Q: I put my kids in day camp every summer, is that something I can run through my Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)?
A: Summer day camp does qualify for reimbursement under a DCAP provided it is an employment-related expense, i.e. the camp is acting as child care while you are working. This is true even if the day camp specializes in a particular activity (e.g. soccer or computers). Any equipment your child is required to bring will not qualify as an expense (e.g. soccer equipment or laptop computer). One major caveat is that overnight camp expenses do not qualify as they extend in to hours beyond what is considered employment-related. Additionally, DCAPs cannot reimburse for summer school or tutoring program expenses as these are considered educational in nature rather than care.
A couple other things to note: 1) Even if you pay for the camp early in the spring, you cannot be reimbursed until the camp has been completed. 2) Only care for children under the age of 13 is considered eligible for reimbursement.
Thanks for asking!