New legislation moves BC towards inclusive universal child care. (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Government Communications and Public Engagement
778 587-3237


History and highlights: child care legislation

This backgrounder provides further details about the proposed early learning and child care act and early childhood educators act, as well as a historical timeline of previous early learning and child care legislation in B.C.

The proposed early learning and child care act:

  • combines the Child Care BC Act and the Child Care Subsidy Act into a single act to signal government’s commitment to inclusive, universal child care and Indigenous peoples;
  • supports the use of child care grants to facilitate Indigenous-led child care;
  • supports the use of child care grants to improve the inclusiveness of child care;
  • holds the Province accountable by requiring the minister to report annually on the actions it has taken, across government, to promote inclusive, universal child care;
  • establishes a new regulation-making power that can set limits on child care fees, which, when enacted, will help keep child care more affordable for B.C. families; and
  • sets the legislative foundation for an inclusive universal early learning and child care system. As that system grows and evolves, the legislation will expand to incorporate additional elements of that system.

The proposed early childhood educators act:

  • takes the existing provisions from the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulation governing early childhood educators (ECEs) and post-secondary ECE programs and puts them in a new statute dedicated to the ECE workforce under the responsibility of the minister responsible for child care;
  • enables the creation of  a public registry of ECEs, ECE assistants and approved post-secondary early childhood education programs;
  • provides title protection for ECEs and ECE assistants, meaning only those registered with the ECE registry can refer to themselves in that capacity;
  • gives the registrar authority to get the information needed to review complaints and complete investigations more quickly;
  • reduces barriers to ECE certification by allowing the registrar to issue temporary certifications to ECEs who completed their education outside of B.C. and only need to meet a few additional requirements, so they can work while completing them; and
  • provides clarity on roles and authorities related to recognition of post-secondary programs to ensure the continuation of high-quality programs, so students completing these programs have the competencies necessary to become registered as an ECE.

Child care timeline:

Legislation was introduced to begin building a child care system that included provisions for quality, accessibility, inclusion and affordability.

Regulations required to put the legislation into practice were introduced.

In March, more legislative changes were introduced to provide for $14-a-day child care, as well as $7-a-day before- and after-school care.

In May, the sections of the act that made affordability programs possible were repealed following the election of a new provincial government.

Regulations were introduced that set the rules for all forms of child care, including family care and various types of group care.

The current government introduced a series of amendments to implement the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB). These changes made child care more affordable for more families by increasing the benefit eligibility threshold for a family’s annual income (to a maximum of $111,000) for a child in licensed child care. They also increased the maximum benefit amount for infant/toddler licensed care from $750 to $1,250, to reflect the increased cost of child care in B.C.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an urgent amendment was made to the Child Care Subsidy Regulation to quickly provide support to parents in circumstances where they normally would not qualify. These changes allowed the ministry to continue to pay ACCB to ensure parents – who may have chosen to temporarily withdraw their child from care or whose child care centre may have temporarily closed – could keep a space for their child when they were able to return to work and when child care providers could continue to operate, despite the impacts of the pandemic.