Child care maintenance fund triples, now open to family providers

Katrine Conroy

FOR the first time, licensed family, in-home multi-age, and private-group child care providers throughout British Columbia will be able to access minor repair and replacement funds, and relocation funds.

“Before now, family, in-home and private group providers had to pay out of pocket for repair and facility upgrades,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development, on Thursday. “We appreciate the work that family child care providers do, and want to help them succeed. That’s why, as part of Childcare BC, we’re helping more providers to cover costs, so they can focus on providing the quality care that families so desperately need.”

Expanding access to quality licensed care is an important part of Childcare BC. Funding available under the expanded and enhanced Childcare BC Maintenance Fund has tripled to $1.2 million in 2018-19. This funding allows providers to repair or replace items relating to the maintenance of their facility, in order to meet licensing standards.

Under the improved program, eligible child care providers can receive:

* Up to a maximum of $2,000 for licensed family and in-home multi-age child care programs.

* Up to a maximum of $5,000 for licensed private-group child care programs.

* Up to a maximum of $10,000 for licensed non-profit group child care programs.

* Up to a maximum of $25,000 for costs associated with the relocation of a licensed group child care facility.

In order to be eligible for relocation funding, licensed group child care facilities providing care to children in under 36 months and/or in three-years-to-kindergarten categories must be enrolled in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.

“Families need access to licensed child care spaces throughout the province, and providers need more supports to keep these spaces open for families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “The new Childcare BC Maintenance Fund not only triples the amount of funding available, but also removes unnecessary requirements to access the funding in the first place.”

Under the old guidelines, providers were required to apply for funding before making any emergency repairs. Since providers cannot always predict when repairs might be needed, the new guidelines allow them to apply for reimbursement after emergency repairs are completed.

In an effort to simplify and streamline the program, child care providers who apply for maintenance funding will no longer need licensing officers to support their maintenance funding application by providing inspection or incident reports. Ministry staff will now review applications to make sure the request supports the maintenance of their facility licence. This change frees up time for licensing officers to focus on regular licensing and inspection duties for all licensed child care facilities.

The following child care providers can access the Childcare BC Maintenance Fund:

* Licensed group providers, including private organizations, non-profit societies, local governments, boards of education, public institutions, Bands/Tribal Councils and First Nations governments.

* Licensed family child care, in-home multi-age child care and multi-age child care operating out of a personal residence.

Enhancements to the Childcare BC Maintenance Fund are the first of several Childcare BC initiatives aimed at building and maintaining licensed spaces around the province. Details about other accessibility measures – including grants to encourage unlicensed providers to become licensed, and the launch of an enhanced Childcare BC New Spaces Fund – will be introduced in the coming weeks.


Quick Facts:

* The Province is investing more than $1 billion into Childcare BC over the next three years. This will help 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.

* Under this plan, the Province is supporting the creation of 22,000 new licensed child care spaces over the next three years, with a particular focus on creating more infant and toddler child care spaces across the province.