Employee Assistance Program can help you find child care

April 30, 2020

The Employee Assistance Program offered through the Board of Pensions can help with finding child care, as well as provide support for other concerns, during these challenging times.

With schools closed and stay-at-home orders in many places, child care options people typically rely on are now unavailable. Even during ordinary times, American parents report feeling stressed about raising children while working, according to a Pew Research Center study. During the current health crisis, it can be even more difficult to find reliable care.

According to Cigna, the administrator of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)*, now is the time to reach out to your community. While it can be awkward and even cause anxiety to ask for help, crises have the capacity to make communities stronger.

The EAP offers these suggestions for finding child care during these challenging times.

  • Reach out to trusted family members and friends to see if they can help.
  • See if your school or day care can provide information for teachers or caregivers who may be offering temporary care. These caregivers should already be CPR- and first aid-certified and will likely be the best option for any children with special needs.
  • If possible, try to work hours that are opposite from your partner’s, so one of you can supervise children.
  • Coordinate with colleagues to watch each other's child(ren).
  • Call your local United Way to inquire about any child care resources in your area.

Get support from the EAP

You can contact the EAP 24/7 for help with finding child care resources or if you need to talk to someone about other concerns, such as stress, anxiety, financial issues, identity theft, relationship problems, and more. This confidential service is available free of charge to eligible employees,* their family members, and anyone who lives in the employee’s home.

  • Call Cigna Behavioral Health at 866-640-2772 to speak with an EAP advocate who will listen to your concerns and direct you to helpful resources; or
  • log on to the Cigna website to live chat with an advocate, schedule a consultation with a clinician, and more (one-time registration is required; use pcusa for Employee’s Employer ID).

Through the EAP you also can get up to six free sessions per issue per year with a dedicated licensed clinician in Cigna’s EAP network. Because many people are experiencing increased stress or anxiety during the current health crisis, you can get four additional sessions through September 30, 2020 — for a total of 10 free sessions. These sessions can be virtual on your phone, tablet, or home computer, or face-to-face.

Start by calling the EAP or using live chat to get an EAP code. To take advantage of the four additional sessions, you must call Cigna for a separate EAP code; you cannot obtain a code online for the additional sessions.

Free 24-hour support line

During this time of high stress and anxiety, employees who are not eligible for the EAP and retired members can call Cigna’s Behavioral Resource Line at 866-912-1687 to connect with qualified clinicians, including licensed social workers, professional counselors, and psychologists, who can provide support and guidance.

*The EAP is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.