The end of the school year is on the horizon, and you’re excited for your kid to enjoy their time off—until you remember that you still have to go to work. While daycares and babysitters are available, your child might want more to do. After all, summer is a time for fostering memories that will carry them through the following school year.

Campers registering

Then it hits you: summer camp!

Your kid can explore, innovate and play while you’re off working nine-to-five, giving you the best of both worlds. Plus, there are tax-saving advantages for dependent care.

Wait, does summer camp count as dependent care for taxes?

Yes, camps can qualify if your family meets the appropriate qualifications, which we’ll explore in depth below.

What Is The Dependent Care Credit?

If you’ve heard of the Dependent Care Credit, you probably think it’s for traditional services like daycares or babysitters.

While care programs qualify, many parents and caregivers are surprised to learn that summer camps also play a role. That’s right, your child can have fun and engage in many hands-on activities or explore the world, and it will count toward the credit.

So, does summer camp count as dependent care in all situations?

Not all summer camps qualify (as we’ll get into detail later), but we’re happy to report that Camp Galileo can qualify for the Dependent Care Credit.

Exploring the Specifics

The Dependent Care Credit helps you pay for childcare for kids under 13 years old or disabled dependents unable to care for themselves. The main caveat is that the supervision must be so you can either go to work or look for a job.

Tax credits available with Dependent Care Credit include:

  • Claims of up to $3000 for one dependent, resulting in up to $1050 covered
  • Claims of up to $6000 for two or more children, allowing for up to $2100 in deductions

While these are rough guidelines for how much money you’d receive as part of the tax credit, it varies depending on your earned income that year. Many parents use Dependent Care Credit to help reduce the costs of raising a child.

Criteria for Summer Camp as Dependent Care

While it’s exciting to think about how your kids’ camp can give you a monetary break, these are taxes—meaning there will always be strict criteria.

Eligibility requirements for summer camp Dependent Care Credit qualification include:

  • You must be the child’s main caretaker—or have primary custody and responsibility.
  • The summer camp must be used as Dependent Care so you can work or look for a job.
  • The kid must be under 13 years of age unless they meet disability qualifications, including being unable to care for themselves physically.
  • You (or you and your spouse if filing jointly) must have earned income tax for the year.
  • The childcare provider can’t be your spouse or dependents or the child’s parent.

If you meet these guidelines, your child’s time at summer camp might qualify for the Dependent Care Credit.

Additional Information to Note

If you meet the previous criteria, your kid’s camp should qualify under the Dependent Care Credit. The IRS doesn’t consider educational sessions like tutoring or summer school for children between kindergarten and 13 years old eligible.

Specialty camps that may involve learning can qualify, such as ones based around:

  • Math
  • Art
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Sports

Rearrange these and you’ll see STEAM hidden between. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, and it’s the core pillar of our summertime activities at Camp Galileo.

Tax Benefits and Savings Strategies

The tax credit benefits you—but how exactly does this all work?

The Dependent Care Credit covers up to 35% of your claim, but it’s adjusted based on your income. Generally, filers that make more than $43,000 that year will only receive 20% or the per child limit.

If you or your partner are going to school, you’re in luck. Although much of the language around the tax credit surrounds working parents, caregivers going to school full-time can still qualify because they are considered working.

Making Camp Galileo an Affordable Dependent Care Option

After your child plays at summer camp, the months roll by as usual—and then tax season comes around. How do you apply for this tax break?

When you file your income taxes, you must complete Form 2441. You’ll need information about the childcare provider, as required by the IRS, including:

  • Program or provider name
  • Their address
  • Their social security number, taxpayer identification number (TIN) or employer identification number (EIN)

The last requirement is unnecessary if the program is tax-exempt. Your camp should provide all information when asked, but you can file Form W-10 to formally request it if they don’t.

Reap the (Tax) Benefits of Summer Camp Today

Campers playing with hula hoops

Understanding the Dependent Care Credit allows you to choose a summer camp that excites your child and gives you a tax break. At Camp Galileo, our sessions provide exploration and fun for your kid so you can focus on working or going to school.

Enrich your child’s summer with our STEAM-focused camps for grades kindergarten through 8th (Young adults from 8th-10th grade can join our CIT program!) —and receive tax relief in the process—today!

Give your child the gift of a fun and enriching summer with Camp Galileo’s innovative programs. Register now!


TurboTax. Deducting Summer Camps and Daycare with the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

IRS. Child and Dependent Care Credit Information.

Kiplinger. Does Summer Camp Qualify for a Childcare Tax Credit? 

Nasdaq. Is Summer Camp Tax Deductible in 2023? 

IRS. Topic No. 602, Child and Dependent Care Credit.