Effective Sept. 1, 2011, the ministry is increasing the maximum monthly subsidy rate for parents requiring care before and after school, on non-instructional days and during school closures.
Subsidy rates for four hours of care or less per day will increase to $175 per month and rates for more than four hours per day will increase to $210 per month. This increase will financially compensate each school-aged child for one full day of child care per month during the school year, in the event that school is closed (e.g., for holidays or a professional development day).
Families of approximately 5,600 children will benefit from this rate increase.
Families of approximately 3,500 school-aged children receiving full-time child care will benefit by an average of $9.30 per month from a higher subsidy rate, while families of approximately 2,100 school-aged children receiving part-time child care will benefit by an average of $4.65 per month.
Also effective Sept. 1, 2011, the ministry is adjusting subsidy rates for children attending full-day kindergarten in the fall. Subsidy rates are being reduced from $340-550 per month (depending on the child-care setting) to $210 per month, while the net income exemption threshold (income cut-off for a full subsidy) is decreasing from $33,300 to $21,480 per year for families with a kindergarten-aged child attending child care.
The current income threshold and subsidy rates were established prior to the implementation of full-day kindergarten when five-year-olds required longer hours of child care compared to school-aged children, resulting in greater costs to parents and providers. These changes recognize that most children turning five during the school year will be enrolled in full-day kindergarten and will attend school for the same number of hours as older children.
Government has invested $296 million in child care this year. The annual investment in child care subsidies is $154 million this year. The subsidy program supports about 54,000 individual children each year.
About 97,000 licensed child-care spaces are funded in communities throughout the province - and more than $35 million in capital funding has been provided to create more than 6,500 licensed child-care spaces since 2001.
For further information about B.C.’s child care subsidy program, go to:
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect