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ChildCare Subsidy for Canadian Parents

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In this article, we’ll review what a childcare subsidy is and how it works. Figuring out how the child care subsidies work in your province isn’t always easy. The rules can be confusing and difficult to interpret. That’s why we’ve done our best to outline the child care subsidies available in some of the provinces throughout Canada. We discuss the child care fees for Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in the second part of the article.

What is a Childcare subsidy and how does it work?

A child care fee subsidy is a monthly amount available to families with children who need help with the cost of paying for licensed child care. The amount of subsidy you’re entitled to depend on your family’s income, the age of your children (usually your child has to be under 12 years of age), how many children you have, the number of days needed for care, the reason for care and the province in which you’re located.

For eligible families, the payments are usually sent directly to the licensed child care facility. The parents are then responsible for paying the difference between the child care costs and the subsidy amount. (If you transfer your child between child care centres or facilities, the subsidy will go with your child.)

A subsidy can really help when it comes to paying for child care, as child care costs don’t come cheap these days. You can expect to pay more for child care than you do for university tuition.


In Ontario, the cost of child care fee subsidies is shared between the provincial government, municipal governments and First Nations communities.

Is my family eligible?

Your family can apply for the child care subsidy in Ontario if your child is 12 years of age or under (18 years of age or younger if your child is disabled). To be eligible for the subsidy, your child has to attend a licensed child care program, children’s recreation program, camp or before and after school program run by the school board.

What are the income requirements?

The amount you’ll pay for child care depends on your family’s income; more specifically your family’s adjusted net income. You can calculate that figure by taking your net income found on line 236 of your income tax return. You then subtract any federal Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payments you’re receiving.

How do you apply?

In Ontario, the Ministry of Education gives funding for child care fee subsidies. You can apply online with the Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs)/District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) or the Local band office administrator (if you’re First Nations).


Is my family eligible?

For your family to be eligible for the child care subsidy program in Saskatchewan, you have to be the parent or guardian of a child 12 years of age or under, use a child care facility licensed by the government, be a Saskatchewan resident and have a legit reason for child care (i.e. you’re employed, going back to school or you have special health needs).

What are the income requirements?

The province of Saskatchewan uses a sliding scale to calculate the subsidy rates your family is entitled to based on your family’s income.

Child care subsidies are directly paid to the child care centres or family child care homes in Saskatchewan. The parents then have to pay the difference between the child care fees due and the subsidy amount.

How do you apply?

You start the child care subsidy application process by downloading the application form or picking one up from a child care subsidy office. For assistance filling it out, you can refer to the Completing an Application and Reporting Updates to Child Care Subsidy guide.

British Columbia (B.C.)

Is my family eligible?

To be eligible for child care subsidies in B.C. you must be a parent or guardian of a child in B.C. and a resident of B.C. You must also be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, refugee or a person in need of protection.

The majority of family child care services and programs are eligible for the child care subsidy. However, if a family member lives with you and provides child care, you won’t be eligible for the subsidy.

You must have a legit reason for child care. That includes employment, going back to school, looking for work and having a medical condition that makes child care difficult.

What are the income requirements?

The amount you receive under the child care subsidy is based on a formula. The B.C. government looks at your total family income, tax deductions and adjustments. (You may be asked to provide a copy of your personal notice of assessment.)

Generally speaking, if your total family income is $111,000 or less you may qualify for the childcare subsidy. Even if you earn more than $111,000, your family may still qualify, so it’s still worth applying.

How do you apply?

You can apply on the government of B.C.’s website for the child care subsidy.


Do you need help figuring out the childcare subsidy regulations in your province? Call us today. What about your consumer debt? Contact us for a free debt consultation or use one of our relevant calculators.

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