Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

July 20, 2009 11:00 ET

Universal Child Care Benefit has Helped Millions of Canadian Children Since 2006

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - July 20, 2009) - More than two million Canadian children a year benefit from the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) which was launched in July 2006. This marks the third year that the Government of Canada has been providing choice in child care through the UCCB.

Today, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St.James-Assiniboia and Minister of State (Democratic Reform), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, was joined by local families, educators and children at The West Portage YMCA-YWCA in Winnipeg to celebrate the third anniversary of the UCCB and other Government of Canada measures that support families and children.

"Federal investments in early learning and child care are at the highest level in Canadian history," said Fletcher. "Through previous investments, including the UCCB and new measures introduced through the Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is more committed than ever to supporting families and children."

"Support for our children and families by the Government of Canada is critical to the success and well-being of all children in Canada," said David Young, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg.

The UCCB provides families with $100 a month for every child under the age of six. Since the launch of the UCCB three years ago, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $7.5 billion in direct funding to parents through the benefit. Currently, 1.5 million families receive the UCCB.

The UCCB is the first part of Canada's Universal Child Care Plan, which helps families balance work and home responsibilities. The second part, introduced in Budget 2007, is the provision of an additional $250 million per year to the provinces and territories to create new child care spaces. In addition, a 25-percent investment tax credit is available for businesses that create new child care spaces in the workplace.

Since 2007, many provinces and territories have announced plans for new child care spaces-over 60,000 so far. Others are investing in enhancing the quality of their spaces, or making child care more affordable. The additional $250 million is on top of $850 million that the provinces and territories already receive through the Canada Social Transfer for children's programs and services, for a total of $1.13 billion this year alone.

For more information and to subscribe to the Universal Child Care Plan electronic newsletter, please visit www.universalchildcare.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.


BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada supports child care choices of Canadian families

The federal government is committed to helping parents balance work and family life by providing them with real choices when deciding what is best for their children. That is why federal support to families with children is being provided through transfers to the provinces and territories, direct spending and tax measures for families.

Helping families has been a key priority for this Government since 2006. That is why we have the Universal Child Care Plan, which includes the monthly Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), as well as financial support for the creation of child care spaces.

The UCCB, introduced in 2006, provides $100 per month to families for each child under the age of six. Since its inception, the UCCB has helped two million children through a total investment of about $2.5 billion annually.

Payments are made directly to parents, who can then choose the child care option that best suits their needs.

Some parents might use the benefit to pay for child care fees. A parent who stays at home may use the benefit for a preschool program or occasional care by a friend or neighbour. The UCCB may also be used to purchase learning materials. Parents may even wish to deposit all or part of the Benefit in a Registered Education Savings Plan.

In addition to the UCCB, the Government of Canada supports families with children through the Canada Child Tax Benefit (which includes the National Child Benefit Supplement), the Child Care Expense Deduction, and the Child Tax Credit announced in Budget 2007 that provides families with maximum tax savings of over $300 per year for each child under the age of 18.

In Canada's Economic Action Plan, as of July 1, 2009, we raised the income level at which the National Child Benefit Supplement for low-income families and the Canada Child Tax Benefit start to be reduced, providing a benefit of up to $436 for a low-income family with two children and up to $76 for a middle-income family with two children.

The federal government is also investing in the creation of new child care spaces. A 25-percent investment tax credit for child care spaces is available to businesses that create new child care spaces for their employees, to a maximum of $10,000 per space created.

The federal government also provides an additional $250 million per year to the provinces and territories to help support the creation of tens of thousands of new child care spaces across the country.

This is in addition to existing funding for early childhood development and early learning and child care transferred to the provinces and territories through the Canada Social Transfer ($850 million this year, growing by three percent annually beginning in 2009-2010), which has been extended to 2013-2014.

All told, the Government of Canada is providing $5.9 billion in 2009-2010 in support of early childhood development and child care through transfers to the provinces and territories, direct spending and tax measures for families, including:

- $1.13 billion to the provinces and territories in support of early childhood development and child care, which will increase to almost $1.3 billion by 2013-2014;

- about $2.5 billion through monthly payments to parents for every child under the age of six through the Universal Child Care Benefit;

- $750 million in recognition of child care expenses through the Child Care Expense Deduction; and

- about $1.5 billion per year in tax support for families with children through the Child Tax Credit.

For more information on the Universal Child Care Plan, please visit http://www.universalchildcare.ca/en/home.shtml.




UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE BENEFIT (UCCB) BY THE NUMBERS
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Number of months the UCCB has gone out to 36
Canada's families:
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Next UCCB payment: July 20, 2009
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Amount of money per family per month: $100 per month per child
under the age of six
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Amount of money per family per year: up to $1,200 a year for
each child under the age
of six
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Amount of UCCB sent out each month: $208 million
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Amount of UCCB sent out each year: approximately $2.5 billion
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Number of families receiving the Benefit: 1.5 million
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Number of children benefiting from two million
the UCCB:
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Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559