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Ministry of Children and Family Development

Government Communications and Public Engagement
778 974-5825

Ministry of Education

Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-5963


Budget 2022 expands child care, early learning programs
Updated March 22, 2022, for clarification

The investments the Province has made to date in services such as child care have supported people through the pandemic. Budget 2022 builds on this strength by continuing to invest in quality, inclusive child care and early learning programs that families can depend on.

Access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care

Since launching the ChildCareBC plan in Budget 2018, the Province has invested more than $2.4 billion to build a quality, inclusive child care system that families can depend on at a price they can afford. These investments under ChildCareBC are already making a big difference. In fact, a 2021 B.C. Living Wage Report notes that government investments in child care since 2018 have improved affordability for families. Budget 2022 continues to build on this momentum by investing in quality, affordable and inclusive child care, including:

  • Lower fees:
    • Budget 2022 brings B.C. closer than ever to government’s planned $10 a Day child care.
    • 93% of eligible licensed child care providers have enrolled in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI), saving families $350 per month, per child. Through a new agreement with the Government of Canada, average fees for full-day care for children ages five and under will be reduced by approximately 50% from 2019 levels through CCFRI to about $20 a day by the end of 2022.
    • Budget 2022 builds on this investment by cutting average fees for half-day preschool programs and before- and after-school care for school-age children to approximately $20 a day starting in September 2023.
  • More spaces:
    • Since the launch of the 10-year ChildCareBC Plan in 2018, government has funded more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces – the single-largest four-year investment in space creation in B.C.’s history.
    • $30 million in 2022-23 to help support the creation of nearly 1,000 new licensed spaces for school-aged children. This is in addition to the 8,600 spaces that had been targeted through combined provincial and Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement funding for all ages of child care.
    • Through a combination of provincial and federal funding, B.C. families will benefit from the creation of 30,000 new spaces for children under age six by March 2026, and a total of 40,000 spaces by March 2028.
    • Budget 2022 will also nearly double the Seamless Day program, from 24 to 44 school districts, and expand the Just B4 program to 14 more school districts.
  • Quality care:
    • The Province continues to invest in the child care workforce, ensuring professionals are well-supported and fairly compensated through access to bursaries, professional development opportunities and wage enhancements.
    • The number of early childhood education (ECE) student spaces at public post-secondary institutions has doubled since 2018 to 1,150. Budget 2022 will add 390 more ECE seats at post-secondary institutions over the next three years.
    • The $4-an-hour ECE wage enhancement program will expand to include ECEs who work in Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs and those who spend less than 50% of their time in direct child care functions but are still working within child care services.
    • It will also add 24 new licensing officers to accelerate the process of certifying new child care facilities in B.C.
  • Indigenous child care:
    • Under ChildCareBC, the Province remains committed to ongoing dialogue with First Nations rights holders, Métis and Inuit Peoples about what a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous child care means.
    • Budget 2022 will continue to provide a support for the Aboriginal Head Start program, which provides culturally based, inclusive child care, early learning and wraparound services for Indigenous children and families. There are approximately 600 spaces operating on and off reserve in B.C.
    • It also invests in consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples as the Province works to ensure that ChildCareBC includes opportunities for distinctions-based child care that meets the needs of Indigenous families and communities throughout the province.

ChildCareBC’s transition to the Ministry of Education

Parents know public schools are available and reliable, no matter where they live. The Province is working to bring that same reliability and certainty into child care by moving responsibility for child care into the Ministry of Education in April 2022. This transition reflects and responds to input from the child care sector and aligns with approaches taken in other provinces and territories. Moving child care into the Ministry of Education and establishing regional offices to support child care programs will help bring a regional view to child care and help government fund new spaces in areas where the need is greatest, including in rural, northern and Interior communities.

School-based early years programs

Programs like Just B4 and Seamless Day before- and after-school care create new opportunities to integrate child care into the broader learning environment. They improve access to quality early years programs and to child care provided on school grounds – making life more convenient for busy, working parents. Budget 2022 will:

  • expand the Seamless Day kindergarten program to an additional 36 schools throughout B.C. over the next three years. Seamless Day integrates before- and after-school care into the classroom, giving kindergarten and Grade 1 students a single location of care throughout the day.
  • expand the Just B4 program to 14 more school districts for the 2022-23 school year. Just B4 is a school-based, half-day licensed child care program for three- to four-year-olds that is designed to support children during the year before they enter kindergarten.