Province Launches Affordable Child Care Benefit

BC Government takes one more step towards affordable child care in BC!

Parent fees eliminated for most families earning less than $45,000 annually with children under age 3 in licensed child care – as recommended in the $10aDay Child Care Plan.

Building on the BC government’s recent Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative - which is saving families of more than 50,000 young children up to $350 monthly for licensed child care - effective September 1, 2018 government’s new Affordable Child Care Benefit provides even more affordability relief for more families. Through a streamlined, on-line application process, families with annual incomes of $45,000 or less will receive the full benefit, up to the cost of care, and those who make up to $111,000 will receive a
portion, scaled according to income.

“Joyful and excited are some of the words I’d use to describe the responses we’ve heard from families already” reports Sharon Gregson, Spokesperson for the $10aDay Plan. “They’ve used government’s online calculator, and are now anticipating more fee relief. So it’s important to ensure that families are aware of this benefit.”

However, while increasing income-tested subsides can provide affordability relief in the short term, it is not the way to build or fund a child care system over time. It’s not the way we fund schools, libraries, hospitals or other BC early learning programs like Strong Start. It isn’t even the way we fund programs at community centres, where user fees are often reduced or waived for people with economic or other barriers while everyone else pays the same. Public funds cover the difference.

“Internationally, there are no examples of affordable, high quality universal child care systems where the majority of funds are delivered through income-tested subsidies” confirms Lynell Anderson, CPA, CGA and Family Policy Researcher. “Based on this evidence, the $10aDay Plan prioritizes direct operating funds to child care programs to bring fees down for everyone, rather than a focus on individualized subsidies.”

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