Day Care Flexible Spending Account

Whether you’re caring for a child or an adult, a Day Care Flexible Spending Account [PDF] can help you save money. The account allows you to put aside up to $5,000 (per household limit) in pre-tax dollars to pay for day care expenses for eligible family members. Learn more.

How Much Can I Save?

If you maximize your account, you can save between $500 and $2,000 in taxes each year, depending on your tax bracket. Calculate my DCFSA tax savings

Check out Health Equity’s webinar, DCFSA: Turn caregiving into tax saving, to discover what expenses are covered and strategies to maximize your annual savings.

Who’s an Eligible Family Member?

  • Your children under age 13  
  • Family members of any age who are mentally or physically incapable of caring for themselves, and whom you claim as a dependent on your federal income tax return  
  • An adult, if you pay more than half the cost of their care during the year 

What Are Eligible Expenses?

In general, you can use your Day Care Flexible Spending Account to reimburse yourself for day care expenses that allow you (or you and your spouse/partner) to work, look for work, or go to school full-time. Eligible expenses include:

  • Fees for licensed day care or adult care facilities 
  • Babysitting or nursery school fees for care provided in or outside your home 
  • Placement fees for a dependent care provider, such as an au pair 
  • Summer day camp for children under age 13 if attendance allows you and your spouse to work, look for work, or attend school full-time 
  • Before- and after-school care programs 
  • Payment to a relative (age 19 or older who is not your dependent) to care for your eligible dependent 
  • Payment to a housekeeper whose duties also include dependent day care 
  • See the full list of eligible and ineligible dependent care expenses

What Expenses Are Not Eligible?

  • Babysitting fees for any other reason not related to enabling you and your spouse to work, look for work, or attend school full-time 
  • Food, clothing, and entertainment for a dependent care provider 
  • Child support payments 
  • Activity fees and educational supplies 
  • Overnight camp 
  • Cleaning and cooking services not provided by a caregiver 
  • Late payment fees

How Do I Enroll?

You can enroll during annual open enrollment or if you have a qualifying life event by visiting the U.S. Benefits Enrollment Site.

How Do I Check My Balance and Submit a Claim?

You can submit a claim for reimbursement or pay a service provider directly on the HealthEquity/WageWorks portal, which can be accessed through the U.S. Benefits Enrollment Site > My Carrier Accounts. 

You may receive reimbursement for eligible expenses up to the amount in your account at the time you submit your claim. Expenses can be incurred through the end of the plan grace period (March 15), and you have until June 15 to submit claims for the prior plan year.

Important Notes!

  • If you have a stay-at-home spouse or partner, you can’t participate in a Day Care Flexible Spending Account.
  • If your spouse also works and is eligible for a Day Care Flexible Spending Account through their employer, you are limited to contributing $5,000 per household to a Day Care Flexible Spending Account.
  • You can pre-load your Day Care Flexible Spending Account with pre-tax dollars before going on a leave of absence. You can fund a portion, or the total amount, prior to going on leave to take full advantage of this benefit. For more info, call our Benefits team at 1-844-807-7600 or email to You should try to schedule your pre-fund approach at least one month before your leave begins.
  • If you are enrolled in a Day Care Flexible Spending Account and go on a leave of absence, your contributions will stop. You will need to re-enroll when you return by visiting the Benefits Enrollment Site and submitting a “Returning from Leave: Update your Day Care FSA Deduction” life event. If you return from leave after the last paycheck of the year, you will not be able to restart your contributions for that calendar year.