Child Care Subsidy program

collage of people working on a project

Service design challenge

The Child Care Subsidy program supports low-income families in communities across B.C. with the cost of child care. Research by the Ministry of Children and Family Development showed that parents faced challenges in regards to the Child Care Subsidy process, including understanding eligibility requirements, the application process, assistance with understanding and completing forms, as well as the involvement of Child Care Resource Referral Centres in completing subsidy forms.

The ministry needed to better understand the experience of parents, child care providers and other stakeholders in applying for and accessing child care subsidies in order to streamline and improve the process.

Service design activities

The ministry collaborated with the Service Design and Transformation Branch to look at improvements to child care subsidy application forms, the subsidy process and improved subsidy information sharing with parents and child care service providers. The project team conducted in-person user interviews with parents, child care providers, advocates to identify challenges and opportunities for improvements. By looking at the full child care subsidy process, the project team was able to develop a journey map that brought together all aspects of the program’s service delivery.

The project team then prototyped and tested changes to the paper application form with users and identified research requirements and recommendations for a future online application process.

Outcome and impact 

The project team’s research highlighted opportunities to improve the paper application form and online resources for parents, as well as the foundation for the development of an online application process.