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 individuals who want to operate a licensed child care facility in their personal residence. The grant assists with the costs associated with obtaining a Group Care, Family, and In-Home Multi-Age (IHMA) licence type under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulation.
Applicants should ensure they understand how to open a licensed child care facility, and are encouraged to contact their regional Health Authority Licensing Office prior to applying to become familiar with licensing regulations in their area. Review the 'Before you apply' section of the website for more resources. All Start-Up Grant funding is subject to availability.
Benefits of becoming 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 (CCFRI)
- the ChildCareBC Maintenance Fund
- the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement (ECE) (if they are a certified ECE)
Families may be eligible for higher Affordable Child Care Benefit rates
The Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) 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.
Providers can care for more children
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.
Applicants must create licensed child care in their personal residence.
Eligible applicants include:
- Registered Licence-Not-Required (RLNR) operators
- Licence-Not-Required (LNR) operators
- Early Childhood Educators
- Eligible adults over the age of 19
Applicants must also:
- Be willing to apply for the Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) program and enroll in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI) for all eligible care categories, and adhere to all requirements including fee caps
And, if applicable, they must be:
- In good standing with the Ministry of Education and Child Care (ECC) and their regional health authority
- In good standing with the Early Childhood Educator Registry
- In compliance with the RLNR requirements, as mandated by their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) Agency
- In good standing with the BC Corporate Registry
- If providing care in a rented residence, have a rental agreement that meets or exceeds the operational commitment period of three consecutive years
Ineligible applicants include those who:
- Have held a valid Community Care Facility Licence within the past 12 months
- Plan to create a licensed facility outside of their personal residence, or those with Occasional Child Care or Child Minding licence types
- Have previously received a Start-Up Grant
- Review the following:
- Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative webpage
- Talk to your regional health authority Community Care Licensing Office
- Review this webpage in its entirety
A licence under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulation is issued by health authorities under the Ministry of Health, and their issuance is not within the control or purview of the Ministry of Education and Child Care. The requirements for obtaining a licence may be different in each region and municipality and may be different for each applicant’s circumstances. Applicants are encouraged to contact their regional health authority licensing office prior to applying for a Start-Up Grant to ensure they are familiar with how licensing regulations will apply to them.
You must apply for the Start-Up Grant before becoming licensed.
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 and who have talked to their licensing office about their region’s licensing requirements are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure their applications are properly considered.
To apply, first review this entire webpage then complete the online form to submit your application online.
Please note: an application is not a guarantee of funding. If the application is incomplete or provides inconsistent or unsupported information, the review process may be delayed, or the application may be found ineligible. Funding is subject to availability.
Funding and requirement
The grant offers $500 up front to cover costs associated with becoming licensed. There is an additional $500 per child care space once a valid licence under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act has been issued and the organization is actively participating in CCOF and, where eligible, CCFRI. Applicants must comply with the CCOF and CCFRI program requirements, including any fee caps.
After applying for CCOF and opting in to CCFRI, recipients must submit a copy of their Community Care Facility Licence to the ministry to receive the additional payment up to $500 per space (as stated on the licence). The amount received is a flat rate based on the number of spaces created, not the amount spent to become licensed.
For example, a provider who obtains an In-Home Multi-Age licence for 8 spaces would receive a total of $4,500 (an initial payment of $500 plus an additional $500 per space after becoming licensed and upon reconciliation).
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
- Buying equipment for the child care facility
Please note: costs are eligible if the applicant receives their licence after their application approval date and meets the requirements below. Receipts will not need to be submitted.
All child care providers who receive funding through Start-Up Grants are required to:
- Provide a status update to the ministry six months after receiving funding
- Enroll in CCOF and opt into CCFRI if applicable
- Provide proof of licence within one year of the grant approval date
- Accept families eligible to receive ACCB
- Remain operational for three consecutive years from the date the Community Care Facility Licence is issued
- Maintain active enrolment in CCOF and, if applicable, the CCFRI for three consecutive years following the issue of a valid licence
The initial $500 payment and, if applicable, the final installment, must be returned to the ministry if the recipient does not meet and maintain the above requirements. Additionally, if a Recipient does not enroll, becomes ineligible, or withdraws from CCOF and/or the CCFRI prior to the three-year commitment period, the Recipient will be required to repay their initial and final Start Up Grant payment to the ministry. The Recipient will also be subject to any withdrawal penalties that apply under the terms of their CCOF Funding Agreement with the ministry, including repaying any CCFRI payments provided after the facility became ineligible to receive CCFRI by double the amount overpaid.
If there is a concern about the service provided by the Child Care Capital and Community Services Team, or about a funding decision, Recipients may contact Child Care Capital and Community Services at 1-888-338-6622 (option 5) and ask to speak with an Operations Supervisor or send an email to MCF.CCCF@gov.bc.ca with the following in the subject line: “Attention: Operations Supervisor.”