Some tips for those moving to Victoria BC
If you are from British Columbia, you will probably be aware of what follows. I'm sure there are local variations in childcare, but if you are from another state or country, you could find this information valuable.
In BC we have 4 categories of childcare available, which are as follows.
- These facilities are monitored and regularly inspected by regional health authorities. They must meet specific requirements for health and safety, staffing qualifications, record keeping, space and equipment, child-to-staff ratios, and programming.
Registered, license not required.
- These are unlicensed care providers. They must have registered with a Childcare Resource and Referral Centre. To register, operators must have completed:
- Criminal record checks (for everyone over age 12 living in the home)
- Character references
- A home safety assessment
- First aid training
- Childcare training courses or workshops
License not required.
- These childcare providers can operate legally in B.C. They are not registered or licensed and are not monitored or inspected. Unlicensed childcare providers do not have to meet health or safety standards.
- Legally, childcare providers can care for up to two children (or a sibling group) who are not related to them. They may be operating illegally if they have more than two children in their care.
- Parents and guardians are responsible for overseeing the care and safety of their children in these care arrangements.
In child’s home care.
- This unlicensed care is when parents arrange for childcare at home – like a nanny or a babysitter
- Children from other families cannot be included in this care. The care provider cannot be a relative who lives in the home.
- It is not legally required to monitor this care. No specific qualifications are required for the childcare provider. This means the childcare provider may lack formal childcare training or experience.
- Parents or guardians must decide how to screen and hire the childcare provider who becomes their employee. Under this arrangement, the employer needs to:
- Make regular payments to Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan
- Register the employment situation with Revenue Canada and WorkSafeBC
There are 2 areas here that I can talk about, first is the “ACCB affordable childcare benefit”
- Under this BC daycare subsidy, families with a household income under $111K can receive up to $1,250 per child per month. The amount you receive is based on your child’s age, family size, and type of care. Families apply for this benefit directly with the provincial government and must renew their application yearly.
The other subsidy is the “CCFRI childcare fee reduction initiative”.
- This provincially funded childcare subsidy program provides funds to eligible, licensed childcare providers to reduce childcare costs for families. Parents of children up to kindergarten age who use licensed childcare providers can save up to $900 per month per child.
- Parents do NOT need to apply to access this BC daycare subsidy. If your child is enrolled in a participating school, they will automatically get the discount starting in December 2022.
StrongStart BC is a free early learning program for all children aged 0 to 5. Children can only attend StrongStart with a parent or caregiver.
There are six centres here in Victoria, mostly at elementary schools. All you need to do is use the online registration form and then attend when it suits you.
If you are Canadian, you undoubtedly have your own opinions about how the country's healthcare system is doing.
Every nation has its own unique problems with its healthcare systems, but I thought I would give you a little overview of what is happening in British Columbia. Although the problems are common in all of Canada's provinces, BC does appear to be affected slightly more than the other provinces.
A survey done in 2022 by the Angus Reid Institute, showed that 39 percent of British Columbians have difficulty getting doctor appointments, and another 23 percent don't have a family doctor but would like one.
I'm no expert, but it seems like the main issue is that doctors aren't getting paid enough. Doctors who run their own practices have also expressed frustration with the amount of paperwork needed to receive payments, and at the end of the day, the profit margins aren't high enough to allow them to stay in business.
However, there have been some encouraging developments lately, and a new system will be implemented in February.
Family doctors in British Columbia are getting a raise under the province’s new compensation model. As of February 2023, a full-time family doctor will be paid on average $385,000 annually, up from the current $250,000.
The government hopes the move will attract new doctors and encourage those working in the province to stay in B.C.
Consider contacting Ainsley Gower a local Victoria Realtor for all your real estate needs.