Yes. Nursery school, preschool, and similar pre-kindergarten programs are considered child care by the IRS. Summer day camps also count as child care.
Expenses for overnight summer camps, kindergarten, and first grade (or higher) don't qualify for the Child and Dependent Care credit. However, expenses for before- and/or after-school care of a child in kindergarten or higher grade can be considered child care.
You paid care giving expenses so that you (and your spouse, if filing jointly) could work or look for work
The work/look for work requirement for one spouse is waived if s/he was a full-time student or Disabled, if they lived with the other spouse for more than 6 months in 2016.
Caveat: The costs of summer school and tutoring programs aren’t eligible for the credit. Neither are overnight camps. The other rules for the tax credit (as stated above) also must be satisfied. The child must be under 13, and expenses must be incurred so the parents can work.
How do you differentiate between Summer School, day camp and tutoring programs? They can all be at a time when both spouses are able to work because the children are attending the school/camp or program.
Summer day-camp expenses for a child or dependent may qualify you for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The credit, which varies based on income, is intended to help reduce expenses involved in raising a child or caring for a dependent.
The tax break applies, for example, to qualified expenses for a dependent child under age 13 to attend day camp, but not overnight camp. To claim the expenses, the taxpayer and spouse (if married) must be working or job hunting while the dependent attends the camp.
If I were to enroll my child in a music lesson, and a math class and another reading activity - so different classes during the day - would this qualify as a day camp? What are the requirements for a program to qualify as a day camp?
A series of unrelated (and geographically separate) skill and knowledge lessons would not qualify as a "day camp" for purposes of the Child and Dependent Care Credit.
The IRS does not have a specific definition for a "day camp", but the credit you are seeking is "Child and Dependent Care" credit - the emphasis being on "care". The primary purpose of the classes/lessons you described is to impart new knowledge or skills to the subject child, not "care".
Merriam Webster defines "day camp" as "a camp where children spend the day and then return home at the end of the day."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition defines "day camp" as "A children's camp providing recreation and meals during the day but no overnight facilities".
WordNet 3.0 (Copyright 2006 by Princeton University defines "day camp" as "a camp providing care and activities for children during the daytime."