Child Care Costs

Child care costs are a factor in deciding on a child care provider for many families.

There are lots of reasons why child can be so expensive. Some of the reasons include high ratios of adults to children, provider qualifications, location of care and costs of space, insurance, equipment and special programs. Quality care for infants and toddlers can be especially expensive due to small group sizes.

For more information regarding “typical” child care rates for your area, please see our most recent rate survey.

Parents may be eligible if they...

  • Are  a resident of B.C. (you must have a current B.C. address)
  • Are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection

Affordable Child Care Benefit

The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of child care. 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 Affordable Child Care Benefit replaces the Child Care Subsidy on the basis of amendments made to the Child Care Subsidy Regulation

Most types of child care are eligible. Child care by a family member who lives with you and licensed occasional child care are not eligible for funding.

Parents must provide one of the following reasons for requiring child care:

  • 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.

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.

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.

Phone: 1-888-338-6622