Ladder ACCESS Program
Access to Child Care Excellence, Services, and Support
The Ladder ACCESS Program is an initiative for ladder faculty designed to help tenured and tenure-track faculty meet their family care-giving needs while succeeding throughout their academic careers. It makes awards (ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, subject to required tax withholding) available to ladder faculty parents of children under the age of 6. The amount of the award depends on household income and claimed child care expenses are reimbursed three times a year. The program is administered through Harvard University’s Office of Work/Life.
Harvard offers separate child care scholarship programs for different employee groups. This program, developed for ladder faculty at Harvard applies to: Assistant and Associate Professors, full Professors (including HMS WLT tenured faculty), Assistant, Associate, and full Professors in Practice (GSD), Benjamin Peirce Fellows, and Convertible Instructors.
The next application cycle for the Ladder ACCESS child care scholarship will be available online via PeopleSoft July 16 through August 13, 2014 for currently employed tenured and tenure-track faculty. Look for an announcement email from Senior Vice Provost, Judy Singer. A smaller second round will be held from August 27 through September 10 for those newly-hired ladder faculty with hire dates after August 1, 2014.
Eligibility - The Ladder Access program is a childcare scholarship program open to faculty who:
Further eligibility requirements and answers to common questions can be found in the Ladder ACCESS FAQ: Rules & Eligibility Guidelines.
Required Documentation – before you begin:
The program uses a sliding scale based on family income to determine awards ($5,000 to $20,000, subject to required tax withholding). The application therefore asks you for information on your family’s anticipated income from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 (Harvard's fiscal year). Before you begin the application, you may want to assemble the following documents for your reference. You will also be asked to submit copies of these documents after you complete the online application. Paperwork will be accepted by secure mail only and must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 13, 2014 for the first round.
How to apply:
The application is online via PeopleSoft (you will need your HUID and PIN). Applying for the ACCESS program using the link below is simple:
APPLY NOW! through PeopleSoft (go to Self-Service -> Childcare Scholarship App)
If you have more questions, please see the FAQs contained within the FAQ: Rules & Eligibility Guidelines. You will find answers to question such as: Am I eligible? How much can I expect to receive? When can I expect to receive funds? What if my spouse/partner is unemployed? And much more.
A note on reimbursement payments:
The Ladder ACCESS child care scholarship is a reimbursement program – you will only be reimbursed up to your award amount OR your total costs if these are less than your award.
Once you have paid for your child care and submitted an online claim form for these child care expenses, funds are paid to you via your paycheck according to the reimbursement schedule outlined in #18 of the FAQ: Rules and Eligibility Guidelines.
Program reimbursement payments are considered additional compensation. This addition to your regular wages will be taxed at a higher percentage and represents amounts withheld for federal income taxes, FICA and FICA-HI, and Massachusetts state income taxes.
These awards are not “grossed-up” for tax purposes. Please see the following generalized examples:
Your award is $10,000 and you submit one online claim expense of $11,000 by the final deadline. It is approved and a payment of $10,000 is sent to payroll for processing. Your net amount, provided after required supplemental tax withholding will be approximately $6,000 in your paycheck.
Your award is $10,000 and you submit one online claim expense of $7,500 by the final deadline. It is approved and a payment of $7,500 is sent to payroll for processing. Your net amount, provided after required supplemental tax withholding will be approximately $4,500 in your paycheck. No more funds are reimbursed to you – you forfeit the unclaimed funds.
Your award is $10,000 and you submit one online claim expense of $5,000 by the first deadline. It is approved and a payment of $5,000 is sent to payroll for processing. Your net amount, provided after required supplemental tax withholding in the first paycheck is approximately $3,000. You do not submit any more child care expense claims. No more funds are reimbursed to you – you forfeit the unclaimed funds.
For planning purposes, it is helpful to understand the implications of supplemental tax withholding on these awards and reimbursements. Earnings reflect the gross amount awarded and paid. The net amount reflects the gross amount of the award less the legally required supplemental tax withholding. For additional information or questions, please contact Mary Christakis, Associate Director for Planning and Program Management, 617-495-2785.
The program is administered by the Office of Work/Life; feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-495-5933 with any questions.