bright Horizons scholarship and a JHU dependent care voucher; you may use one or the other depending on your eligibility. The reimbursement amount is the same. If you receive a scholarship for Johns Hopkins Child Care and Early Learning Center (Bright Horizons) and you meet the eligibility requirements above, you will be converted to the dependent care voucher program. Each family for whom this applies should receive an individual letter explaining this further. Please contact 410-516-2000 or DependentCareVoucher@jhu.edu if you have specific questions.
19. Can I use the Dependent Care Voucher if I am also using a dependent care Flexible Spending Account or using the Backup Care benefit?
Yes, however, the combination of benefits from the Voucher program, the dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and the Backup Care program cannot exceed $5,000 per year. You are responsible for monitoring your usage of these tools. If you exceed $5,000 in any calendar year, the excess is subject to being considered taxable income.
For more information about the flexible spending account, available to full-time faculty or staff, visit http://bit.ly/flexible-spending-account.
For more information about Backup Care, available at a reduced rate for staff, faculty and students according to the eligibility guidelines outlined above, visit http://bit.ly/Care-at-Work.
20. I need help understanding the tax implications.
If you stay within the $5,000 limit, the amount you receive will be considered pre-tax income and will not be taxed. It will show in box 10 of the IRS W-2 form. We cannot provide individual tax counseling. If you have further questions about your specific situation, please seek outside tax advice.
21. What if I did not file US taxes last year?
If you do not have a US tax form, you may submit alternate documentation of income in the form of a letter from your supervisor, sponsoring organization or government stating your income. The letter must also have legible contact information in case we need to verify income. In our experience, sponsoring organizations are happy to provide this type of letter. If you have additional questions about alternate documentation, please contact 410-516-2000 or DependentCareVoucher@jhu.edu.
22. What if my dependent is not on my most recent tax return, but I will claim them this year?
Please contact 410-516-2000 or DependentCareVoucher@jhu.edu.
23. If I receive reimbursement for dependent care expenses, is it taxable?
For faculty and staff:
You may exclude from your gross income up to $5,000 of employer-provided dependent care assistance in any taxable year, as long as you did not participate in Johns Hopkins dependent care spending account program for other services. These child care dollars are considered employer-provided dependent care assistance. The non-taxable cap is $5,000 from all sources.
For graduate students:
If you are a student and you receive a W-2 from the university, you may exclude from your gross income up to $5,000 of employer-provided dependent care assistance in any taxable year, as long as you did not participate in Johns Hopkins dependent care spending account program for other services. These child care dollars are considered employer-provided dependent care assistance. The cap is $5,000 from all sources.
If you are a student and you do not receive a JHU W-2, the child care dollars awarded to you are taxable. It is your responsibility to claim these funds when filing your tax return.
24. Can I submit child care expenses retroactively?
No. Reimbursement for eligible expenses will be paid starting the month in which your application is approved.
25. Is there a wait list to get into the voucher program?
No. Johns Hopkins has made a commitment to meet the need for everyone who applies. Enrollment is rolling, and applicants will be enrolled in the program as applications arrive. In the unlikely event of a change in funding or availability, please note that we reserve the right to pause, reduce or discontinue the program for any reason.
26. How do I apply?
View requirements and access the online application..