Budgeting for child care takes
work. Plan ahead and think about your future child care expenses as far in
advance as possible. Keep in mind that it may take time to process applications
or that there may be a waiting list, especially if you are trying to qualify for
referral agencies or other
experts (such as some provincial or federal government agencies) can help you
research your options for child care financial aid. Some general
options may include:
Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Helps eligible families pay for child care. The program provides $100 a month for each child under the age of 6 years. For more information or to find out if you qualify for this program, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/menu-eng.html.
Provincial child care subsidies. Guidelines vary by
province, but generally low-income families who are working or in school may be
eligible for assistance.
Local programs. United Way, local
government, community groups, and faith-based organizations are all potential
sources of financial help.
Employer/university support. Some employers
and universities offer child care scholarships, child care discounts, or reduced
rates at on-site facilities.
Child care program assistance. Some
group child care providers offer scholarships, discounts, or pricing according
to your income.
Pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) programs. Many school
districts offer free or low-cost educational programs for 3- and
Aboriginal Head Start and Early Start programs. Federal and
province-funded programs may offer part-time or full-time free
child care and other services for families who meet federal poverty
Tax credits. You may be allowed provincial and federal tax
credits for child care expenses. Specific programs and amounts depend on your
household earnings, family size, and other factors.
Brainstorm ideas about ways you might be
able to reduce the number of hours of child care you need or about ways to pay
for it, such as:
Sharing a nanny with a neighbour or a
Pursuing a flexible schedule at work that allows you to
juggle child care and spend less. For example, you may ask if you can work 4
days a week for 10 hours and have an extra day off.
co-operatives. If you need only part-time child care, you may be able to work
some hours caring for other children at the same time as you care for your