Financial Assistance for Child Care
A child care subsidy or allowance is available to help low income families in B.C. with the cost of child care:
- Families that earn $40,000 or less should apply – families that earn up to $55,000 may also be eligible
- Families may be eligible for full or partial subsidy, depending on their circumstances and income
Before going through the application process, make sure you’re eligible to receive child subsidy payments. As parent or guardian you must be:
- A resident of B.C. and
- A Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, a convention refugee or a person in need of protection
Eligible child care arrangements must be one of the following:
- Licensed family home, group child care centre or preschool
- Registered licence-not-required home
- Licence-not-required home or in the child’s own home
Parents or guardians must also meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You are employed or self-employed
- You are attending an educational institution or enrolled in distance education
- You are seeking employment or participating in an employment-related program (only one parent can be looking for work)
- You have a medical condition that interferes with your ability to care for your child
- You have a child attending a licensed preschool
- You have been referred by a social worker from the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a delegated Aboriginal agency
Get help completing your child subsidy application:
Apply at any time during the year. You will receive a benefit plan once you're approved – it will last as long as your reason for care. When your benefit plan is almost done, you will be asked to renew your subsidy payments.
Follow these steps for a successful application:
Step 1: Choose a child care provider
Step 2: Complete the Care Arrangement Form with your care provider (Note: the form will not work in Google Chrome).
Step 3: Submit the Child Care Subsidy application along with any supporting documents (Note: the forms will not work in Google Chrome).
- Child Care Subsidy Application (PDF)
- Supporting Documents (PDF)
- Report Work Search Record (PDF, 1.7MB)
- Report Self-Employment Income (PDF)
- Report a Medical Condition (PDF)
Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a benefit plan that outlines:
- The amount of your monthly subsidy
- The start and end date of monthly subsidy payments
- A list of all children in your family receiving subsidized child care
If you are found not eligible for the child care subsidy, you may request a reconsideration.
Special Needs Supplement
Parents or guardians who have a child with special needs may be eligible for an additional $150 per month towards the cost of child care.
The total of the child care subsidy and the special needs supplement cannot be more than the child provider’s rate.
Submit a special needs application (Note: the form will not work in Google Chrome):
- Special Needs Form (PDF)
Monthly Claim for Payment
Your child care provider will submit a monthly claim form for payment. If your child’s care is in your home you, the parent or guardian, will submit the claim form (Note: the forms will not work in Google Chrome).
- Child Care Subsidy Claim - Licence Not Required (PDF)
- Child Care Subsidy Claim - Licensed Child Care (PDF)
- Child Care Subsidy Claim - In Child's Own Home Care (PDF)
School-aged children: If your child is in school, you may need to claim an additional subsidy for more than one full-day of care in a month.
- Contact us by phone to request this adjustment after the 25th day of the month you are claiming for
- Submit the appropriate form telling us the number of days and the reason – for example, your child’s school is closed or your child is sick
- Request additional coverage in advance for things like winter and spring vacation, or gradual Kindergarten entry in September
The subsidy is paid monthly – it's either mailed out as a cheque or deposited directly into the child care provider’s bank account.
If child care is provided in your own home, the parent or guardian is responsible for submitting the claim form each month and paying the child care provider.
Keep your contact information up-to-date and immediately report any changes that could affect your eligibility. Not reporting changes could mean losing your child care subsidy or having to pay back funds.
Report a change in:
- Marital status
- Reason for care
- Family size
Report change of provider: Use the Child Care Arrangement Form (PDF) to let us know if you have changed to a new child provider. (Note: the form will not work in Google Chrome).
Families may be eligible for a full or partial subsidy, depending on their income. If their net income is more than the approved amount for a full subsidy, they will receive a partial subsidy. The difference between these two amounts is called the parent portion.
Once a child starts school, the subsidy decreases because the number of child care hours needed is less.