Special information relevant to Sooke appears below.
More young parents in B.C. can now access free child care while they finish high school, in some areas throughout the Province, through the Young Parent Program (YPP).
The Province is investing an additional $3 million over the next three years – on top of its annual funding of $1.6 million – to boost the monthly subsidy amount available to eligible young parents to up to $1,500 a month per child.
To be eligible for the Young Parent Program (YPP), parents must be under the age of 24 years, have had their child on or before their 20th birthday and meet the eligibility criteria for the Child Care Subsidy program. Infant and toddler care is the most expensive type of child care in B.C., at a median cost of $1,250 per month. The majority of young parents in YPP have children up to 18 months old, and need access to infant and toddler care.
Centres that offer YPP may provide other supports to help the young parents, including: meals or nutrition and health-education supports; housing supports; counselling or access to counselling; transportation; or help with referrals to other community agencies. Through their time at the child care centres, parents spend time with and build strong bonds with their children.
In February 2018, the Ministry of Children and Family Development signed a $153-million, three-year Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) partnership agreement with the Government of Canada. This agreement enriches annual YPP program funding by 63% to $2.6 million. The increase in funding will help to serve the child care needs of approximately 220 young-parent families per year.
Under Childcare BC, the Province is investing more than $1 billion into child care over the next three years to lay the foundation for a universal child care system that will provide access to affordable, quality child care for anyone in B.C. who wants or needs it. Investments under the ELCC agreement complement the Province’s Childcare BC goals to improve access to child care by supporting British Columbians who need them most – from young parents, to children with special needs and Indigenous communities.
Note for Sooke
The Young Parent Program is not available in Sooke. SPN inquired with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and a spokesperson provided the following statement:
“The decision on whether to offer a Young Parent Program rests with the school district or child care provider.
“YPPs make a huge difference to young parents, and we encourage any child-care facility or school that would be interested in offering the program to contact the ministry at 1 888 338-6622 for more information or visit the YPP webpage.
“Young parents who do not currently have access to a Young Parent Program in their community may still benefit from several affordability measures under Childcare BC. The fee reduction initiative, launched in April 2018, is providing savings of up to $350 for parents who have children in approved licensed child-care providers. To see if there is an approved provider in your community, visit this website.
“In addition, if their family income is less than $45,000, young parents may be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy.
“Starting in September, the new Affordable Child Care Benefit will reach even more families across a wider income threshold, further reducing child care costs for B.C. parents.
“For more information on these commitments, and others under Childcare BC, visit this website.”
To inquire about having a YPP in the Sooke school district, speak to your childcare provider or the Sooke school district and share the statement from the Ministry.
- Just over half of the Young Parent Programs in B.C. operate as infant/toddler centres, offering care to children under the age of three years, while the remainder also provide care for children aged three years to kindergarten.
- Participating child care centres are often co-located or close to secondary schools to allow parents to visit their children frequently.
- The close proximity also gives parents peace of mind that their young children are close by and well cared for, allowing them to focus on their studies.
- Some programs serve only young parents and their families; however, most (70%) have a certain number of spaces prioritized for young parents and offer the remainder to other families in the community.
- Child care subsidies are available to help low-income families with the cost of child care, supporting about 20,000 children and their families each month.
- The Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, which was launched in April 2018, is helping to reduce the cost of licensed child care by up to $350 a month for parents with children in approved child-care facilities. In the first month alone, the initiative put more than $2.2 million back in parents’ pockets.
- In addition to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, another affordability measure will be introduced in September 2018. The new Affordable Child Care Benefit will help reduce child care costs for lower-income families by up to $1,250 per month and will support 86,000 B.C. families a year by 2020-21.
- Young Parent Program
- Child care in B.C.
- Childcare BC Blueprint
- Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative – list of participating child care providers
- Child Care Subsidy