1. Will the free daycare for low income New Brunswickers offer a family with income of $37,501 a disincentive to work?
In order to be eligible for the new subsidy, parents must be working or studying. The sliding scale for the new subsidy begins at the Market Fee Threshold for families with an annual family income of $37, 501.
The maximum daily subsidy for this family is $35 for an infant (or $33 per day for a preschool age child, 2 to 5 year olds). If this particular family attends a designated center with daily fees below $35, their cost of care will be free. However, if a family choses a designated center whose daily fees are above the $35, they will be required to pay the difference.
2. If my family’s annual income is greater than $37,500 will there be any financial support for to help pay for child care?
Yes. More details will be made available next week on additional financial support for families with an annual income greater than $37, 500. However, you may be available for additional support now through the Daycare Assistance Program.
3. How does the Day Care Assistance program work? Who does it benefit?
The Day Care Assistance Program provides financial assistance to low-income families to support access to affordable, quality child care at a licensed early learning and childcare facility. Parents must apply for the Day Care Assistance Program and payments are made directly to the licensed early learning and childcare facility.
Eligibility is determined by the family’s need for childcare and their total net income.
The parents and/or guardians must be working, attending school or a training program, undergoing medical treatments, or have a referral from a recognized referral source for their child to attend a licensed early learning and childcare facility
Families with annual net income of $30,000 or less are eligible to receive a full-subsidy; while families with annual net incomes over $30,000 to a maximum of $55,000 are eligible for partial subsidy, with the subsidy level declining as income level increases.
The maximum daily subsidy rates are $28.50 per full time day for infants aged 0-23 months, $24.25 per full time day for children aged 24 months-12 years old and $12.75 per day for after school care. The parent/guardian is responsible for paying the difference between the approved subsidy amount and the rates charged by the facility.
4. You committed to doubling this program by January 1, 2018. Did you?
Yes. The budget was doubled in 2017-2018.
5. How does it complement the free daycare announcement?
As previously announced, New Brunswick Early Learning Centres will offer services to preschool children aged 5 and under through a voluntary application process.
The Market Fee Threshold will regulate and stabilize the fees charged to parents to ensure greater consistency across the province.
The Day Care Assistance Program will continue to be available for families who do not enroll their children in a designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centre.
The eligibility criteria, income thresholds and daily rates will not change.
Families with children between the ages of infants to 12 years attending a licensed early learning and childcare facility are eligible.
Families with annual net income of $30,000 or less are eligible to receive a full-subsidy; while families with annual net incomes over $30,000 to a maximum of $55,000 are eligible for partial subsidy, with the subsidy level declining as income level increases. Families with an annual net income between $30,000 and $55,000 are eligible calculated on a sliding scale.
6. Is there a cap on the number of children a family can have in order to receive free daycare?
There are no limits based on the number of children per family. Income, age of children and being enrolled in designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres are the determining factors.
7. Isn’t a family with two kids with an income of 37,499 now significantly better off than a family with two kids with an income of 37,501?
Any family with an annual income of $37,501 will be eligible for $35 per day for infants. This means that if a parent chooses a daycare that has daily fees less than $35 per day, then this family also receives full subsidy for their daycare fees (in essence also free child care). However, if this same family chooses a daycare whose daily fees are $45 per day then this family will be required to pay the balance of $10 per day.
8. When will families and parents be able to access the funding?
The funding will be available when the designated NB Early Learning Centres are up and running. The first ones (SJ and Edmundston) will be in place by March 2018 and all will be in place province-wide by March 2019.
9. How will the funding be dispersed? Will it be paid directly to the parents or paid to the daycare operators?
Parents will apply for the subsidy. Funds will be distributed to the operators by government on behalf of the parents.
10. Is the rate per day per child standardized?
The Market Fee Threshold regulates and stabilizes the rates charged to parents by operators to bring consistency across the province.
11. Is the rate per day per child dictated to the childcare providers?
The daily fees charged by facilities are framed within the low fee policy – Market Fee Threshold. The Market Fee Threshold is the framework for the new parent subsidy sliding scale. Here is the fact sheet link on the Market Fee Threshold.
12. If the provider’s actual rate per day per child is in excess of the rate covered under the program, is the family responsible for paying the difference?
13. If the rate per day per child is not standardized, what is stopping providers from artificially increasing rates for children known to receive government subsidy.
In order to become a designated NB Early Learning Centre, a facility must commit to the low fee policy, in essence, the Market Fee Threshold which regulates and stabilizes the fees charged to parents to ensure greater consistency across the province.
14. If the rate per day per child is standardized, what happens if the provider decides (by way of inflationary pressure or service level increases) that the government rate is no longer sufficient? Do government subsidized children get kicked out?
In order to become a designated NB ELC, a facility must commit to the low fee policy, in essence, the Market Fee Threshold which regulates and stabilizes the fees charged to parents. The Market Fee Threshold Fact Sheet provides the policy for rate increases. Facilities have an opportunity to increase their rates at their annual licensing renewal as per the Market Fee Threshold – low fee policy.
15. What measures are in place to handle the resulting increase in demand of child care spaces?
EECD is monitoring the increases in spaces and its impact on budget and human resources for licensing and monitoring of daycares.
16. Has any form of demand analysis been performed? What if a surge in demand from low-income families increases system-wide prices such that any subsidies offered to the middle class are essentially cancelled out?
The low fee policy – Market Fee Threshold is in place to moderate the fee increases charged to parents. The Market Fee Threshold is directly connected to the parent subsidy sliding scale. This means that if government approves increases to the Market Fee Threshold, it will also consider the impact on the parent subsidy. This measure was taken into consideration and is part of the financial model.
17. If a single parent has seasonal work, does the child qualify for daycare when the parent works, but must be removed from daycare when the parent is on EI?
Yes, parents qualify for the subsidy while they are working if they meet the income testing criteria. Once a parent is on EI, the subsidy ceases as the parent is likely home with their child.
18. Are spousal support payments included in family income?
Yes, any revenue that is considered income by the Canada Revenue Agency will be considered in the assessment of income.
19. How many people with declared dependants receive NB student aid?
Based on current year to date, there are 1,700 students on student financial assistance with dependants. Of these, 550 are eligible for the Free Tuition Program and 150 are eligible for Tuition Relief for the Middle Class.