Child Care Subsidy Program

Syracuse University announces new resources and increased subsidies for child care and elder care in 2019. Information regarding the application process will be provided during the annual Open Enrollment period this fall.

Syracuse University will again offer the child care subsidy program for 2018. The application deadline is December 8, 2017. The subsidy – $1,000 per child younger than age 6, up to a maximum of $2,000 per year – is available to eligible faculty and staff with gross household incomes of $100,000 or less. The tax-free subsidy can be used to pay expenses for care of dependent children provided by qualified caregivers.

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Eligibility to Participate

The subsidy is administered through a University employee’s dependent care flexible spending account (FSA). To be eligible for the subsidy, you must:

  • Be a benefits-eligible SU faculty or staff member eligible to participate in the University’s dependent care FSA.
  • Be unmarried or, based on IRS rules for dependent care flexible spending accounts, have a spouse/partner who is:
    • Employed at least part-time or
    • A full-time student or
    • Considered legally disabled or
    • Unemployed but actively seeking employment (must have legal authorization to work in the United States).
  • Have a total household adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less verified by a copy of your most recent federal tax return and, if filing separately, that of your co-applicant, as well as information from two recent paychecks.
  • Have a child younger than 6 who is your legal dependent (as defined by IRS regulations) and for whom you are financially responsible, or be pregnant (you or your spouse/partner) or planning to adopt and anticipating child care expenses for the year during which you receive the subsidy.

Eligible Expenses

The subsidy is subject to IRS rules for dependent care flexible spending accounts, including what constitutes eligible expenses. In general, the subsidy may be used to pay for the following types of child care, as long as the care is needed to allow you (and your spouse) to work, look for work, or attend school full-time:

Informal Care, including:

  • A person who provides child care in his/her home for a maximum of two children at a time, in addition to his/her own children;
  • A person or program providing care for any number of children for fewer than three hours a day;
  • A person who provides the care in the child’s home;
  • A person who is closely related to the children (includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, or first cousins, but does not include parents or siblings under the age of 19).

Providers of informal care are required to claim income from child care services on a tax return.

Regulated Care, in which a provider is regulated by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, including:

  • Licensed Day Care Center – Care is provided to six or more children for more than three hours a day, usually at a location other than a residence;
  • Registered Small Day Care Center – Care is provided to three to six children at a location other than a residence;
  • Registered Family Day Care – One provider, age 18 or older, receives a permit to care for five to eight children in a personal residence;
  • Licensed Group Family Day Care – Care is provided on a regular basis for 10 to 14 children in a personal residence by approved caregivers who are age 18 or older. A minimum of two providers must be present whenever seven or more children are in care.

Application Process

The Office of Human Resources administers the subsidy application and approval process. Complete the Application for Child Care Subsidy [PDF]. If you have questions or need a copy of the form sent to you, please contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Filing a Claim

If your application for 2018 is approved, the subsidy will be added to your dependent care FSA account on January 1, 2018. Since the account is funded at the start of the calendar year, the money is available immediately for reimbursement of eligible expenses. WageWorks, the University’s flexible spending account administrator, provides fast reimbursement and easy ways to file claims, including the EZ Receipts app that allows participants to file from a smart phone or other mobile device.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, the benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.