Collaboration Between National Science Foundation, AFGE Leads to Expansion of Child Care Subsidy

Categories: The Insider

Good news for employees at the National Science Foundation (NSF).  

A collaboration between AFGE Local 3403 and NSF leadership has led to more employees getting the much-needed subsidy for children, including kids with disabilities. 

The local and NSF negotiated an improvement to the agency’s child care subsidy program to increase the income cap and pin the subsidy level to an adjusted gross income level instead of the cost of care. If an employee is married, the income cap is in combination with the spouse’s adjusted gross income. The benefits apply to children under the age of 13, or up to the age of 18 for those with a disability.  

This is an improvement the local and management jointly made over the original labor-management contract signed in February last year. The original subsidy limited benefits to a relatively low-income level and the cost of child care. This was a down payment the union saw as a path forward to program improvements.  

“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.”  

“NSF strives to ensure that our Work/Life Programs remain meaningful and impactful to staff,” said NSF as it announced the expansion Feb. 12. “With that objective in mind, the Division of Human Resource Management (HRM) reviewed the current Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) and concluded that it is underutilized due to the current 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.”  

How it works 

The amount of subsidy employees receive monthly depends on the level of their annual income. As your income goes up, the amount of subsidy you get decreases. 

You need to apply to be part of the program 

NSF will begin accepting applications beginning March 1 with April 1 as the program start date. Subsidy payments are made directly to the child care provider. 

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