Childcare Expense Reimbursement for Travel (CERT)

Based on input from faculty colleagues, the College of Engineering is pleased to provide a program to support faculty members for childcare costs above and beyond normal care expenses incurred when traveling to professional academic events.

Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering


The purpose of this program, funded by the College of Engineering, is to provide support for College of Engineering Faculty who incur dependent childcare related expenses above and beyond their regular dependent childcare expenses while attending professional academic events away from home, e.g. conferences, invited talks, meetings with research sponsors, etc. Questions regarding the program may be directed to Marsha Freeland (, Director of Faculty Success Programs, College of Engineering.


Eligible Faculty

  • Faculty members with primary appointments in the College of Engineering, including tenured, tenure track, professors of engineering practice, and research professors
  • Who are single caregivers or whose spouse/partner is not available to provide care during the period of Eligible Travel

Eligible Dependents

  • Dependent children (as defined in I 26 U.S.C. 152)
  • Who are under 6 years of age at the time of travel

Eligible Travel

  • Approved, university-related travel away from home (as defined in IRS Publication 463)
  • Requiring at least an overnight stay

Eligible Expenses

  • Costs incurred by Eligible Faculty, which are attributable to Eligible Travel and are above and beyond the costs of care for Eligible Dependents that would typically be incurred at home, including:
    • cost of transporting the dependent and/or the dependent’s caregiver to event location (air-fare or train-fare for child or caregiver; extra baggage fees for stroller, car seat; car seat rental; lactation mailing services etc.);
    • onsite dependent care/expenses at the event location 
  • Documented with receipts
  • Maximum of $1,000 per faculty member, per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30)
  • Only one Eligible Faculty member may receive reimbursement for Eligible Expenses for the same Eligible Dependent per Eligible Event.
  • For purposes of reimbursement under this pilot program, “caregiver” does not include a faculty member’s spouse/partner, parent, child, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, and corresponding in-law, or step-relative.


  1. Faculty complete, at least two weeks prior to departure, the CERT request for approval form online.
  2. Notification of being approved or unapproved will be sent via email from the Office of Academic Affairs.
  3. After travel, faculty complete the CERT request for reimbursement form and upload receipts online within 30 days of travel.
  4. Approved reimbursements will be included in the monthly paycheck (e.g., direct deposit, check).


Under current law, these reimbursements must be treated as taxable income (not eligible for retirement contribution) subject to withholding tax. 

Coordination of Benefits

Purdue offers a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, which provides an opportunity for pre-tax treatment of a portion of your compensation.  More information, and a link to IRS Publication 503 providing additional details, can be found at: