NIH Childcare Costs for NRSA Trainees

Responsible Offices: Sponsored Projects Accounting
Effective Date: September 2022 (updated January 2024)
PDF version: NIH Childcare Costs for NRSA Trainees

The NIH will provide a childcare allowance for graduate students and post-doctorates funded through the National Research Service Award (NRSA) program on institutional research training awards (T32, TL1, TU2 and T90), see NIH Notice NOT-OD-21-177.  Each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA appointed trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.

Childcare costs are permitted for dependent children living in the eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainee’s home from birth until the age of 13, or, for children who are disabled [i], until age 18. Childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.

The NIH has also developed a set of frequently asked questions which provided additional information, see

Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA), in conjunction with Payroll Services, have developed the following procedures for childcare costs:

Budgeting & Reporting:

The Notice of Award (NOA) for new, renewal or continuing NRSA training grants (T32 mechanism) will contain childcare cost funding for each full time trainee position (X trainee positions * $2,500 = childcare funding ), unless otherwise specified in the terms and conditions.  The funds are restricted for use only for childcare cost. Childcare costs on NRSA institutional research training awards are excluded from modified total direct costs and are not eligible for F&A.  These funds cannot be rebudgeted into any other expense category and any unused portion will be reported as an unobligated balance.


Trainees on NRSA training grants receive monthly stipends. The childcare cost funding is considered additional compensation and will be provided to the trainee as an additional Stipend payment.  The NIH requires the childcare to be provided by a licensed childcare provider.  Accordingly, the trainee must complete the NIH Child Care Payment Request form and provide related documentation of the incurred childcare costs (e.g., receipts). See Appendix C for the form.

License Verification:

For the state of Missouri, the MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education assigns each license day care facility a “DVN number”.  The DVN number can be obtained via  Refer to screen shots in Appendix A.  The DVN number should be reference on the NIH Child Care Payment Request form in Appendix C.

For Illinois based providers, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services provides a lookup for the licensed providers via the website below:  Please attach a screen shot of which indicates the License Status of the facility.  Refer to screen shots in Appendix A.

The trainee’s Payroll Coordinator should process a one-time payment transaction to pay this through Workday using the NIH Child Care Stipend compensation plan for the applicable amount (cumulative amount not to exceed $2,500 per the grant’s budget period) and attach the NIH Child Care Form and the corresponding documentation/receipts from the provider. You can find the steps to enter a One-Time Payment here.   Refer to Appendix B for additional WD processing info (screen shots as of 9/1/22).

The Trainee’s department is responsible for monitoring the payments for each individual to ensure that they do not exceed the $2,500 limit.  Accordingly, it is recommended that the trainee accumulate the cost documentation until the amount reaches the $2,500 limit prior to requesting the Additional Pay transaction.  If it is subsequently determined that the amount paid to a trainee exceeded the limit, then the additional amount must be moved to cost sharing via a manual journal.

Payments using the NIH Child Care Stipend plan can be charged to the Grant Worktag and they route to the Grants Manager for approval.

Reporting for Continuation Applications:

In Section G.1 of the RPPR, the Principal Investigator must upload a PDF named “Childcare_Costs.pdf” (without quotation marks). The attachment must specify the number of trainees who used childcare costs in the reporting period.  The NIH expects future system enhancements that will incorporate reporting via xTrain.  SPA expects the NIH to issue additional information and implementation guidance at a later date.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, please contact me directly at