Child Care Grant

Cornell University’s Child Care Grant Program helps faculty and staff pay for child care expenses by granting awards of up to $5,000 a year, tax-free. 

mother and toddler kissing baby


The Child Care Grant has an annual application period each September for the following calendar year. The online application period for 2020 funding is now closed.


2021 Child Care Grant information will be posted during the week of August 24, 2020.








To be eligible for the Grant, you must:

  • Be a benefits-eligible Cornell faculty or staff member eligible to participate in Cornell’s Flexible Spending Dependent Care Account. Note that County Extension Association employees are not eligible to apply for the Grant.

  • Be unmarried or, based on IRS rules for Dependent Care Accounts, have a spouse/partner who is:
    • Employed at least part time, or
    • A full-time student (you will need to provide proof of enrollment in classes and an expected graduation date), or
    • Considered legally disabled, or
    • Unemployed but actively seeking employment: must have legal work authorization to work in the United States (work visa is required and must be attached as documentation).
  • Have a total household gross income of less than $150,000 per year.
  • Have a child who is your legal dependent (as defined by IRS regulations), and for whom you are financially responsible or be pregnant and anticipating child care expenses for 2020.
  • Have a child under age 13 or have an older child that has a disability-related special need that can be documented (we will need a note from a doctor if your child is 13 years of age or older).

Eligible expenses

The grant covers eligible child care, including infant and toddler day care, pre-school/pre-K programs, care on school holidays, school-age summer day camps/programs, and school-age before/after school care. This grant helps you explore options and find creative solutions to some of the child care challenges you face.

Student Child Care Grant

Undergraduate and graduate/professional students are not eligible for this program, but can be covered under a separate Cornell program, exclusively for them. Information can be found on the Cornell Students with Families website.

    How to apply

    The Child Care Grant has an annual application period each September for the following calendar year. 

    You must complete and submit a Child Care Grant application and supporting documentation on or before the deadline (September 30, 2019 for 2020 funding). 

    Applications are completed online, but the completed applications must be printed and submitted with all required documentation attached to HR Services and Transitions Center either in person, via Cornell's Secure File Transfer, or by sending via U.S. Mail (postmarked by September 30, 2019.)

    If sending by U.S. Mail, mail to:

    Child Care Grant

    Cornell University

    395 Pine Tree Road

    East Hill Office Building, Suite 110

    Ithaca, New York 14850

    If using Cornell's Secure File Transfer, please scan and send all pages as one document using these instructions:

    • Visit
    • Log in with NetID
    • Click on "Prepare Upload"
    • Enter the following NetID: TR19 for Theresa Rapacki and click “Add.”
    • Click "Choose File" and upload documents
    • Click "Send"

    Applications (including required documentation) that do not have a September 30, 2019 (or earlier) U.S. postmark and/or electronic applications received after the September 30, 2019 deadline will not be accepted. Incomplete applications, including any with missing documentation, will not be considered for the Grant and will be returned. 

    By submitting an application and documentation for the Grant, you are certifying that your expenses and your household income are accurately estimated and eligible under the legal care definitions. Cornell Benefit Services and Administration will be reviewing all applications, documentation, awards, and claims, in an effort to detect any potential fraudulent activity. Any misrepresentation of information can result in the termination of the Grant and could have adverse employment consequences.

    Required supporting documentation

    • A copy of your printed online application
    • A copy of the two most recent pay slips for you and your spouse/partner.
      • If your spouse/partner is self-employed, a Schedule C or 1099 is required
      • If your spouse/partner is a student, proof of registration is required
      • If your spouse/partner is currently looking for work, legal authorization to work in the United States (work visa) must be provided.
      • Note: If your total household income is not clear on the documentation provided, please include a copy of your 2018 income tax return.
      • 2020 daycare cost verification statement from your provider

    More information