British Columbia parents with children in licensed care will start seeing child care savings of up to $350 a month as early as April, said Premier John Horgan.
“Parents in every corner of B.C. will start seeing their child care bills go down next month,” said Premier Horgan. “These fee reductions will offer families relief, and help people, particularly women, return to work. No one should be forced to choose between child care and other family needs.”
The child care fee reduction is available to families with children up to kindergarten age, who go to licensed child care and whose providers opt in.
To date, providers have applied for fee reductions for more than 18,000 children, and more providers are opting in to savings for families every day. The fee reduction will save parents up to:
- $350 per month for each child in group infant and toddler care.
- $200 per month for each child in family infant and toddler care.
- $100 per month for each child in group care for children aged three years to kindergarten.
- $60 per month for each child in family care for children aged three years to kindergarten.
In order to maximize the number of families receiving benefits next month, the government has extended the deadline for child care providers to opt in to April’s fee reduction until April 20, 2018. After that date, providers can sign up for savings for future months at any time.
The child care fee reduction will help providers to keep their program competitive with other programs in their community, and support the families in their programs by lowering their monthly child care costs. Those who choose to participate will receive an increase of 10% on top of their individual base funding to support operational expenses.
Under Budget 2018, the Province has committed $630 million over the next three years to make child care more affordable for families. When fully subscribed, the fee reduction is expected to help approximately 50,000 B.C. families with the cost of child care each month.
SPN has asked the Ministry of Children and Family Development for some clarifications, regarding some concerns that were brought to us by Sooke parents with children in daycare. A ministry spokesperson provided SPN with these clarifications:
SPN asked: Will the government be fully subsiding day care providers the same amounts that the providers are expected to pass along to the families?
A spokesperson for the ministry responded: The goal of the program is to provide stable funding to providers to pass on to parents. Child care providers will not be out-of-pocket for participating in this initiative.
The daily rate in schedule C of the contracts is for a full-time enrolment based on a month with 21 business days. However, to ensure the child care providers receive stable monthly payments for months that have 19 and 20 days, we will adjust the daily rates to $18.42 and $17.50 (as indicated on page 18 of the FAQs).
We have issued a fee reduction calculator to help providers determine part-time rates. More information will be sent out this week, which will give providers greater clarity on the rates in schedule C of the contract, and support our commitment to deliver stable payments month to month.
Government will pay the full rate of reduction (i.e $350 for infant/toddler in group care) each month for children who are enrolled full-time, regardless of the number of business days.
SPN: If the provincial funding runs out, will parents be expected to pay the difference?
Ministry: This is the first initiative to launch as part of our long-term vision of universal child care in B.C. It forms a key part of our plan to make child care more affordable for parents and we will continue to fund it over the coming years.
- Under Budget 2018, the Province is investing more than $1 billion into child care over the next three years to help 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.
- The provincial investment in early care and learning is supplemented by approximately $153 million in federal funding over three years, beginning in 2017-18, through a bilateral Early Learning and Child care (ELCC) Framework Agreement.
- In 2018-19, the Province will focus on creating more infant and toddler child care spaces throughout the province, as well as reducing monthly child care costs for B.C. families.
- 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.
- Child Care Resource and Referral – Sooke / West Shore
- Child care in B.C.
- Child-care operating funding
- Child-care improvements under Budget 2018
- The Child Care B.C. Blueprint
- Frequently Asked Questions