Beginning in December, parents in British Columbia will save an additional $550 per month for each child they have at participating licensed daycares.
“Child care is one of the biggest bills many families face each month,” said Katrina Chen, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Child Care. “Reducing childcare fees again, this time by up to $550 more per child per month, is one way we are taking action to put money back into people’s pockets at a time when rising global inflation is making life more expensive to wash the pockets.”
The province funds licensed child care centers directly, so families don’t have to apply for these savings. This funding reduces fees for preschoolers and younger.
These additional savings, which build on previous fee reductions introduced as part of the province’s $2.7 billion investment in ChildCareBC since 2018, are matched by the five-year Canada-British-Colombia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement funded by $3.2 billion.
“The Canada-British-Colombia-Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which we signed just over a year ago, puts families first and will ensure every child has access to quality, affordable and accessible childcare” , said Karina Gould, Federal Minister for Family, Children and Social Development. “With hundreds of dollars in savings, this investment will provide much-needed support to lower the cost of living for families with young children. Our government remains focused on making life more affordable for families and giving every child the best possible start in life.”
As part of this fee reduction, the province is taking steps to better support child care providers. Payments to providers are increased by 100% or more. These payments are designed to help providers continue to provide quality care for children, help them combat rising costs, and reduce the need to pass those costs on to families.
“The YMCA is honored to work with the BC Government and join other providers to bring significant savings to deserving families across the province,” said Heidi Worthington, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “Making childcare in British Columbia high quality, affordable and accessible requires a real commitment to collaboration. The YMCA commends the Canadian and BC governments for their ongoing investments in childcare, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with all levels of government to support even more families and ensure their children have the best possible start.”
These monthly fee reductions mean parents save up to $6,600 more per year for each child in licensed care at facilities that participate in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, depending on the ages of their children and the type of care they receive . As a result of the new savings, families pay similar out-of-pocket costs for childcare, on average, regardless of the type of childcare, if their provider charges typical fees.
- A family with a 10-month-old and a three-year-old in group care could save up to $11,940 more per year on top of the $5,400 per year they are already saving.
- A family with a two-year-old and a four-year-old being cared for by the family would see up to $10,080 more in savings each year, on top of the $3,120 a year they are already saving.
Previous savings were introduced in 2018 and participating childcare providers are already passing those savings on to families, up to $350 per month per child.
“I’ve had my child at Cascade Heights YMCA since it opened,” said Tania Cubells, a parent benefiting from cuts in childcare fees. “I am very fortunate and fortunate that my daughter is in a quality care center and appreciate the government working with her to bring down the fees. This will have a big impact on my family. With the extra savings, we can pay off our debt faster, have more fun activities for the kids, and save for their post-secondary education.”
In addition to these fee reductions, the province has made further strides to ensure all families have access to affordable child care by introducing the Affordable Child Care Benefit and converting child care centers to $10-per-day ChildCareBC locations. By the end of 2022, there will be 12,500 of these low-cost, high-quality, $10-a-day childcare spots across BC
“Child care has not been seen as a necessity for far too long, and it has been entrenched behind rising fees that have excluded many families,” said Jennifer Whiteside, British Columbia’s Minister of Education and Child Care. “We’re working hard to change that, and these new savings are a significant step toward our goal of providing every parent with $10 a day in child care. These savings are about helping families thrive and ensuring families are supported to take advantage of opportunities.”
To help families access quality, licensed childcare, the provincial government, with support from the federal government, has also funded more than 30,500 new licensed childcare places since ChildCareBC launched in 2018, while improving educational opportunities and wages for early childhood educators had to provide this service.
For more information on the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, including participating providers, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/savemoney-childcare
For more information about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
Around $10 a day: www.canada.ca/child-care
For more information on $10 a day ChildCareBC sites and spaces, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare10aDaysites
A backgrounder follows.