Education and Early Childhood Development
December 5, 2014

Making Child Care More Affordable for Families

Families and Child Care Centres to Benefit from New Operating Grant Program

To help make child care more affordable for parents, the Provincial Government is launching a voluntary Operating Grant Program. Through a total investment of $9.7 million, an annual operating grant will be given to eligible licensed child care centres to help offset some of the costs associated with providing child care.

"Our vision for regulated child care in this province is built on three key pillars - quality, sufficiency and affordability. This new Operating Grant Program supports the affordability pillar of our plan and is designed to help make the cost of child care more affordable for families with young children. We committed to this in our 10-year child care strategy Caring For Our Future, which will help ensure that parents who choose regulated child care in Newfoundland and Labrador will be provided with quality, sufficient and affordable services."
- The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

The Operating Grant Program will require participating child care centres to lower their rates to the current Child Care Services Subsidy rates. The Provincial Government will, in turn, provide an annual operating grant ranging from $780 to $3,640 per space, depending on the age of the child. This will compensate centres for their lower rates. Parents of children at participating licensed child care centres will see their fees reduced to current daily subsidy rates of $44 per day for infants (birth to under 24 months), $33 per day for toddlers (24 to under 36 months), $30 per day for three to 12 years in full day care, and $14 per day for afterschool programs (up to 12 years of age). More information on eligibility requirements for the program can be found in the backgrounder below.

"By setting a rate structure in regulated child care centres for those centres participating in our voluntary Operating Grant Program and subsidizing families with lower incomes through our Child Care Services Subsidy program, combined with existing federal and provincial benefits, our government is helping to make child care affordable for more families. Quality, affordable child care is a component of the complete continuum of learning from infancy to high school, something that is a key focus of the new Department of Education and Early Childhood Development."
- Minister Sullivan

To enhance the quality, sufficiency and affordability of regulated child care services for families with young children, Budget 2014 allocated an additional investment of $11.4 million for child care, bringing the total budget to approximately $42.5 million. This funding will focus on continuing to implement the 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future. As of June 2014, there were 7,815 regulated child care spaces throughout the province, which is almost a 70 per cent increase since 2003.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Through a total investment of $9.7 million, the Provincial Government is launching a voluntary Operating Grant Program for eligible child care centres.
  • The Operating Grant Program will require participating child care centres to lower their rates for parents to the current Child Care Services Subsidy rates - $44 per day for infants (birth to under 24 months), $33 per day for toddlers (24 to under 36 months), $30 per day for three to 12 years in full day care, and $14 per day for afterschool programs (up to 12 years of age).
  • The annual operating grant will range from $780 to $3,640 per child care space, depending on the age of the child.
  • As of June 2014, there were 7,815 regulated child care spaces throughout the province, which is almost a 70 per cent increase since 2003.
  • For more information on the Operating Grant Program or for an application visit www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/family/childcare/operating.html

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Media contact:

Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-0048, 728-4104
jennifertulk@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Operating Grant Program Eligibility Requirements

What is the Operating Grant Program (OGP)?

The Operating Grant Program (OGP) is a key component of the Provincial Government's 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future. The implementation of this program will help improve the affordability of child care services for families with young children throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Who is eligible to apply?

All licensed child care centres are eligible to apply under the Operating Grant Program. Family Child Care homes are not included under the OGP.

How much are child care centres eligible to receive?

Centres are eligible to receive up to $14/day for each infant space, $8/day for each toddler and preschool space and $3/day for each after school program space.

What are the conditions of funding?

Centres accepting the grant will be required to set their fees at current Child Care Services Subsidy rates of $44/day for infants (birth to under 24 months), $33/day for toddlers (24 to under 36 months), $30/day for three to 12 years in full day care, and $14/day for afterschool programs (up to 12 years of age).

Centres will also be required to submit quarterly enrollment statistics to obtain payment; pay the centre's operator a minimum of $14 per hour and Early Childhood Educators a minimum of $12 per hour, not including the Early Learning and Child Care Supplement; and provide meals and snacks to all children enrolled.

When can interested centres apply?

The program is welcoming applications now. Applications are available online at www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/family/childcare/operating.html or from the nearest regional office of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

2014 12 05                              12:45 p.m.