Office of the Premier

New benefit helps 60,000 more families with child care expenses

Print

Office of the Premier

New benefit helps 60,000 more families with child care expenses

Media Contacts
Sage Aaron
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
778 678-0832
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028
(flickr.com)
Media Contacts
Sage Aaron
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
778 678-0832
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028

Backgrounders

80,000 B.C. parents will save under Affordable Child Care Benefit

The Province’s $630-million investment to make child care more affordable for B.C. families comes as part of a three-year, $1-billion investment in ChildCare BC.

This is the most significant child care investment in B.C.'s history. This historic investment makes important changes in affordability, accessibility and quality.

Affordability

The Province has moved quickly to support parents who are struggling with the high cost of child care. The Affordable Child Care Benefit replaces the existing Child Care Subsidy, expands eligibility to families with a pre-tax income of up to $111,000 (up from $55,000 under the previous subsidy), and will support around 86,000 families by 2021.

The new Affordable Child Care Benefit complements the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, introduced in April 2018, which helps lower the cost of child care for parents at approved licensed child care facilities by up to $350 a month per child.

To date, more than 50,000 spaces have been approved for a reduction in fees, and the initiative has put more than $35 million back in parents’ pockets. Providers who have been approved for the initiative are listed online: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/optin

Accessibility

The ChildCare BC New Spaces Fund is helping to address the shortage of child care spaces throughout the province by supporting the creation of up to 22,000 new licensed spaces over the next three years: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund

The new ChildCare BC Maintenance Fund, introduced in June 2018, will help eligible child care providers maintain existing spaces by providing funding to help them with minor repairs or to replace equipment in order to meet licensing standards. The fund also helps cover relocation costs for eligible providers so they can quickly move their operations, if needed, and continue to support B.C. children and their families: www.gov.bc.ca/ccmaintenancefund

In June 2018, the Province launched the Start-Up Grant program to support individuals and unlicensed child care providers to become licensed. Applicants can apply for funding to help them cover the costs of becoming licensed, including training and application fees for licensing, hiring replacement staff while taking a course and buying equipment for a child care facility. Becoming licensed allows providers to care for more children and will help enhance the quality of child care in B.C.: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/startupgrants

Over the coming months, the Province will also look to build and strengthen partnerships with local governments to create new child care spaces. Working together will help leverage existing public spaces to build new child care facilities more quickly.

Quality

A key goal under ChildCare BC is to improve the quality of B.C.’s child care system through enhanced supports for early childhood educators (ECEs) and other child care professionals. Quality will be achieved by enhancing training and development opportunities, as well as addressing the issue of wages and recruitment in the sector.

Early childhood educators are an essential part of the Province’s goal to deliver quality child care to B.C. families. To this end, ChildCare BC is delivering $136 million to better support ECEs over the first three years of its 10-year plan. On Sept. 5, 2018, the Province launched an Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy that lays out key aspects of the quality pillar of ChildCare BC.

Starting in January 2019, ECEs working in licensed child care facilities that have opted in to the Child Care Fee Reduction will receive a wage enhancement of $1 per hour, followed by another $1-per-hour increase in April 2020.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development, in partnership with Early Childhood Educators of BC, provides a bursary for students who are enrolled in early childhood educational programs at one of 32 approved post-secondary institutions in B.C. The Early Care and Learning Strategy includes a $10-million expansion of this bursary, with support from the Government of Canada under the federal-provincial Early Learning and Child Care Agreement:
www.ecebc.ca/programs/student_bursary.html

In order to increase training and development opportunities for ECEs throughout the province, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is investing $7.4 million over the next three years to fund an additional 620 early childhood educator seats at B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions.

Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada

Investments under ChildCare BC are complemented by the Province’s three-year, $153-million Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) with the Government of Canada, which was signed in February 2018.

Under ELCC, the Province is investing $60 million to create Universal Child Care prototype sites in B.C. Launching in fall 2018, this project will fund approximately 1,800 child care spaces to offer child care at a cost of $200 a month, or less, per child:
www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites  

The Province has also committed $30 million to expand Aboriginal Head Start programs in B.C. These programs provide culturally based, inclusive child care and early learning, family bonding and prevention services. Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve: www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/maternal-child-and-family-health/aboriginal-head-start-on-reserve
Aboriginal Head Start in urban communities: www.ahsabc.com

In May 2018, the Province announced an additional $3 million over three years, on top of its annual funding of $1.6 million, to boost the monthly funding amount available to eligible young parents to up to $1,500 a month per child. The increase in funding will help serve the child care needs of approximately 220 young-parent families per year:
www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-funding/young-parent-program

The Province will announce further ELCC investments in the coming months.

Connect with the Office of the Premier

Photos

View the Office of the Premier's latest photos on Flickr.

Videos

Watch the Office of the Premier's latest videos on YouTube.

Sound Bites

Listen to the Office of the Premier's latest audio clips on SoundCloud.

View all Social Media