Early Childhood Grants in British Columbia

Did you know that there are currently two provisions available to parents that can help with the cost of early learning childcare? We’re here to help guide you through the process.

1

Child Care Reduction Initiative (CCFRI)

Parents of children up to Kindergarten age who use licensed childcare providers could see reductions in their fees up to $350 per month per child. Their childcare provider must qualify and opt in for the new childcare fee reduction initiative. Inquire with your local cefa about availability. Childcare providers apply for this initiative on behalf of registered parents.

2

The Affordable Child Care Benefit

The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of childcare. Factors like income, family size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. Families apply for this benefit directly with the provincial government and need to renew their application every year.

Do you qualify for the Affordable Child Care Benefit?

CEFA Schools are a Licensed Child Care Facility

In British Columbia, specific criteria are used to check if a family qualifies for the Affordable Child Care Benefit. Criteria includes:

– A parent or guardian must be:
– A resident of B.C. (you must have a current B.C. address)
– A Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection

Most types of childcare are eligible (Licensed Group childcare like CEFA is included). Childcare by a family member who lives with you and licensed occasional childcare are not eligible for funding.

You can use an online estimator to see how much childcare you could qualify for. Questions like marital status, number of children, number of children with needs, household income and type of care required are asked. The estimator isn’t the final answer, but it gives you an idea.

Check Online Estimator

Parents must provide one of the following reasons for requiring childcare:

  • Working or self-employed
  • Attending school
  • Participating in an employment program
  • Looking for work (only one parent or guardian)
  • Living with a medical condition that interferes with your ability to care for your child
  • Your child is attending licensed preschool
  • You have been referred by a Ministry of Children and Family Development or Delegated Aboriginal Agency social worker

A formula is used to calculate whether a family qualifies for a funding amount based on their annual income and deductions, or adjustments. This step is called income testing.

Generally speaking, families that earn up to $111,000 may qualify for funding. Families that earn more than $111,000, but have considerable deductions for family size or children who have special needs, can also apply.

Household income:
For most families, the level of funding is calculated based on the combined gross annual amount that a child’s parents or guardians earn, less deductions for family size and children who have a designated special need. Income is calculated based on information from your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment or an income declaration form.

Here’s an example of the formula that uses income from your CRA Notice of Assessment:
Family’s adjusted annual income = total gross income (line 150) – social assistance payments (line 145) – ($2000 x (number of family members – 2)) – ($3000 x number of children who have a designated special need).

This means, depending on the type of care used:
Families who earn approximately $0 to $45,000 (after adjustments are calculated) may qualify for full funding. Families that earn $45,000 to $111,000 (after adjustments are calculated) may qualify for partial funding.

Apply for funding before the end of the month in which you need child care. For example, if you would like to receive funding for child care starting September 1, you need to apply by September 30.

Affordable Child Care Benefit Rates by Childcare Type

Group child care / multi-age child care
Maximum monthly funding
Children under 19 months
$1,250
Children 19 months and over but under 37 months
$1,060
Children 37 months and over but who have not reached school age
$550
Family child care / in-home multi-age child care
Children under 19 months
$1,250
Children 19 months and over but under 37 months
$1,000
Children 37 months and over but who have not reached school age
$550
Children of school age
$415

Other

Preschool (children 30 months and over but who have not reached school age)
$225
Care surrounding school day (children of school age)
$210

How much funding is available?

The number of children who are living at home and whether or not any of them have a designated special need.

Children who have a designated special need and require extra support may be eligible for an additional $150 per month towards the cost of child care.

The combined total of the special needs supplement and the Affordable Child Care Benefit
cannot be more than the rate charged by the child care provider. If it is, the supplement amount will be reduced so that the combined amount is equal to the child care provider’s rate.

The type of child care, and age of children determines the level of funding.

In some cases, the number of days per week that child care is needed is a factor in determining how much funding your family may receive. If you require less than 20 days of care per month, the amount of funding is prorated.

Consent to share your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) income records is required to qualify for the Affordable Child Care Benefit and includes:

  • Sharing your spouse’s income information
  • Consent to confirm your income even if you haven’t reported in 2 years. If you haven’t filed your taxes for the last 2 years, complete an Income Declaration Form for the previous calendar year.
  • Resubmitting the form every time your income changes.

Note: Families may be exempt from income testing if they are caring for someone else’s child under a Ministry of Children and Family Development placement.

The Affordable Child Care Benefit replaces the Child Care Subsidy on the basis of amendments made to the Child Care Subsidy Regulation.

Remember: All applicants need to have selected a childcare provider in the application process and will need to fill out a childcare arrangement form with this info. Register with CEFA at the same time when you’re applying for the subsidy.

Before you start, you’ll need to make sure that:
You have selected CEFA as your childcare provider.
You have personal information and identification for everyone on your application.
You have contact information for your spouse.
You have all of your supporting information and documents.
Ensure you are using a compatible web browser.

We are here to help you.

Early Childhood Education helps the development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Let us know if you have any questions or inquires of provincial government subsidies. It’s free to call or email, and we would love to help.

In B.C., the two provisions include:

Child Care Reduction Initiative (CCFRI)

Parents of children up to Kindergarten age who use licensed childcare providers could see reductions in their fees up to $350 per month per child. Their childcare provider must qualify and opt in for the new childcare fee reduction initiative. Inquire with your local cefa about availability. Childcare providers apply for this initiative on behalf of registered parents.

The Affordable Child Care Benefit

The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of childcare. Factors like income, family size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. Families apply for this benefit directly with the provincial government and need to renew their application every year.

Our CEFA (Core Education & Fine Arts) Early Learning Private Schools are a ‘Licensed Child Care Facility’.

Licensed childcare facilities are monitored and regularly inspected by regional health authorities. They must meet specific requirements for health and safety, staffing qualifications, record keeping, space and equipment, child-to staff ratios, and programming.

The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of childcare. Factors like income, family size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. Families need to renew their application every year.

The process can seem daunting, but we’re here to help guide you through it. We’ve summarized the process to help prepare you.

Note: All applicants need to have selected a childcare provider in the application process and will need to fill out a Childcare Arrangement Form with this info. Register with CEFA at the same time when you’re applying for the subsidy.