Dependent Daycare FSA - Eligible Employees, Dependents

Eligible Employees

You may participate in the Dependent Daycare Flexible Spending Account if you are a University employee scheduled to work 17.5 hours or more per week for six months or more each year. In addition, you must be:

  • A single, working parent; or
  • Married and one of the following applies:
    • The dependent daycare expenses you incur enable both of you to work; or
    • Your spouse is a full-time student for at least five months in a calendar year; actively searching for work; or
    • Your spouse is disabled and unable to provide care.

You may not participate if your spouse has no income unless he/she is disabled or a full-time student.

Eligible Dependents

Eligible dependents include:

  • Dependent children under age 13 (if your last dependent child turns 13 during the year, you may cancel your account mid year (see Making Changes)
  • Dependents who you may claim as a tax exemption on your federal income tax return who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves and who regularly spend at least eight hours per day in your household
  • Spouse who is mentally or physically incapable of caring for him or herself

Other individuals may qualify as dependents if they meet the above eligibility requirements and if they meet the following IRS definition of a dependent:

  • He/she lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household; and
  • He/she was a U.S. citizen or resident or a resident of Canada or Mexico; and
  • You provided over half of the person's total support for the calendar year.

Individuals who do not satisfy the federal criteria for "dependent child" may still be your "dependent relative" and have their dependent care expenses reimbursed if they:

  • Have gross income that is less than $3,200
  • Do not file a joint tax return
  • Are not the "dependent child" of anyone else

Eligible Providers

Examples of where care for eligible dependents may be provided:

  • Daycare center, nursery school, or family day care (if the provider provides full- or part-time care for seven or more individuals, excluding individuals who reside at the day care center, he/she must be licensed and comply with all state and local regulations; if the provider cares for fewer than seven individuals, licensing and compliance with state and local regulations are not required for reimbursement
  • Babysitting services, including formal arrangements, inside or outside your home, provided the care is not given by your spouse or any individual you can take as a dependent on your tax returns
  • Preschool or similar program below the kindergarten level
  • Expenses for before- or after-school care of an eligible dependent in kindergarten or higher grade
  • Specialty day camps (such as soccer or computer camps) if otherwise qualified
  • Nursing or custodial care for elderly or disabled dependents who live with you at least eight hours per day and are unable to care for themselves