for Grad Employees & Postdocs
The Health & Welfare Trust Fund offers a suite of benefits to support grad student employee families, including the Trust Fund Child Care Reimbursement, subsidized child care slots at CEEC, subsidized dental and vision family plan rates, on-campus lactation stations, the family-friendly workspace, and more.
The Trust Fund Childcare Reimbursement
UAW/UMASS is one of several childcare assistance organizations at UMass.
The Health & Welfare Trust Fund administers one of the childcare subsidies available at UMass: the Trust Fund reimbursement programs for Grad Employees and Postdocs.
The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) subsidy program and The Student Parent Programs CCAMPUS subsidy program also administer separate child care subsidy programs for Grad Employees. We encourage you to also apply for these benefits as they may be available to you as an eligible grad student.
Eligibility for the Trust Fund Reimbursement
1. Applicants must be eligible Grad Employees or Postdocs, according to the guidelines for dental and vision insurance.
2. Child care must eligible for the reimbursement must fall into one of the following categories:
state-licensed* (or equivalent) infant, toddler, or preschool care in center based and group home-based settings
before and after-school based care
organizational/center based extracurricular activities (i.e. excludes private lessons)
tutoring, homework assistance and online instructional programming costs for school-aged children
Family, Friends, and Neighbor (FFN) informal care in (limited by a lower $3000 maximum)
*State-licensed care means that the State of Massachusetts' Office of Early Education & Care (or comparable state office in another state) has provided a license to your provider to operate. The state publishes a list of licensed providers. Please check with your provider if they are not on this list as some are exempt under the EEC guidelines.
There is a $6,000 per child (for whom receipts are submitted) annual maximum on the amount a family can be reimbursed. There is a $3,000 per child (for whom receipts are submitted) annual maximum on Family, Friends and Neighbors (FFN) Informal Care receipts. The full eligibility requirements and guidelines for how we determine childcare reimbursements are available below.
Predicting your Trust Fund Child Care Reimbursement
The Trust Fund cannot guarantee reimbursements because so many changing variables impact the number and amount of reimbursements per period, such as the number of eligible applicants, their actual total child care costs, etcetera. However, you can review what families similar to yours have received in previous rounds of reimbursement. Please account for the fact that any other subsidy received for the same period will reduce your total reported child care costs.
Find your income level using your family size and your household's Adjusted Gross income from your last federal tax return using the EEC Parent Copayment Chart.
Please find the most recent percentage reimbursements for all income levels below:
Grad Employee Child Care Reimbursement Levels 22-23
Postdoc Child Care Reimbursement Levels 22-23
Application Process for the Trust Fund Child Care Reimbursement
Applications for the Trust Fund Child Care Reimbursement can be processed in the enrollment portal.
Fall 2023 receipts (Sept-Dec) are due December 31st, 2023.
Spring 2024 receipts (Jan-May) are due May 31st, 2024.
Summer 2024 receipts (June-Aug) are due September 15th, 2024.
Need help with the application? Get in touch.
Other Family Benefits
Family Friendly Workspace (FFW)
The FFW is a cozy, private, child-friendly workspace that Grad Employees and Postdocs can reserve to get some work done while they're on campus.
The space can be reserved Monday-Saturday in 2 hour increments, starting at 8 am and with the last booking starting at 6 pm.
The workspace includes two desks with chairs, an armchair for reading, a small table and chairs for children, phone chargers, kid's books, toys and art supplies, a refrigerator, bottle warmer for nursing parents Keurig coffee maker and K-cups. Check out the video tour!
To reserve the space, log in to your dashboard and e-sign the FFW use waiver. Once you e-sign, you'll be sent an email to reserve the space using Calendly.
Click here to read the policies and procedures for the FFW.
Location: The FFW is located in Thompson Lowrise Room 10 (behind the tower). See this map for where to enter building. If you're entering the building from the parking lot side, you will turn right and then left to access the stairs which will take you to the lower level of Thompson. Follow the signs for the lower level bathrooms. You will receive a door access code in your confirmation email. On the weekends, there is only one outside door to Thompson that is open. It is on the parking lot side of the building (the right side if you are standing at the front of Thompson).
Unfortunately, the Thompson Lowrise is not accessible by elevator. There are two short flights of stairs from the ground level to the lower floor.
Below are photos of the FFW!
Campus Lactation Stations
Subsidized Childcare Slots at CEEC
For Grad Employees with qualifying incomes whose children attend the University's Center for Early Education and Care (CEEC), there are free slots in the Flex-Care classroom, paid for by the Health & Welfare Trust Fund. Get on the waiting list as soon as you can by calling the CEEC at (413) 545-1566.
Subsidized Dental and Vision Family Plan Rates
The Trust Fund heavily subsidizes the cost of family plans to keep them affordable. Each family member on your plan will receive the same benefits.
Altus Dental Family Plan highlights:
100% coverage for fluoride for children 18 and younger (1 in 6 months)
Orthodontic for adults and coverage for children to age 19
Athletic mouth guards for dep children under age 19 once every 24 months covered @ 65%
$2250 calendar year maximum for each family member
EyeMed Vision Family Plan highlights:
We increased the family frame allowance from $175 to $185 to keep more money in your pocket
We now offer coverage for diabetic care services
Outschool Class Credits
Using the Grad Employee Wellness Reimbursement for Family
Through the Wellness Reimbursement, family can be reimbursed up to $225/year for eligible fitness and wellness costs, as long as your family members are enrolled in your other benefits (dental & vision). In other words, their wellness expenditures can be counted toward the $225 reimbursement. For example: your spouse takes yoga classes, you (as the eligible employee) have a Planet Fitness single membership, and you just purchased a new bike for your child. All of these are eligible receipts you can submit for the wellness reimbursement. Each family member does not receive their own $225 reimbursement; rather, the $225 is shared.
Graduate Student Health Plan vs. HWTF
HWTF does NOT manage the Graduate Student Health Plan. The student health plan is separate from your Trust Fund benefits. Still, we want to make you aware that:
You can add a spouse and/or children to your student health plan. Click here for a breakdown.
If your child(ren) are enrolled in your student health plan, the student health plan provides some pediatric dental and vision benefits for them, even if they aren't enrolled on your separate Trust Fund dental & vision plans