About half of B.C.’s child care providers apply for reduced fees
The bumpy ride continues for British Columbia’s new program for reduced fees at licensed child care facilities.
A little over half of the eligible facilities have applied to access funding in order to reduce child care fees for parents.
As of Friday’s application deadline, extended three weeks from the original date, 1,570 providers registered to participate. According to Ministry of Children and Family Development of those registered, 1,100 have been approved representing 33,000 child care spaces.
Even though the deadline for April has passed, licensed child care providers can opt in or out in the future. One of the challenges faced is that some daycare facilities don’t want to participate because of limitations put on how often and how much they can raise fees.
“We’re processing applications as soon as possible and we’re wanting to make sure parents get the payment as soon as possible,” said Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen last week.
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The program is the first part of the NDP’s three-year, billion-dollar childcare plan to address accessibility and affordability. Providers are required to pass on the savings to parents once they agree to the contract with the province.
The program is designed to save parents up to $350 per month per space, depending on the age of the child and whether they are in licensed family or group daycare.
The province is waiting for more information from 429 providers, which represents 10,000 spaces. On top of that, almost 500 contracts still need to be reviewed.
Wanda Bratt was among the providers who handed in their contracts by the original deadline, but as of last week, she was having trouble getting any information out of the province.
“I tried to have it in by the first of the month because that was going to be the cut off to be able to get the money in a timely manner, so I submitted that paperwork and then I’ve just waited,” Bratt told Global News last week.
“I figured it would take them some time to get all of this sorted.”
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