Kids will soon be swapping the great outdoors for the classroom as summer draws to a close and the new school year begins. With the summer break nearly over, many working parents and caregivers will be searching for child care.
Government is taking the stress out of finding quality child care, with the online Child Care Map providing quick, at-a-glance information and key details of centres throughout the province. BC Early Years Centres also provide support for families with children aged 0-6 years, offering access to early years information and services all in one place.
It is not just B.C.’s children who can go back to school this September. For single parents on income and disability assistance, the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) is a great opportunity for adult learners to complete paid work experience or training courses to improve employability.
Need help finding child care in B.C.?
- Check out the new online Child Care Map and take the guesswork out of searching. Parents can search by location and view at-a-glance information including the number of spaces available, contact information and hours of operation, and the programs available for around 4,500 licensed child-care facilities: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
- The Parents Guide to Selecting and Monitoring Child Care in B.C. describes the child-care options available to B.C. families and provides information to help parents decide what child-care arrangements best suits their needs: www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2011/Parents%27_guide_to_selecting_and_monitoring_child_care_in_BC.pdf
- Child Care Resource and Referral programs can direct you to local child-care providers, as well as information and applications for government child-care subsidies. Call 1 888 338-6622 or visit: www.ccrr.bc.ca/ for more information.
Looking for other early years and family services?
- There are 47 BC Early Years Centres located in communities throughout the province that offer one-stop access to information, services and referrals for families with young children: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_years/centres.htm
- The Supported Child Development program (SCD) and Aboriginal Supported Child Development program (ASCD) offer community-based programs to assist families of children from birth to age 12 with extra support to access inclusive child care that meets the child and family’s needs.
- For more information about SCD, parents visit: www.scdp.bc.ca/contact_info.htm
- For more information about ASCD, visit http://ascdp.bc.ca/
Did you know B.C.’s Child Care Subsidy can help with child-care costs?
- B.C.’s Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to help eligible low income families cover the cost of child care.
- The Child Care Subsidy Program supports about 20,000 children each month in B.C. For information on eligibility and how to apply visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-socialsupports/caring-for-young-children/child-care/financial-assistance-for-child-care
Is your family getting the most out of your tax returns?
- Do you qualify for the new B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit? It’s a tax-free monthly payment of up to $55/month or $660 per year for each child under the age of six.
- Benefits are based on the number of children in your family and your family’s net income.
- To receive the new benefit, parents need to file their annual income tax returns and apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.
- Parents might also be eligible to claim fees paid for fitness and arts program registrations and fitness equipment expenses. To see if you’re eligible, visit:
- For more information on available tax benefits and credits for families with young children, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home/featured-services/services/grants-and-tax-credits
Are you a single parent looking for work?
- If you are on income or disability assistance and looking to transition into the workplace, the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) may be for you.
- In its first year, the program helped more than 3,200 single parents, with more than 400 already in employment.
- SPEI can offer up to 12 months of funded training or paid work experience with the costs of child care and transit to and from school covered during the year.
- The program also offers employability training through the WorkBC Employment Services Centre and includes a year’s health supplement coverage when you leave income assistance for paid work.
- For more information on the program and success stories from parents who have benefitted from SPEI, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/SingleParentEmploymentInitiative