Universal Child Care Prototype Sites

Through the Province’s Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) with the federal government, the Province is investing $60 million to convert approximately 1,800 child care spaces – with a priority on infant and toddler spaces – into low-cost spaces at existing child care facilities across B.C.

Over an 18-month period, starting in fall 2018, these new Universal Child Care Prototype Sites will help test the funding and operational models that will be required to move British Columbia toward a universal child care system.

The application period for providers to operate a prototype sites is now closed and the ministry, supported by an expert panel, have now reviewed nearly 300 applications to ensure that factors – like the diversity of British Columbia’s geography, populations, service models and parent needs – are considered in the selection of sites.

Applicants can expect to receive confirmation soon about the status of their submission.

Further updates to this web page will be made at the conclusion of contract negotiations.  We encourage you to visit here regularly to read about the progress and key learnings from prototype sites.

Being selected as a prototype site is an opportunity for providers of licensed child care – including non-profit and private organizations in all parts of the province – to help the future of child care in B.C. As partners, the selected prototype sites will help the Province develop a funding model that will inform the implementation of universal child care over the next ten years. The range of sites will provide the Province with a deeper understanding of what contributes to quality care, a sustainable and engaged workforce, a viable funding model and effective organizational structures.

Approved sites will be on the leading edge of one of the largest social policy changes in B.C.’s history. The positive financial impact on parents with children in these prototype sites will be significant. This includes offering $10-a-day child care to parents whose children attend these sites. For some lower-income parents, child care could be free.

As well, as an early adopter, you’ll have one-time access to funding for a Quality Improvement Grant to implement programs, initiatives and facility improvements aimed at supporting the delivery of quality child care. The grant will be available to all participating prototype sites.

The Province is also providing an additional 5% in one-time funding on top of base operating funding in recognition of the extra administrative requirements.

Who is eligible?

Licensed child care providers who meet the eligibility criteria listed in Section 1 of the application, including (but not limited to) those who:

  • Currently provide licensed infant/toddler (under 36 months) child care (either as a stand-alone program or in addition to other types of licensed child care);
  • Have been in receipt of, and in good standing with, the Child Care Operating Funding program for at least the past two consecutive years; and
  • Have been approved to opt in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.


For answers to frequently asked questions, review the Universal Child Care Prototype Sites Frequently Asked Questions.

For further information, please contact:

Phone: 1 888 338-6622 (option 5)
Email: MCF.Prototype@gov.bc.ca