Carnegie Mellon University

Child Care Benefits

Carnegie Mellon offers two benefit programs to assist with child care costs: the Cyert Center for Early Education Sliding Scale benefit and a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.

Cyert Center for Early Childhood Education Sliding Scale Benefit

The Cyert Center for Early Education is a full-day early care and education program serving the university. The Center has two locations: 1060 Morewood Avenue and 6555 Penn Avenue. Children range from three months to kindergarten. The Cyert program was one of the first 100 programs in the U.S. to receive national accreditation. The program is licensed by the Department of Public Welfare and the PA Department of Private Academic Schools.

The Sliding Scale benefit provides a reduction in the Cyert Center’s tuition rate, taking into account your family income for the prior calendar year. The benefit is equal to the difference between your annual Cyert Center tuition and 10% of your family income for the prior calendar year (based on U.S. federal adjusted gross income), up to a maximum total annual benefit of $5,000 for you and your spouse.

  • This benefit is available to full-time, benefits-eligible staff and faculty members whose IRS-dependent child(ren) (i.e., child(ren) who meets IRS dependency exemption criteria) has been offered and accepted enrollment in the Cyert Center.
  • The benefit is available for no more than two children per family, per lifetime.
  • If you are married, your spouse must be currently employed/self-employed and currently earning "earned income," or a full-time student, or mentally/physically unable to care for themselves.
  • If two children will be attending the Cyert Center at the same time, the Sliding Scale benefit amount is calculated separately, taking into account the annual tuition for each child. The benefit is then divided between the children for a maximum benefit up to $5,000.
  • The Sliding Scale benefit offsets what you can contribute to the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA).

For a comprehensive outline of eligibility requirements, please review the Cyert Center Sliding Scale Benefit Application linked below.

For more details on the benefit, refer to the Cyert Center Sliding Scale Frequently Asked Questions [pdf].

Use the worksheets below to help you estimate your eligibility for the Sliding Scale benefit:

For the Current Program Year:

  1. Review the 2018–2019 Cyert Center Tuition Rates [pdf].
  2. Review and complete the 2018–2019 Cyert Center Sliding Scale Benefit Application [pdf].
  3. Return the completed application to the Office of Human Resources.

Your benefits, if approved, will be prorated and become effective the first day of the month following your child’s enrollment into the Cyert Center or the first day of the month following the date the application is submitted, whichever is later.

For the Upcoming Program Year:

  1. Review the 2019–2020 Cyert Center Tuition Rates [pdf].
  2. Review and complete the 2019–2020 Cyert Center Sliding Scale Benefit Application [pdf].
  3. Return the completed application to the Office of Human Resources by July 1, 2019.

Applications received after July 1, 2019 will be processed, but benefits will be prorated and become effective September 1, 2019 or the first day of the month following the date the application is submitted, whichever is later.

If you complete the application outside of the start of the 2019–2020 program year, your benefits — if approved — will be prorated and become effective the first day of the month following your child's enrollment into the Cyert Center or the first day of the month following the date the application is received, whichever is later.

The Cyert Center Sliding Scale benefit may be considered imputed income and subject to taxation if received in combination with other employer-provided tax-free child care benefits. See Child Care Benefits — Tax Implications [pdf].