Aug. 25, 2004
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Beginning on Sept. 1, more New Brunswick parents will be eligible for funding under the Day Care Assistance Program to access affordable and quality child care.
The provincial government reminds parents that significant enhancements have been made to the Day Care Assistance Program. First, the family income threshold for a full day care subsidy has been raised from $15,000 to $22,000 yearly net family income. The government also increased the subsidy rate to $22 per day for children under the age of two, $20 per day for children over the age of two; and $10.75 per day for after-school children. All these changes come into effect on Sept. 1, 2004.
"We believe these enhancements will lighten the financial load for numerous working families," Premier Bernard Lord said. "These changes may represent hundreds of dollars more in assistance per month for eligible parents."
The Day Care Assistance Program is part of the New Brunswick's investments under the Early Learning and Child Care agreement. Of the $8 million dedicated to this program, $6.3 million comes from the provincial government and $1.7 million from the federal government. There are 382 licensed day care facilities in New Brunswick offering close to 12,000 spaces.
"Up to now, 1,700 families have benefited from the Day Care Assistance Program for licensed day care facilities," Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens said. "With these changes, we expect to double this number within four years."
EDITOR'S NOTE: A fact sheet on the Day Care Assistance Program follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-444-3684.
Fact Sheet - Day Care Assistance Program
The Day Care Assistance Program is a program designed to help families access financially affordable, quality child care at a licensed child day care facility.
Families may be eligible for funding if they are working, attending school or undergoing medical treatment.
Level of assistance
The calculation of eligibility is based on the family's monthly net income which means the total income after income tax, employment insurance, Canada Pension Plan, and other mandatory deductions. The GST/HST Credit and the Canadian Child Tax Benefit are not considered income. The rate calculations are based on 23 days of services per month.
Examples of assistance
As of Sept. 1, 2004 a family with two preschoolers and a net income of $2,500 per month will be eligible for $552 per month if they access an approved childcare facility.
A single parent with one child under the age of two years and a net income of $1,900 a month will be eligible for $480.70 a month toward their licensed child care costs.
Method of payment
The day care assistance is paid directly to the child care provider. Families are responsible for paying any difference between the actual cost of their child care and the subsidy amount approved by the Department of Family and Community Services. This program is designed to help parents with their monthly day care costs and is not intended to cover the total cost.
How to apply
Families may contact their local Family and Community Services Office.
Alternative Child Care Program
Financial assistance may also be available to low-income parents who are in school or who are working and do not have access to licensed day care. They may be eligible if they require child care during evenings, nights and weekends or if there are no licensed day care centers in their community.