Start-Up Grants for Becoming a Licensed Child Care Facility
The start-up grants program is designed to increase the number of licensed child care spaces available to B.C. families by supporting existing unlicensed child care providers, as well as individuals new or returning to the child care sector, who wish to begin operating a licensed Family or In-Home Multi-Age (IHMA) child care facility. The grants assist with the costs associated with obtaining a Community Care Facility Licence to operate a licensed child care facility.
One-time Start-Up Grants are available to assist Registered Licence-Not-Required (RLNR) and Licence-Not-Required (LNR) child care providers, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), and any other eligible adults over the age of 19 to cover the costs of becoming licensed child care providers under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulation. Start-Up Grants are subject to funding availability.
Benefits of becoming licensed
Providers can care for more children when licensed: Unlicensed child care providers are allowed to care for up to two children (or a sibling group) who are not related to them. By becoming licensed, these providers may care for up to seven children under a Family child care licence, or up to eight children under an IHMA licence.
Families in a licensed provider’s care may be eligible for higher Affordable Child Care Benefit rates: The Affordable Child Care Benefit helps families with the cost of child care, depending on factors like family size, type of care and household income. Families with children attending licensed settings may be eligible for a higher benefit rate than in unlicensed child care settings.
Licensed providers are eligible for more funding programs: Becoming licensed makes a provider eligible for:
- Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF)
- Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative
- the Childcare BC Maintenance Fund, and potentially
- the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Wage Enhancement.
New for 2019/20
The Start-Up Grants program has undergone minor changes for the 2019/20 fiscal year. To ensure the program aligns with the Province’s objective to create affordable licensed spaces, recipients are required to participate in the Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) program and, where eligible, enroll in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI).
Eligible applicants include:
- ECEs, RLNR and LNR operators, and eligible adults over the age of 19 who wish to begin operating a licenced Family or In-Home Multi-Age Child Care facility;
- are in good standing with the Ministry of Children and Family Development;
- are in good standing with the BC Corporate Registry (if applicable);
- do not hold, currently or within the last 12 months, a valid licence under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act;
- are willing to participate in the Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) program and, where eligible, enroll in the Child Care Reduction Fee Initiative (CCFRI);
- have not previously received a Start-Up Grant;
- are in good standing with the Early Childhood Educator Registry (if a valid ECE certificate is held); and/or
- are in good standing with their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) Agency (if applicable).
- Review the Start-Up Grants Funding Guidelines;
- Review the Frequently Asked Questions;
- Review the following:
- Complete the online Start-Up Grants application form; and
- Submit your application online.
While there is no deadline for applications, the Start-Up Grants will be subject to the availability of funding. Individuals who are interested in the program are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure their applications can be properly considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eligible applicants must be in good standing with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. This means the applicant does not have an outstanding debt owing to the ministry for which no payment plan or arrangements have been established, or a breach of a payment plan or any arrangements that have been established.
In addition, if the applicant holds an ECE certification, they need to be in good standing with the ECE Registry, meaning their certification must be currently active (not expired or suspended) with the ECE Registry with no open investigations associated with it.
Applicants who are RLNR child care providers need to be in good standing with their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) agency, meaning they are in compliance with the the RLNR requirements, as mandated by their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) Agency, with no open investigations against them.
See the Funding Guidelines for a complete list of the eligibility requirements.
These are one-time grants that can provide up to $4,000 for applicants to become Licensed Family child care providers (to provide care for up to seven children) and up to $4,500 for applicants to become Licensed In-Home Multi-Age child care providers (to provide care for up to eight children). These maximums include a $500 up-front payment to cover the costs of becoming licensed, as well as $500 per licensed space created.
Start-Up Grants can be used to offset the costs associated with becoming licensed, including:
- Training fees (i.e., Responsible Adult course, Mother Goose training, first aid, etc.);
- Application fees (i.e., licensing, re-zoning, etc.);
- Hiring replacement staff in order to take a required course to become licensed; and/or;
- Buying equipment for the child care facility.
No, Start-Up Grants provide one-time-only funding to help unlicensed child care providers become licensed.
The funding does not have to be paid back as long as the child care provider receiving the grant submits a copy of their Community Care and Assisted Living Act licence within one year of receiving funding approval.
Recipients may be required to repay the grant amount if they do not submit a copy of their licence within one year of the application approval date. Alternatively, if the Recipient does not remain in operation for three consecutive years from the licence issue date and/or fails to participate in CCOF, or where eligible, enroll in the CCFRI, and maintain active enrollment in these programs for three consecutive years, the Recipient may be required to repay the grant.
Yes, costs will be covered for applications up to the maximum amounts, as long as the applicant does not receive their licence before their application approval date.
No, receipts do not need to be submitted.
No, Start-Up Grants are provided to help applicants with the costs associated with becoming licensed, and to provide an incentive to become licensed. The funding is provided based on the number of spaces you are creating, not on the amount of money that you spend to become licensed.
New for 2019/20, recipients of the Start-Up Grants must participate in CCOF and the CCFRI, where eligible, for the three-year service commitment period. This requirement helps ensure the licensed spaces are affordable for families. For instance, CCOF can be used to reduce the parental costs of child care and enable the provider to buy equipment or improve their child-care facility. Additionally, the CCFRI provides approved child care facilities with additional funding to reduce parent fees by up to $350/month.
What is the difference between the Family Child Care licence and the In-Home Multi-Age Child Care care licence?
Family Child Care is a program in which the licensee is a responsible adult who personally provides care within their personal residence. The maximum licence capacity for this care program is 7 children.
In-Home Multi-Age Child Care is a program in which the licensee is a certified educator who personally provides care, within their personal residence to children of various ages. The maximum licence capacity for this care program is 8 children.