This month, families received great news and new support. Let me tell you about a critically important benefit available to you – and tens of thousands of other local families- the Universal Child Care Benefit. It is called “universal” because it is available to all Canadian families with children under the age of 18, regardless of income or the type of child care you choose.
Our Conservative Government understands the growing financial pressures that parents are facing- from the cost of child care, to piano lessons, to hockey practice. These costs add up quickly. That’s why I want to make sure that every eligible family in the riding is taking advantage of this financial support.
We first introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit, or the UCCB, in 2006. Prior to the recent changes, the UCCB provided $100 per month for each child under the age of six. This has now risen to $160 per month or almost $2,000 per year for each pre-schooler.
Now we have expanded the reach of this benefit to include children ages 6 through 17. Families will receive $60 per month for each child in this age group, which amounts to $720 per year.
The new benefit amounts take effect retroactive to January 1, 2015. Families that are eligible to receive these benefits received a retroactive payment this month for the difference between the old and the new benefit amounts. This direct financial support allows parents to choose the type of child care that works best for their family.
Our Government also wants to ensure that every family who is eligible for the enhanced UCCB receives the benefit. However, we estimate that over 250 SDSG families could miss out on the UCCB unless they apply. No one wants those benefits to go unclaimed.
The majority of families with children are known and will automatically receive the enhanced UCCB or be contacted by the Government to confirm their information. That’s why it’s imperative to get the message out to families who should be receiving this benefit, but could be missing out.
What should you do? If you are not receiving the UCCB, have never applied for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, and still have children under 18 in your care, you should contact my constituency office immediately at 1-888-805-2513 and we would be glad to help.
If you have kids under 18, you qualify. Period. After all, it is your money.