Social Development

Child-care subsidies increasing Oct. 1 (08/09/29)

NB 1410

Sept. 29, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Child-care subsidies will increase Wednesday, Oct. 1, for eligible New Brunswick parents whose children attend regulated child-care facilities. This is part of a new $800,000 investment in the Day Care Assistance Program.

"Our government is committed to improving the affordability of child care for working families," said Social Development Minister Mary Schryer. "Improving access to affordable and quality child care is a major component of our government's new early-learning and child-care strategy."

Subsidies are based on the child-care needs of the family and the family's income. The net annual income at which a family is eligible for a maximum subsidy is $22,000, while partial subsidies are available for eligible families with an annual net income up to $41,000.

The maximum subsidy rate will increase to $24.50 per day for children younger than two; $22.50 per day for children two and older; and $12 per day for after-school children.

"This means a family with a net annual income of $22,000 and two children in full-time preschool care will qualify for $12,420 in total assistance this year, an increase of $1,380 compared to last year," said Schryer.

The parents of an estimated 5,624 children already receive funding to offset child-care costs as part of the $12.2-million program.

The provincial government has released Be Ready for Success: A 10-year Early Childhood Strategy for New Brunswick, a new plan to guide future investments in early learning and child care. New investments totalling $5.7 million are being made as part of the 2008-09 Early Childhood Strategy Action Plan.

Copies of the strategy and action plan are available online, or by calling 506-453-2950.

08/09/29

EDITOR'S NOTE: A fact sheet on the Day Care Assistance Program follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Hagerman, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416.

Fact Sheet: Day Care Assistance Program

The Day Care Assistance Program is designed to help families obtain financially affordable, quality child care at a licensed child daycare facility.

Eligibility:

Families may be eligible for funding if they are working, attending school, or undergoing medical treatment. The net annual income at which a family is eligible for a maximum subsidy is $22,000, while partial subsidies are available for eligible families with a net income up to $41,000 annually.

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, the Canadian Child Tax Benefit and Federal Child Care Benefit are not considered income. The rate calculations are based on 23 days per month of use of the day care by eligible parents.

Examples of assistance:

Method of payment:

The daycare assistance is paid directly to the licensed 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 Social Development. This program is designed to help parents with their monthly daycare costs, and is not intended to cover the total cost.

How to apply:

Families should contact their local Department of Social Development office.

Alternative child-care program:

Financial assistance may also be available to low-income parents who are in school or who are working and who do not have access to licensed daycare. They may be eligible if there are no licensed daycare facilities in their community; or, if they require child care during evenings, nights and weekends when it is not available in a licensed child-care facility.

08/09/29