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The official graduate student government at UC Merced

Child Care Funding Options for Fall 2020

September 2, 2020

Dear graduate students, 

The 2020-2021 academic year is a new and challenging time, particularly for graduate students with families. The GSA, in collaboration with Graduate Division and UAW 2865, has compiled some of the resources available to help graduate students with children during this academic year.

CARES funding: 

Continuing graduate students (those enrolled in Spring 2020 and Fall 2021) who completed a 2019-20 FAFSA and indicated they are both in financial need and have children they support, will be receiving an additional disbursement of funds by mid-September as a special case scenario determined by the Graduate Dean to recognize their unique financial situation. For more information, please contact Graduate Division at gradfunding@ucmerced.edu

Academic Student Employee (ASE) Child Care Reimbursement Program: 

Under UAW 2865 contract, graduate students are eligible to have up to $1,100 per quarter ($1,650 per semester) of child care expenses reimbursed by the University if a child is 12 years old or younger and the graduate student is working an appointment of 25% or more as a TA, tutor or reader. If working 25% or more during summer sessions, graduate students are eligible for the same reimbursement as long as they are a registered student during the terms preceding and following the summer. For more information see the attached PDF and https://academicpersonnel.ucmerced.edu/node/300.  For specific questions, contact the UAW 2865 team at UCM at adiep@uaw2865.org.

Please note that as of August 31st , 2020, the University is providing a temporary exception to the ASE Childcare Reimbursement Program for Fall term 2020. Currently, childcare provided by the spouse (other parent), a child of the ASE under age 19, a friend or relative living in the same household as the Academic Student Employee, or someone else the ASE claims as a dependent for tax purposes is not reimbursable. For Fall term 2020, ASEs will be permitted to seek reimbursement for childcare provided by a friend or relative living in the same household as the ASE as long as they are not:

  1. A person for whom the ASE (or the ASE’s spouse if filing jointly) can claim as a dependent;  
  2. The ASE’s child who was under age 19 at the end of the year, even if the child isn't the ASE’s dependent;  
  3. A person who was the ASE’s spouse any time during the year; or 
  4. The parent of the ASE’s qualifying person if the ASE’s qualifying person is the ASE’s child and under age 13

As required by the IRS regulations, for purposes of reimbursement, all childcare providers who are individuals must have a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number. If the care provider is an organization, the organization must have a valid employer identification number.  

This exception will go into effect for August 2020 – December 2020 expenses, provided the Academic Student Employee has the requisite qualifying appointment in the bargaining unit of at least 25% during the Fall term and has a qualifying dependent. For semester campuses, since the Fall term began in August, relevant expenses may occur during the month of August. For quarter campuses, expenses will occur beginning in September. Summer session 2020 appointments do not qualify for this exception. For more information, please reach out to Graduate Division at gradfunding@ucmerced.edu or UAW 2865 at adiep@uaw2865.org.  

For general questions and for assistance contacting any of the above mentioned parties, please feel free to reach out to the Graduate Student Association at gsa@ucmerced.edu.  

 

Have a wonderful start to the semester, 

Graduate Student Association