Union deal expands childcare subsidy to more NSF employees
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Feb 22, 2021
A collaboration between a local chapter of largest federal employees union and the National Science Foundation will allow more NSF employees in the nation’s capital to take advantage of valuable child care subsidy.
AFGE Local 3403 and the NSF have negotiated a deal that increases the income cap for eligibility and pins the subsidy level to an adjusted gross income level instead of the cost of care. Under the deal, the amount of subsidy will depend on the level of annual income. At a higher income, the amount of subsidy decreases. If an employee is married, the income cap is in combination with the spouse’s adjusted gross income.
"Child care is a necessity for federal employees raising a family especially when the costs of child care keep increasing,” said AFGE Local 3403 President Dave Verardo. “We expect this to be the floor and not the ceiling moving forward as labor and management collaborate to increase benefits to federal employees,” he added.
The benefits apply to children under age of 13, or up to the age of 18 for children with a disability.
Prior to this new deal, the subsidy limited benefits to primarily low-income employees and the cost of child care.
According to the Division of Human Resource Management, the current Child Care Subsidy Program is underutilized because of to lower adjusted gross income cap. “Additionally, child care costs across the National Capital Region continue to rise, and without quality child care arrangements, working parents may find it challenging to remain effective either at work or at home,” an AFGE press release states.
NSF will begin accepting applications beginning March 1 with April 1 as the program start date.