Academic Child Care Benefit
The Child Care Benefit provides financial assistance to a maximum of $2000 per calendar year per eligible child to staff members who incur child care expenses so that they can continue in their employment with the University of Alberta.
Applications are processed in March of each year for prior calendar year expenses with an application deadline of the last day of February.
How is the Child Care Benefit calculated?
Reimbursement is calculated as 50% of actual expenses to a maximum of $2000 per year per eligible child.
What child care expenses are eligible for the Child Care Benefit?
The Child Care Benefit follows the eligibility criteria of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Child Care Expenses Deductions. You can claim payments for child care expenses made to:
- caregivers providing child care services (in home/out of home care);
- day nursery schools and day-care centres;
- educational institutions for the part of the fees that relate to child care services;
- day camps and day sports schools where the primary goal of the camp is to care for children;
- boarding schools; overnight sports schools, or camps where lodging is involved.
Where child care services are provided by an individual, the individual cannot be; the child’s mother or father, your spouse or common-law partner if you are the father or mother of the child; a person under 18 who is related to you. Refer to Canada Revenue Agency's Child Care Expenses webpage for details regarding eligible Child Care Expenses.
Which Academic Staff groups are eligible for the Child Care Benefit?
All full time and part time Academic Staff covered under the Faculty, Librarian, Faculty Service Officer (FSO), and Administrative Professional Officer (APO) agreements are eligible for the Child Care benefit. Only full time Academic Staff with appointments of at least eight months covered under the Contract Academic Staff: Teaching (CAST), Sessional and Other Temporary Staff (SOTS) and Academic Trust/Research collective agreements are eligible for the Child Care Benefit.
Am I eligible for the Child Care Benefit if I am on leave?
You remain eligible for the Child Care Benefit while you are on the following leaves; Sabbatical Leave, Administrative Leave, Professional Leave, Medical Leave, Child Birth and Parental Leave, Compassionate Care & Emergency Leave, Disability Leave, Leave with Partial pay. You are not eligible while you are on any other leaves.
What children are eligible for the Child Care Benefit?
You or your spouse/partner's natural, adopted, and step children and any child for whom you have legal guardianship up to age 7 (including month in which child turns age 7) are eligible. Spouse/Partner is defined by the Academic Supplementary Health Care Plan. You can claim the Child Care Benefit for eligible child care expenses paid while your eligible child is living with you.
The age restriction of 7 years will be waived in cases where the child has a disability which require constant supervision. Where a child has special needs, the child care benefit reimbursement will be extended up and including the age of 18. In order to apply for this extended benefit, the staff member will be required to provide satisfactory documentation confirming their child has a disability requiring specialized care. Documentation of approval under the federal or provincial benefit program will need to be provided along with the benefit claim form.
How do I apply for the Child Care Benefit?
In January of each year you can apply for the child care benefit for expenses incurred in the previous calendar year. All applications must be submitted to Human Resource Services no later than February 28th each year. Payments will be processed once per year for the March pay day. Once per year processing has been agreed to, to ensure that administrative costs remain low. Unclaimed benefits can not be carried forward to future years.
Do I need to provide receipts from my child care provider?
No you do not need to provide your receipts however please retain them in the event of an audit of your application. CRA guidelines recommends retention for a period of six years.
Both my spouse and I are academic staff members do we each receive a Child Care Benefit?
Yes, starting with the 2012 calendar year this benefit is available for each staff member for each eligible child. Each staff member may claim the maximum $2000 annual Child Care Benefit.
Is the Child Care Benefit taxable?
Yes the Child Care Benefit is taxable income and is subject to statutory deductions for Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.
If I receive the Child Care Benefit can I still claim child care expenses on my income tax?
Yes, as the Child Care Benefit is taxable income you can claim your eligible child care expenses on your income tax.
If I terminate employment, do I forfeit my Child Care Benefit?
You are entitled for child care expenses incurred up to date of termination. Upon termination you will receive a letter along with the current year Academic Child Care Benefit Application. The application must be returned to Payroll & Benefit Services within 30 days of termination to be eligible.