Bright Horizons Launches First-Ever Mobile Application for Reserving Emergency Child Care

Back-Up App

June 25, 2018 – Bright Horizons today launched the first mobile solution for working parents to make instant reservations for child care when their regular care falls through.  Key features of the application include the ability to book and confirm both center-based and in-home care in real time, and the ability to upload required forms– including medical, allergy and consent forms – by taking a photo, eliminating the need to print and scan forms.

The app is available to working parents whose employers offer back-up child care through Bright Horizons.  Back-up care offers employees a safety net when primary caretakers become ill, schools close due to weather, unexpected work-related travel is required, or when prior arrangements fall through prompting unscheduled child care needs.

“For a working parent, finding out at night that your child care option for the next day has fallen through is an incredibly stressful experience,” says Bright Horizons Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kramer. “Suddenly you are faced with worry about whether you will be able to go to work, never mind make that important client meeting. Now parents can instantly see where there is available care and immediately reserve it for the next day, alleviating a huge stress and solving a real work/life problem.”

A recent survey of working parents’ child care needs* shows how crucial a responsive back-up care solution is for both families and organizations. According to the study, 67% of respondents had to find alternate child care around five different times in the last six months, and 74% had to miss a day of work during that timeframe to care for their child. In fact, one-third of respondents admitted having either no one to call on short notice, or only one trusted caregiver they could turn to with less than one day's notice.

The new app is able to confirm and instantly book center-based back-up reservations immediately by determining whether there is space available at a specific child care center and in the appropriate age group. For in-home care, parents can view the schedules and availability of in-home caregivers through the app, as well as filter by a broad range of criteria including background, geographic location, years of experience and more.

Other new dynamic features include the ability to:

  • Replicate previous reservations and modify or cancel current reservations
  • Use touch ID for thumbprint authentication
  • Locate the nearest child care center and get directions and;
  • Rely on mobile alerts for reminders about reservation details.

The Back-Up Care app is available for download for both Apple and Android.

Bright Horizons works with 825 employers representing 4.5 million employees and their families to provide back-up child care solutions. Clients include IBM, The Home Depot, Sanofi Genzyme, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Estée Lauder, Biogen and MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Horizons Workforce Consulting (July 2018). The Case for Employer-Sponsored Back-up Care: The Business Impact of Caregiving Breakdowns