Resources for Parenting & Caregiving During COVID-19

two girls wearing colorful face masks

Parents and caregivers of adults are facing many unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you will find Cornell and community-based resources to assist you.

Parenting Resources


Child Care

Cornell Resources

Find Babysitters, Nannies, & Other Caregivers with 

Cornell provides free, unlimited membership to help benefits-eligible employees locate and arrange care. Members are expected to screen care providers, conduct background checks, and follow other safety best practices. Those who post job ads tend to have better success finding a caregiver. Read this important guidance about child care during COVID-19 before arranging care. 

Start your membership today! 

1. First, visit the HR website for details about the service. 

2. Then head to to create an account with your Cornell ID number (not your NetID, the number found on your ID badge). 

3. Post a position and/or search the directory for caregivers. 

Work/Life Consultation and Support:

If you are looking for assistance with child care arrangements, contact Cornell’s Work/Life Consultant Diane Bradac . She is available to talk with you on topics related to dependent care, such as locating providers, nannies and babysitters, parenting children with special needs, and more. Diane can help you explore childcare options so that you are fully informed of what the landscape will look like for your family and your child/ren. Call 607-255-1917 or email:

Cornell Child Care Center (CCCC):

The Cornell University Child Care Center, managed by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, provides care to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years for Cornell faculty, staff and students.  Visit the website for additional information or arrange to take a tour at  Note: it is unknown at this time whether the CCCC will be able to accept families that are not normally enrolled at the center for summer care. Please contact the CCCC to share information about your needs. 150 Pleasant Grove Rd, Ithaca, 607-255-1010,  Email:

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Changes:

If you are enrolled in a DCFSA for 2020, and your child care needs have changed due to COVID-19 – either due to a change in provider or a change in projected expense – you may make a change in your DCFSA election, on a go-forward basis, within 60 days of that change in need. There is a special enrollment form needed, and if you cannot locate the form you received in the email to you dated April 28th, please contact the HR Services and Transition Center,, 607-255-3936. 

You may make a change in future contributions, again, once you return to your original child care needs/expenses. PLEASE BE AWARE: 2020 contributions to DCFSA may be used for expenses dated 1/1/2020-3/15/2021.

 Cornell Work & Family Life Panel Discussion: Parenting and Child Care During COVID-19 (Video) - an hour-long panel discussion about what Cornell families are navigating, child development during this time, and what is known thus far about the future of child care and summer camps.

Guide to Hiring Informal Child Care Providers (babysitters)


Community Resources

Child Development Council of Tompkins & Cortland County - Information about Family & Group Family Child Care Programs 

The Council has child care referral specialists that can help you explore options. There are many smaller family programs that can provide care for up to 6 children and group family programs that can provide care up to 12 children. Your search criteria (location, size, age of child/ren, cost, etc) will be used in order to conduct a search. Request a consultation by calling 607-273-0259. 

Not in Tompkins County? There is a network of organizations called Child Care Resource and Referral who can provide more specifics about your location/county. Contact the Child Development Council to locate a program where you live. 

Child Care Grants for Essential Employees

New York State is using a portion of CARES Act funding to provide free child care for income-eligible essential workers. Essential workers using a regulated child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care as long as the funds to support it are available. If you are a parent who meets the definition of an essential employee and have child care needs, register here.

Child Care Idea: “Family Pods” & “Quaranteams” 

A strategy some families are considering is entering into a “family pod” or “quaranteam” partnership with one or two other families, rotating who provides the care. Work/Life is collecting a list of families interested in this type of care. Please email Diane Bradac at to express interest. We will notify you when a form is available for collecting additional details. 

Parenting Resources

Cornell Resources

Cornell Parent Newsletter:  

The Parent Newsletter provides helpful tips, events, activities, and services of interest to Cornell faculty, staff, students, and retirees who are parents and/or grandparents. Click here to add your email to the newsletter distribution list. 

Cornell Parent E-Lists: 

Consider joining a Cornell Parent e-list to connect with other parents. There are several specific lists for parents with children under age six, parents with school-age children, and for selling/buying child-related items. 

  •  parents-k12-L – information related to parenting school-aged children (no classifieds permitted). To join, email: with “Join” in the subject 
  • parents-undersix-L – information related to parenting children under the age of six (no classifieds permitted). To join, email: with “Join” in the subject 
  • parents-classifieds-L – buy, sell, or exchange child-related items (restrictions apply, see guidelines). To join, email: with “Join” in the subject 
Top Ten Things You Should Know If You Are Having A Baby at Cornell
Remote Work Tips for Families (Cornell)


Community Resources

Time & Scheduling

Strategies for Managing Time/Schedules 

• Adjust your start/stop time (when you work) – use chunks of time that better align to your availability if possible 

• Staff may use paid time off in small increments each day (possible for exempt employees as well) or half/full days as needed 

• Staff may use New York State Paid Family Leave (NYSPFL) for care of children with disabilities, or to provide care to children with a serious health condition. NYSPFL can also be used to provide care to parents and spouses/domestic partners.

• Reduce your hours temporarily (subsequent reduction in pay) 

• Discuss your work goals and priorities with your supervisor – some work projects/tasks may be better aligned to your current situation than others 

Fun & Education

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Kids@Home - Cornell's virtual "Bring a Child to Work" events
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Wildflower Exploration at Home program includes instructional videos on wildflower anatomy, life cycle, and more, along with downloadable activities, and a virtual collection of wildflowers, including gorgeous photos and detailed biological and cultural information.
  • Science and Nature Activities:  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s K-12 Education team is producing free resources tailored to home learning. Every Friday, K-12 releases fun activities to engage your children's bodies and minds.
  • Cornell Outdoor Education Place-Based Adventures
  • Cornell Parent Newsletter provides helpful tips, events, activities, and services of interest to Cornell faculty, staff, students, and retirees who are parents and/or grandparents. Click here to add your email to the newsletter distribution list. 

Community Resources

Caregiving Resources

Caregiving for Adults

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Caregiver Support & Education Network Meetings  - May 28 and June 18, 12:00-1:00 pm. Registration is required. Email and a Zoom link will be sent prior to the meeting. 
  • Cornell Work/Life Consultant – may advise you on work/life issues, especially related to caregiving. Phone, virtual, or email consultations available or 607-255-1917.
  • Staff may use New York State Paid Family Leave (NYSPFL) can be used to provide care to parents and spouses/domestic partners as well as children with serious health conditions or special needs.

Community Resources


Questions or Suggestions