About the Backup Childcare Service

Unexpectedly without a caregiver for your children? The Massachusetts General Hospital Backup Child Care Center provides emergency child care for benefits-eligible employees of Mass General and Mass General Brigham, and Mass General patients. Care is provided for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children up to 12 years old.

Backup care is intended to supplement, rather than replace, regular child care. The times when your family needs backup child care may include the following:

  • When your child's regular caregiver is ill or on vacation
  • When your child's regular child care center or school is closed
  • When you have to work extra hours
  • When there is a sudden termination in your child care arrangements
  • While you are searching for permanent child care arrangements
  • When it is not comfortable or possible for a child to accompany a parent or family member to a clinical appointment. Patients are encouraged to contact their health care provider’s office regarding children in the waiting room or accompanying a family member who is receiving care


The fee for the Backup Child Care Center is $8 per hour, per child. For families with three (3) or more children scheduled to attend the program at the same time, the maximum rate is $20 per hour for the sibling grouping. Each child may attend the center for up to 20 days per fiscal year.


Employees and patients in need of backup child care must make a reservation by calling 617-724-8414. Reservations may be made the day care is needed or up to one month prior.

The Backup Child Care Center strives to accommodate all requests for reservations. However, based on demand, there may be limitations to the days and times available for care. In these instances, the program will suggest additional resources for backup care, such as Care.com Backup Care (formerly known as Parents in a Pinch) or the child care information and referral services offered by the Mass General Brigham Employee Assistance Program.