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Ministry of Children and Family Development

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778 587-3237


History and highlights: child care legislation

The Early Learning and Child Care Act :

  • combines the Child Care BC Act (CCBCA) and the Child Care Subsidy Act (CCSA) into a single act to confirm government’s commitment to inclusive, universal child care and Indigenous Peoples;
  • supports the use of child care grants to facilitate child care by Indigenous Peoples, for Indigenous Peoples;
  • 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 taken across government to promote inclusive, universal child care;
  • expands the Province’s regulation-making power to allow for future consideration of establishing regulations to set limits on child care fees and enabling additional supplemental funding for low-income families with children with support needs to pay for child care; and
  • sets the legislative foundation for an inclusive universal early learning and child care system, and as that system grows and evolves, this legislation will be modified and adapted to incorporate additional elements of that system.

The Early Childhood Educators Act:

  • takes the existing provisions from the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA) and Child Care Licensing Regulation (CCLR) governing Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and post-secondary ECE programs and puts them in a new statute dedicated to the ECE workforce and 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
  • 1996: Legislation introduced to begin building a child care system that included provisions for quality, accessibility, inclusion and affordability.
  • 1997: Introduced the regulations required to put the legislation into practise.
  • 2001: In March, more legislative changes introduced to provide for $14-a-day child care, as well as $7-a-day before- and after-school care.
  • 2001: In May, following the election of a new provincial government, the sections of the act that made affordability programs possible were repealed.
  • 2007: Regulations introduced that set the rules for all forms of child care, from family care through various types of group care.
  • 2018: Under 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. These changes 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.
  • 2020: 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 that 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.  
  • 2021: Oct. 28 – The Early Learning and Child Care Act and the Early Childhood Educators Act received Royal Assent.