By John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
For too long, too many parents in B.C. have been struggling to find quality childcare. If they do manage to find a space for their child, it’s often more than they can afford.
Parents have been faced with the difficult choice – pay for childcare that’s beyond their means, or to drop out of the workforce to care for their children themselves. It’s an unfair choice for families to have to make, it’s too much pressure on already tight monthly budgets, and the outcome is bad for B.C.’s economy no matter how you look at it.
Our government is doing things differently, and working to help lift families up by giving them a break, and make better choices. That’s why this week, we announced a new Affordable Child Care Benefit that will lower childcare costs for 60,000 more B.C. families.
It’s part of our work to make sure more families can access the affordable childcare they need, which includes the largest investment in childcare in B.C.’s history – $1 billion over three years.
Under the benefit program, the household income threshold to qualify is $111,000, up from $55,000 under the old subsidy. Making child care more affordable for lower and middle-income families.
In total, over 80,000 B.C. families are now eligible for up to $1,250 per month per child. Under the previous subsidy, only 20,000 families were eligible for up to $750 per month per child.
The new benefit, along with other Childcare BC supports, means more families will get a little further ahead every month, and more parents will have the opportunity to rejoin the workforce if they want to. That benefits people and the economy.
Under Childcare BC, the Province is working to the foundation for a universal child care system that responds to the needs of families and communities. The Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, launched in April, is already helping 3000 licensed child care providers to reduce their fees by up to $350.
The problems facing people in B.C. weren’t created overnight, and they won’t be fixed overnight.
Our government is working to make life more affordable, improve the services you count on, and deliver a strong, sustainable economy that works for people in every part of the province.
That includes delivering more affordable childcare spaces for B.C. families. It’s good for people, it’s good for kids, and it’s good for the economy.
This is just the beginning, there’s more to come.
We’re going to keep working hard to build a better future for everyone in B.C., together.
To find out more information about the Affordable Child Care Benefit, and to estimate the amount of benefit your family may receive or apply for the benefit, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/affordablechildcarebenefit