Expansion of $10-a-day child care coming for families

THE Province is accepting applications from licensed child care providers who want to give families child care for $10 a day or less.

This intake will support the expansion of $10-a-day child care spaces from 2,500 currently to 12,500 by December 2022.

“A key goal under Childcare BC is to implement $10-a-day child care across the province,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We’re adding nearly 4,000 new $10-a-day child care spaces in communities across the province, and we’re working with our federal counterparts to achieve the goal of inclusive, affordable, universal child care for all.”

Budget 2021 invests in nearly 4,000 more $10-a-day spaces, which will more than double the number of spaces available to families. The new sites will be funded solely by the Province and are expected to be available to local families starting in December 2021.

In addition, as part of a new agreement with the Government of Canada, a further 6,000 spaces are expected to be available by December 2022. Applications for the Universal Child Care Prototype program will be accepted until August 31, and child care providers who apply will be considered for all future expansion opportunities.

Since 2018, about 50 Universal Child Care Prototype sites in 32 communities have been offering child care for $10 a day to about 2,500 children, including the Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver.

“We are so proud to provide $10-a-day care to local families,” said Alison Merton, Director, Collingwood Neighbourhood House. “We get to see first-hand the life-changing impact that affordable, quality and inclusive child care has on families, and these benefits have a positive ripple effect on our staff, our community and our economy. We look forward to a full expansion of $10-a-day child care to every community across B.C. and for a plan that also includes investments into early childhood educators.”

To apply for the program, child care providers must:

* have been receiving Child Care Operating Funding for at least two years;

* be approved for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative;

* participate in the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement program;

* be willing to enrol families receiving the Affordable Child Care Benefit; and

* provide government with the financial details of their operation.

Priority will be given to:

* non-profit organizations;

* public sector organizations;

* Indigenous-led child care;

* child care based in community centres;

* child care on school grounds;

* home-based child care; and

* child care providers in locations where $10-a-day child care is not yet available.

“The majority of a child’s brain development happens in the first six years of their lives, which is why it’s so important to give children access to quality early learning experiences,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development. “And investments in expanding quality, affordable inclusive child care also makes it possible for parents – particularly mothers – to rejoin the workforce, stimulating and supporting B.C.’s thriving economy.”

Since 2018, the Province has invested $2.2 billion into Childcare BC, a 10-year plan to deliver inclusive universal child care to B.C. families by 2028. Over the next three years, the Province will invest nearly $2.5 billion in early learning and child care (2021-22 to 2023-24). The federal government also recently announced B.C. was the first province to sign onto the Canada-wide early learning and child care plan, which will provide B.C. with $3.2 billion in federal funding over the next five years, with a focus on supporting children under six years old.

Quick Facts

* As of March 31, 2021, more than 48,500 families have received some level of support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB).

* Through the ACCB:
– families with an annual pre-tax income of less than $45,000 pay nothing for child care at Universal Child Care Prototype Sites; and

– families with a pre-tax income of more than $45,000 pay up to $10 a day for child care at Universal Child Care Prototype Sites.

Learn More:

For more information on the new Universal Child Care Prototype Sites, including eligibility criteria and the application form, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites

For more information on child care in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare