Student Child Care Assistance Program
The SCCAP provides assistance to eligible graduate and undergraduate students with pre-kindergarten children to help them meet the cost of child care. The grants are based on household resources, and can be used to pay for a wide range of possible arrangements, from in-home care to licensed day care centers. The maximum grant for one eligible child is $5,000; an additional grant of up to $5000 is available for a second eligible child. Only one grant is available per eligible child. For tax purposes, these grants are treated as additional stipend income for graduate students or non-tuition scholarships for undergraduates, and may be subject to state and federal tax.
August 1, 2013 is the deadline to submit applications for assistance for the period September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014.
Paper applications will no longer be accepted. All applications must be submitted through the online form available on SCORE. After logging into SCORE, click on Self Service on the left side of the screen. Under Benefits, click on the Child Care Assistance link. The SCCAP child care application form will be available beginning July 4, 2013.
All grants are made on an annual basis. You must reapply each year. If you are expecting or adopting a new child in your family after the application deadline, you have 90 days from the date of birth or adoption in which to submit a new or amended application for a child care assistance award. (You may not apply before the child arrives.) The award will be prorated.
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible for the SCCAP you must meet all of the following conditions. Special circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis.
- You must be a full-time enrolled graduate or undergraduate student at the time the SCCAP grant is disbursed. You must either be
(2)married with a spouse or partner who is:
- Employed at least 50% part-time; or
- A full-time student matriculated in a degree or certificate program; or
- Disabled as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
- The SCCAP may be granted for up to one year to those eligible families in which the spouse or partner of the student, although eligible for employment, is currently unemployed but is actively seeking employment.
- You must have a total annual household income of less than $130,000.
- You must have a pre-kindergarten child(ren) who is(are) your legal dependent(s), as defined by IRS regulations, and for whom you are legally responsible. The child(ren) must share your home for at least half the year and you must provide over one half of the child’s support; no one else may claim this child as their qualifying child. (Note that “child” includes biological, step, adopted, and foster children, any other children for whom you are the legal guardian or for whom you have court-awarded custody, and/or the children of your same-sex domestic partner.)
If your spouse or partner is also a Princeton student or employee, you may apply for only one child care grant per eligible child between you. Your caregiver must provide a tax ID or Social Security number and is responsible for the appropriate taxes on income received for the care provided. Your caregiver cannot be your spouse, partner or dependent.
Determination of Financial Eligibility
The Princeton Child Care Assistance Committee reviews all applications in a confidential process that considers family income in determining the amount of the award. Assistance is available for up to two eligible pre-kindergarten children. Annual applications are required.
To determine financial eligibility, the application requires financial information about all sources of income for the individual(s) who are financially responsible for eligible child(ren). Depending on individual circumstances, you may be required to submit financial information from the following individuals as part of your application: birth and adoptive parents, regardless of marital status; legal guardians; stepparents depending on the status of the non-custodial birth or adoptive parent.
For any individual who has financial responsibility for the child(ren), the application requires copies of his/her salary pay stubs for the most recent two pay periods, and copies of the previous year’s federal income tax return(s), W-2 form(s) and Schedule C if applicable. These forms are required whether you file jointly or separately.
Annual Award Amounts
Scale of Awards
|Household Income||1st child||2nd child|
How the Award will be Paid
This award will be paid to you on a reimbursement basis. PayFlex administers child care claims reimbursements for SCCAP. When requesting reimbursement for qualifying child care expenses, you must provide the Tax ID or Social Security Number of the caregiver and documentation that the expense both meets eligibility requirements and has already been paid. The caregiver may not be your dependent. The total annual award amount accrues on a monthly basis, and reimbursement is limited to the portion of your award that has actually accrued as of the date your reimbursement request is processed.
See the section titled “How It Works” for more detail on the reimbursement system.
While the University intends to continue the Student Child Care Assistance Program, the University reserves the right to terminate or amend any plan, at any time, and for any reason.
How It Works
After you apply and your eligibility is verified, SCCAP grants are decided according to financial need, based on total household resources, and as determined by the Princeton Child Care Assistance Committee. You will be notified of the committee’s determination by email.
SCCAP grants are payable as follows:
The SCCAP grant will be paid to you on a reimbursement basis after you have paid the provider for services. You must submit receipts for your child care expenses to PayFlex, who will validate the reimbursements. PayFlex will notify the SCCAP program coordinator, who will process the taxable reimbursement in the next payroll cycle. Receipts submitted by the 10th of each month (with the exception of June and December, which have an earlier deadline of the 5th) will be eligible for reimbursement in that month’s pay cycle. For the 2013-14 award year, expenses must be incurred between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014. The grant is divided by pay period. This means you will receive a monthly stipend payment over a 12 month period.
As with all non-tuition fellowship and grant income, the SCCAP grant may be subject to tax. See the tax website for more information about tax rules.
Steps to Obtain Reimbursement
There are two steps in receiving the SCCAP grant:
Step 1: File a Claim
Remember that child care services must be paid for before you request reimbursement. Only child care expenses incurred during the plan year are eligible for reimbursement.
Download and complete the reimbursement form and attach a receipt of payment. Your claim must include: dates of service, costs of service, and the name of provider. It is important to obtain the provider’s tax identification number or social security number as you will be required to include this information on the Form 2441 that you must attach to your federal income tax return.
Mail or fax your claim to PayFlex. Cancelled checks are not proof of payment.
PayFlex will determine whether the expense incurred is eligible for reimbursement based on IRS rules and regulations. No reimbursements will be made for care provided pursuant to informal or "under the table" arrangements.
PayFlex will notify the University of your eligibility for reimbursement.
Step 2: Receive Reimbursement
Once the University receives verification from PayFlex that your claim meets eligibility requirements, you are eligible to receive reimbursement up to the balance of your grant. The reimbursement will be processed through your stipend check. Remember that the annual grant is divided into 12 payments. You will receive reimbursement only for expenses that are eligible, have been paid, and for which there is a sufficient remaining balance available from your grant. If your grant balance is not enough to cover your full claim, you will receive the available balance. Subsequent reimbursements will be issued against your eligible claims as future contributions are credited to your account.
Example: You are a full-time graduate student receiving a monthly stipend and your child is in child care year-round, and your grant amount is $5,000, or $416.66 per pay period ($5,000/12). On September 1, you pay $900 for childcare for September. Your child care provider’s receipt reflects that the amount is for services for September 1 through September 30. You submit the receipt to PayFlex on September 5th. PayFlex notifies the University of your award eligibility prior to the payroll deadline for September. On September 30th, Princeton pays you the first installment of your $5000 award ($416.66). The balance of the bill you submitted for reimbursement for child care services in September ($483.34) will be reimbursed to you in your paychecks in future monthly installments. With your October 31st paycheck you will have been reimbursed for an additional $416.66 of the bill you submitted for September, leaving $66.68 to be reimbursed in November (by November 10th you should have submitted another receipt to PayFlex so your monthly reimbursements can continue at the maximum level).
Please note: SCCAP participants have until November 30, 2013 to submit claims for child care expenses you have during the 2012-13 plan year, and until November 30, 2014 for the 2013-2014 plan year, otherwise any SCCAP award money is forfeited.
As you are completing the application, if you should have any questions or concerns, please contact Mary Bechler, associate dean for finance and administration, at (609) 258-3037 or via e-mail.