What is a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) ?

Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)

Do you have young children? An adult dependent who needs your help?

Then a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) might be just what you need! A DCAP plan is an employer-sponsored benefit that helps employees pay for the care of a qualified dependent. Each pay period, the employee makes a pre-tax contribution to the DCAP account. After paying for care and filing a claim, the employee receives reimbursement from the DCAP.

A DCAP account may also be called a Dependent Care FSA.

Qualified Dependents:

  • Children aged 0 – 12 years
  • Spouse who is unable to physically or mentally care for themselves
  • Other dependent who is unable to physically or mentally unable to care for themselves and lives with you for more than half the year

See IRS Publication 503 for more information.


Annual Contribution Limits:

  • $5,000 for employees filing married
  • $2,500 for employees filing single/separate

Use Your Dependent Care Assistance Plan to Pay for the Following (not all eligible items are listed):

  • Day care/Pre-school/Pre-kindergarten
  • Before and After school care (Extended day)
  • Summer day camps (overnight camp does not qualify)
  • Adult/Elderly care programs
  • Babysitting during work and/or college hours
  • Sick child care
  • Deposits for child care

Learn More from This Fun Video!


Additional Information about DCAPs

For more information about a Dependent Care Assistance Plan, check out these blogs from the Captain: