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Policy Priority

Dependent Care Assistance Program


The dependent care assistance program (DCAP) is an employee benefit plan – or a flexible spending plan – that helps employees pay for the care of a qualifying dependent. 

The program provides reimbursements for up to $5,000 annually ($2,500 each for married couples filing separately) to employees who pay for dependent care. Employees are then allowed to deduct these dependent care expenses from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis, which can include an employer contribution.

DCAP helps parents afford child care by offseting the costs of going to work and providing for their families. It is critical that Congress expand this tax provision to support businesses and parents.



FFYF Capsule Collection: Tax Policy and Child Care

June 7, 2024

Millions of American families today are struggling to find the affordable, reliable, quality child care they depend on to go to work. This has a devastating impact on our youngest …


Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP): Overview

March 6, 2024

Millions of American families are struggling to find quality, reliable, affordable child care they can depend on. This is having a devastating impact on our youngest learners, working families, and …


Side-By-Side: Comparing Tax Bills, 2024

May 14, 2024

The federal tax code contains benefits designed to help working families offset the expense of child care. Unfortunately, these provisions have not been updated in decades. Today, they have not …



Two Bipartisan Bills to Address Quality, Affordability of Child Care introduced in Congress

March 30, 2021

Last week, Iowa’s Congressional leaders introduced two bipartisan bills, the ACCESS Act and the Improving Child Care for Working Families Act, to address the quality and affordability of child care. …


Bipartisan Agreement on the Importance of Child Care Access and Affordability in Senate Finance Hearing

July 11, 2024

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing this week to discuss ways to leverage Congressional investments in early learning and child care to better support working families and child care …

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