Carnegie Mellon University

Child Care Benefits

Carnegie Mellon offers two benefit programs to assist with child care costs: a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account and the Cyert Center for Early Education Sliding Scale benefit. In addition, the university offers programs to assist with finding and accessing child care and backup child care, tutoring, and other programs and services.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account

Carnegie Mellon offers a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) to help you lower your dependent care expenses by paying with tax-free money. With the DCRA, you put aside money from your pay on a pre-tax basis to cover anticipated dependent daycare expenses while you work or attend school. Contributing to a DCRA can save you up to 25% on the money you set aside, depending on your federal tax rate.

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 Sliding Scale Estimate Worksheet to estimate your eligibility for the benefit:

  1. Review the Cyert Center tuition rates:
  2. Review and complete an application:
  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.

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 and dependent care benefits. See Child and Dependent Care Benefits — Tax Implications [pdf].