myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR Archives

myHR: November 28, 2018

Backup Care for the Winter Season

Group of three girls sledding in snowy woods

The winter season means snow, potential school closures, and a host of other events that may require you to find backup care. That’s why Penn has a variety of programs and partnerships that help take the worry out of looking after their kids and other loved ones while working.

Here are some backup care options to keep in mind:

Snow Day Child Care

This program provides all-day child care for benefits-eligible faculty and staff when inclement weather closes schools in the Philadelphia School District but the University of Pennsylvania remains open.

Snow Day Child Care, offered in partnership with the Penn Children’s Center, is available to children ages 12 weeks to 12 years. The University covers most of the cost, but there is a daily fee based on your Penn salary, the age of your children, and the number of children you place in care. Snow Day Child Care is available December 3 through March 29.  Parents must register before there is a snow day by completing an online application. Space is limited so register today. For more information, call the Penn Children’s Center at 215-898-5268.

Penn offers benefits-eligible faculty and staff backup care through If an elderly parent is visiting and needs extra assistance, your regular caregiver is out of town and you need another one, or you could use help after surgery, has got you covered.

Through, you can have temporary backup care in your home, at an out-of-town work location, or at an adult relative’s residence day or night, seven days a week, including holidays. puts you in touch with professionals who meet your family’s specific needs and expectations. The University covers some of the cost of this care through a subsidy program that depends on your annual base salary, and other factors that include the number of hours you arrange and whether special needs exist.

Penn offers benefits-eligible faculty and staff up to 10 days of subsidized backup child or adult care per fiscal year.

  • Child Care - Care is available for children who are 17-years-old or younger, typically in your home. You can also arrange to have the care at your business-travel location. can provide care for more than one child at a time, and children who are sick. But keep in mind that only mildly ill children are eligible for care.

    You can take your child to a vetted Backup Care Center. The Care@Work safety team conducts on-site evaluations, audits, and annual re-credentialing for every Backup Care Center. The service is available across the country, Monday-Friday, during center hours. Visit for reservations and details.

  • Adult Care - Adults 18 years of age and older in your immediate or extended family are eligible for care whether they reside with you or not. Immediate or extended family includes your spouse, as well as your parents and parents-in-law, siblings, grandparents and adult children. You can also use adult care when you need personal assistance due to illness or injury.

    Services include meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, prompting for medication, and assistance with bathing, dressing, and other similar daily activities. Care can be provided at the family member’s location, even if it’s in another city.

  • Senior Care – This benefit connects eligible faculty and staff with the support and guidance of experienced Senior Care Advisors. Advisors offer caregiving strategies, such as finding the appropriate level of care, proactively planning and paying for care, and assisting adult children whose parents do not want to accept care. The service also allows for free in-depth consultations with a Geriatric Social Worker.

While not required, it is best to register with in advance of requesting child or adult care placement so that basic information about you and your family is in the system, including your home address, names and ages of your children, and other pertinent details.

To request backup care, call 1-855-781-1303, Monday-Thursday, 7am-8pm and Friday 7am-5pm. If registered, you can also make a request through BackupCare’s online system. If you are not registered, please visit

For more information about work life benefits, visit

Suspension of Normal Operations

People standing outside on snowy roads

Although Penn normally never stops operating, emergencies such as severe weather conditions may sometimes result in the cancellation of classes and/or the full or partial closure of certain areas of the University. Decisions affecting work schedules and class cancellation are made by the Executive Vice President in consultation with the Provost. The University will announce a closing or other modification of work schedules through the following means:

  • the University’s emergency information number: 215-898-6358 (MELT)
  • communications from the Division of Public Safety
  • KYW News Radio (1060 AM)
  • the UPennAlert Emergency Notification System (for University-related incidents & crises)

The University’s emergency radio identification code numbers (KYW News Radio) are “102” for day classes and schools/centers, and “2102” for evening classes. The message that accompanies the code number will provide the operating status of the University. Be sure to keep this information in a place you can easily access.

Even when Penn is officially closed due to an emergency, there are some essential services that must still be provided, such as Public Safety, Facilities, or Penn Dining. Staff members in essential positions are still required to work as normally scheduled under these circumstances.

For more information on suspension of normal operations, visit

More Ways to Use Your Tuition Benefits

Group of adult students looking forward

One of the best Penn benefits is now even better thanks to new programs from the School of Arts and Sciences College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS). The tuition benefit for eligible faculty and staff can be used for the Penn LPS Online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) program. The degree, introduced this fall, is designed for working adults and other non-traditional students who want to pursue an Ivy League education.

You can also use your tuition benefits for LPS certificates. These short programs of study cover a range of subjects to build your professional skills, tap into your creativity, and expand your knowledge. LPS offers certificates in these fields:

Applied Positive Psychology
Climate Change
Creative Writing (basic and advanced options)
Data Analytics
Leadership and Communication
Modern Middle Eastern Studies
Organizational Anthropology
Professional Writing (basic and advanced options)

Check the “Using Your Tuition Benefit for the LPS Degree Program” guide for more information.

You can still use the tuition benefit for courses in LPS’s bachelor of arts program, post-baccalaureate programs and graduate programs. In fact, your tuition benefit may be applied to any for-credit course at the University. Visit to explore all the Penn programs that may fit your goals and schedule.

Regular, full-time faculty and staff and limited service staff are eligible for tuition assistance for credit courses at the University of Pennsylvania.

The tuition benefit for faculty and staff covers 100% of the tuition, general, and technology fees at Penn for up to two course units each term (two course units per fall and spring semester, and two course units over the entire summer). Non-credit courses are not covered except for Math 101. The benefit does not cover fees beyond the tuition, general, and technology fees. Tuition benefits for graduate courses may be subject to state and federal taxes. Check the graduate tuition benefits webpage for important tax details.

The first step to taking advantage of the tuition benefit for yourself is to apply to an academic program at Penn. If you’re accepted, you can register for courses, then submit your tuition benefit request using the online tuition management system.

For information about tuition benefits for your dependents, visit

Healthy Meals: Chipotle-Glazed Delicata Squash

Delicata squash glazed in chipotle honey sauce

Spice up your dinner menu with delicata squash glazed in a sweet and fiery Mexican-inspired chipotle honey sauce. Pairs best with cilantro rice and beans.

Find the recipe here.

Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips.


Did You Know: Fall Biometric Screenings End November 30

The final on-campus Be in the Know biometric screening will be held November 29 at Perelman School of Medicine, Biomedical Research Building. The November 30 screening will be held at Morris Arboretum. If you can’t make a screening, you can still earn points by submitting results from your health care provider using the Biometric Screenings Consent Form. Visit for details.