Archived - National Child Benefit: Programs

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Description of Reinvestments

Increases in the federal NCB contribution have allowed provinces and territories and First Nations to reduce the direct cost of social assistance payments to families with children. These provincial/territorial/First Nations “savings” can be re-directed to programs and services that benefit low-income families with children in their jurisdictions. This means benefits to social assistance families can be maintained at the same level as before and provincial/territorial/First Nations funds can be directed instead to “NCB reinvestments” to improve the lives of children.

Provinces and territories and First Nations reinvested and invested a total of $833.6 million in 2006-2007 in programs and services in five main areas:

  • Child benefits and earned income supplements – to provide low-income families with more money so parents can stay in jobs working toward higher wages.
  • Child/day care initiatives – to help low–income families cover extra child care costs incurred when working.
  • Early childhood services and children–at–risk services – to help children get a healthy start in life by providing support to low–income families when their children are very young.
  • Supplementary health benefits – so that families can keep important health benefits when they move from welfare to work.
  • Other NCB initiatives – other programs and services as determined by individual provinces and territories.

NCB Programming in First Nations

The federal government aims to ensure that supports and services for First Nations children on-reserve are comparable to those available to other Canadian children.

In regards to the financial benefits component of the NCB, families with children in First Nations receive the federal Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) from the Canada Revenue Agency under the same eligibility conditions that apply to families in other areas of the country. In some provinces/territories INAC has also provided investment funding that complements additional provincial/territorial investments under the NCB.

In regards to the reinvestment component of the NCB, INAC’s National Child Benefit Reinvestment (NCBR) was developed in collaboration with First Nations as the on-reserve counterpart to provincial and territorial initiatives. In provinces/territories that have chosen to recover the NCBS for reinvestment, First Nations bands and organizations on-reserve are also able to access NCBR funding through INAC. The NCBR programming implemented by First Nations communities and organizations is varied and covers a wide range of supports and services, which fall under one or more of five broad activity areas:

  • Child/Day Care – to cover the costs of developing new or enhancing existing day care programs, to provide child care spaces which will allow families with low incomes to access day care or have their child care costs reduced.
  • Child Nutrition – to support projects such as school meal programs and workshops for parents/guardians on family nutrition and meal preparation, to improve the health and well-being of low-income children.
  • Supports for Parents – for projects such as parenting skills classes, parent-child support classes and drop-in centres to provide early intervention for parents/guardians to help their children get a healthy start in life.
  • Home-to-Work Transition – to provide training and other employment-related supports in order to assist parents/ guardians to become and/or remain attached to the workforce.
  • Community Enrichment – for projects that teach traditional culture and bring together elders, low-income families, children and youth.

In 2007-2008 INAC investments and reinvestments totalled $57.2 million, and are estimated to be $52.2 million for 2008-2009.

Further information about First Nations and the NCB can be found by visiting the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada NCB website.

NCB Provincial Programs


Read more about the Alberta National Child Benefit program

Alberta's investments and reinvestments under the NCB demonstrate the province's commitment to helping low-income families and children. Alberta currently reinvests more than $35 million in programs consistent with the goals of the NCB. This amount has grown from $6.2 million during 1998-99, to $22 million during 1999-2000, and more than $31 million in 2000-01.

Alberta's NCB initiatives complement existing programs and services for low-income families with children, and include:

The Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB):

This initiative provides premium-free prescription drugs, optical and dental services, emergency ambulance transportation and essential diabetic supplies to children in low-income families. The ACHB addresses a significant barrier faced by low-income parents: providing health coverage for their children while they get and keep a job.

Since being introduced in August 1998, the program has been expanded three times with NCB reinvestment funds:

Other NCB Reinvestments

In November 2001, NCB reinvestment funds were used to change Alberta's Supports for Independence program to further encourage parents to find and keep a job. Earnings exemptions for working parents and their dependants were increased, and a yearly Employment Maintenance Benefit was established.

Beginning in September 2000, NCB reinvestment funding was used to increase allowances for school-aged children whose parents receive assistance.

The allowances offset registration fees, school and gym supplies, and other education-related costs.

In February 1999, NCB reinvestment funding was used to increase shelter benefits for families on assistance. Shelter allowance increases ranged from $33 to $41 monthly per family.

For information on other Alberta programs to support low- and moderate-income families, visit the Alberta Human Resources and Employment Web site.

Contact us:
Alberta Human Resources and Employment

NCB Reinvestments by Alberta Children's Services

The Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution initiative has received $600,000 in NCB reinvestment funds each year. From February 1999 through the summer of 2000, there were 327 protective safe house apprehensions to temporarily protect vulnerable youth from sexual exploitation.

Alberta has also used NCB reinvestment funds to expand the province's day care subsidy program, which helps working parents remain in the labour market. NCB funding allowed Alberta to raise the net income qualification levels for the child care subsidy, thereby assisting an additional 11,600 children in 1999-2000.

Also beginning in 2000-01, Alberta is reinvesting approximately $1.3 million in transitional supports for youth making the transition from the Child Welfare program to independent living, including the transition to employment, continued learning and adult social responsibilities. Approximately 1,350 youth will benefit from this new program.

British Columbia

Read more about the British Columbia National Child Benefit program

B.C. has been a leader in the fight to reduce child poverty and is a proud partner in the National Child Benefit.

The BC Family Bonus: B.C.'s pioneering BC Family Bonus program, launched in 1996, was a model for the National Child Benefit. About 430,000 children in low- and moderate-income families receive this monthly benefit.

BC Earned Income Benefit: This tax-free monthly benefit helps low and moderate-income working families find jobs and keep them.

Supported Child Care: Extra support to children with special needs so they can take part in everyday activities in a community child care setting.

Social Housing: B.C. is one of only two provinces in Canada to support the development of social housing for low-income families.

For information on other British Columbia programs to support low- and moderate-income families, visit the Government of British Columbia web site.


Read more about the Manitoba National Child Benefit program

The Province of Manitoba, through the National Child Benefit, Early Childhood Development Initiative and provincial support, has developed a continuum of programs and services for children and families including:

Healthy Child Manitoba - Government and communities working together for children

  • Healthy Baby - Assists income-eligible pregnant women to meet their extra nutritional needs and provides community-based support services.
  • BabyFirst - Provides a three-year home visiting program for newborns and their families.
  • Parent-Child Centred Approach - Brings resources together through community coalitions across the province to support parenting, improve children's nutrition and literacy, and build capacity for helping families in their own communities.
  • STOP FAS - Three-year mentoring program for women at risk of having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effects (FAS/FAE).
  • Early Start - Enhances children's readiness to learn prior to school entry through a three-year home-visiting program for families with children with special social needs currently attending licensed child care.
  • Health Educators (Nurses in Schools) - Bridges health and education to improve the wellness of children and families.
  • Adolescent Development - Supports healthy adolescent development, including initiatives for adolescent pregnancy prevention.

Contact us: For more information about Healthy Child Manitoba programs, you can call 1-888-848-0140 (toll-free).

Manitoba Family Services and Housing

  • Child Day Care - Since April 2000, funding for Manitoba's child care program has increased by over 27 per cent, improving salaries for early childhood educators and providing additional subsidies for children. Increased funding has also been provided to integrate more children with disabilities into the child care system, and to expand the number of licensed child care spaces.
  • Building Independence - Manitoba has increased supports for parents on income assistance to enter or re-enter the labour market and has increased basic income assistance rates for young children and allowances for school supplies. Job centre supports and work incentives have also been enhanced.
  • Children's Special Services - Community-based services are provided to an increased number of families to support children with a mental and/or physical disability in their own homes.

Manitoba Education, Training and Youth

  • Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) - Assists to facilitate preschoolers' readiness to learn prior to school entry.
  • Early Literacy - Accelerates literacy development of the lowest-achieving students in Grade 1.
  • Workforce Attachment - Provides low-income parents with training and employment services to help them find and keep a job. More information is available in the Manitoba Human Services Guide.

Contact us: For more information about these programs, contact Manitoba Family Services and Housing, Policy and Planning Branch at 1-204-945-4138 (collect calls will be accepted), or consult the Manitoba Human Services Guide.

New Brunswick

Read more about the New Brunswick National Child Benefit program

New Brunswick invests over $7M annually in initiatives that support the goals of the NCB. These include:

Day Care Assistance Program

  • Increased subsidy rates and increased number of subsidies available.
    Alternative Child Care Program (PDF Format - 135.47 KB) provides a day care subsidy to families who are not eligible for basic financial assistance and who do not have reasonable access to licensed child care facilities.
  • Healthy Minds Nutritional Partnership
    During the 1999-2000 school year, the New Brunswick government piloted a Healthy Minds breakfast program in two school districts as one of the province's NCB initiatives.

The pilot attempted to address the nutritional needs of students from kindergarten to grade 5 in a non-stigmatizing way. More than 2,000 children had access to breakfast foods on an as-needed basis. Participating school received a per student subsidy, assuming that 20% of students would participate. In addition, schools received $500 to assist with program-related costs and further funding for equipment.

The evaluation of the pilot was extremely positive. One of the key findings was that schools wanted more flexibility and autonomy in their delivery of a school nutrition program. In response, the New Brunswick government allowed districts to determine the extent of the program they offer (e.g., emergency cupboard, breakfast, snack or lunch) when it expanded the program to all areas of the province during the 2000-01 school year. Renamed the Healthy Minds Nutritional Partnership, the program will benefit up to 7,276 students across the province.

Provincial Breastfeeding Strategy (PDF Format - 174 KB) - support for the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding in the province.

Youth Addictions- enhanced funding for the Youth Addictions Services Program through the provision of education, prevention and chemical dependency treatment for approximately 275 children and youth aged 12 to 19.

Positive Learning Environment - new funding to address the unmet needs of children in a holistic manner to help them function in the school environment.

In addition to these NCB investments, New Brunswick has allocated $11.5 million each year for child and youth programming and invested $20 million annually in the New Brunswick Child Tax Benefit and New Brunswick Working Income Supplement for low-income families with children.

Visit the New Brunswick Department of Family and Community Services Website to learn more about New Brunswick and the NCB.

Contact us:
Family and Community Services
Policy and Federal/Provincial Relations
520 King Street
Fredericton, NB
E3B 6G3
(506) 453-3259

Newfoundland and Labrador

Read more about the Newfoundland and Labrador National Child Benefit program

Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to the health and well-being of children and families.

Through the National Child Benefit reinvestment initiatives, the province invests and reinvests approximately $19 million annually in initiatives that help reduce child poverty and help families make the transition to work.

Here's how Newfoundland and Labrador is investing in children and families this year. For more information on the initiatives described please click on the appropriate link.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit (NLCB)

In 1999, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador redesigned its Income Support Program with the introduction of the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit. The NLCB is a tax free benefit that is combined with the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) into a single monthly payment. The benefit is designed to help low-income families with the cost of raising children. Since its inception in 1999 the NLCB provides benefits to approximately 22,000 families a year.

The Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement

In Dec. 2001, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador replaced the Mother Baby Food Allowance, which was only available to families and individuals in receipt of social assistance, with the new Mother Baby Nutrition Supplement. The new supplement is a benefit of $45 per month to low-income pregnant women or families with children under the age of one year with net income less than $21,744 annually. This income level matches the maximum income parameter of the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit. Pregnant women will automatically continue to receive the same amount from the Department of Human Resources and Employment. Families with children under one will be paid the supplement with their monthly Canada Child Tax Benefit.

Family Resource Centres

Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes that raising children is a full-time job and sometimes parents need additional support. Our family resource centres offer a broad range of these supports that ensure our children get a healthy start in life. The Family Resource Centres provide services to children up to the age of six along with their families.

Child Care Allowances

In 1998 the province increased the rates for private child care for families in receipt of income support, who require private child care to assist with finding and maintaining employment and training.

Drug Card Benefits

Historically, one of the main disincentives for families when leaving income support was the loss of health benefits. For this reason, the province decided to extend drug card benefits for six months to help families leave income support due to employment. This initiative has been applauded for offering additional support for parents leaving the system.

Support Services for Youth

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador also recognizes that our youth are the key to a healthy and productive future. With this in mind, community youth networks have been established across the province for youth aged 12-18. The networks, which depend on the important partnerships created among various sectors in our communities, provide support along four business lines: learning, employment/career development, community building and support services. The province also supports and subsidizes community programs that promote mental health for youth.

Child Care Services

Ensuring our children have the best in care is also a priority of the province. A child that has a healthy and productive early life is more likely to have an equally positive adult life. For this reason the province offers additional child care support to promote quality services for children.

Early Intervention for Children With Disabilities

The province is also a leader in developing programs and supports that are designed for families of children with special needs. The development of children who face particular challenges such as autism and other developmental health issues is very important to the overall health of the family and the community. All children and families deserve equal inclusion in community life. For this reason the province is very proud of its ground breaking initiative such as this pilot project to help children with autism.

For more information about how Newfoundland and Labrador is investing in families and children and its investments under the National Child Benefit visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's web site.

Contact us:

Northwest Territories

Read more about the Northwest Territories National Child Benefit program

The Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) continues to reinvest funds arising from the National Child Benefit in the NorthWest Territories Child Benefit (NWTCB), which includes the Territorial Workers' Supplement. In order to reduce duplication and streamline efficiency, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency delivers the NWTCB for the NWT as an integrated payment with federal child benefits.

While the reinvestment arising from the 1998-99 National Child Benefit continues to fund the NWTCB, the 1999 and subsequent increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement are directed to the Healthy Children Initiative.

It is estimated that 4,400 children in almost 3,000 families receive the NorthWest Territories Child Benefit (NWTCB) every month. This cash benefit provides a maximum of $330 per child per year for families with income of $20,921 or less in the previous year.

The Territorial Workers' Supplement provides families that have at least $3,750 in working income the previous year, with maximum benefits of $275 for the first child and $75 for the second; the actual benefit is based on income.

The Healthy Children Initiative, administered by the Early Childhood and School Services division of the Department of Education Culture and Employment, has been offered since 1997. The program is recognized as playing a major role in communities, by providing programs for children 0-6 years of age and their families. Funding based on written proposals is provided to community groups to plan and deliver programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of that community. The incremental funding provided by the increases to the National Child Benefit allows for more program development and delivery to address developmental needs of young children and their families. This funding will continue to support programs such as the Growing Together Pre-Postnatal Program in Hay River, the Yellowknife Women's Center Family Support Program and the Childcare Support worker in Tuktoyaktuk.

The Departments of Health and Social Services and Education, Culture and Employment have drafted an Early Childhood Development Framework for Action. Stakeholders have been consulted, and the Early Childhood Development Action Plan for the delivery of programs and services for children in the early years is due to be released in the summer of 2001.

More information on the Income Support Programs of the Department of Education, Culture & Employment, Government of the NWT may be obtained from the website.

Contact us: 
Linda Ecklund
Manager, Income Support Programs
Income Support Division
Department of Education, Culture & Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Phone 867-873-7746
Fax 867-873-0443

Nova Scotia

Read more about the Nova Scotia National Child Benefit program

The Nova Scotia Child Benefit (NSCB) is an income support program for low-income families with children. It is provided to all low-income parents, including those in receipt of assistance, with an annual income below $20,921. Families with incomes up to $15,999 are eligible for maximum benefits. Families with annual incomes between $16,000 and $20,921 are eligible to receive partial benefits.

On July 20, 2001, the NSCB was increased and combined with the NCB supplement to establish a standard benefit of $1700 annually for children of families who receive maximum payments through the NSCB. All children in low-income families, whether on social assistance, or in working families with incomes below $20,921, receive combined children's benefits.

Approximately 35,000 low-income families will be eligible to receive the Nova Scotia Child Benefit. Of these families, 15,000 are in receipt of social assistance and the remainder are low-income, working families.

The combined standard benefit will replace children's personal allowances in social assistance budgets effective August 1, 2001.

The Nova Scotia Child Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement have been, and now will be even more effective in addressing child poverty in Nova Scotia. Providing equal benefits on behalf of children of all low-income families, whether their parents are working or receiving social assistance, means that more low-income working families can remain in the work force without needing to turn to social assistance and more families receiving social assistance can make the transition to work.

For more information visit our Nova Scotia Child Benefit web site.

Contact us:


Read more about the Nunavut National Child Benefit program

As Canada's youngest territory, Nunavut is pleased to be a partner in the National Child Benefit (NCB) initiative.

Nunavut is reinvesting funds made available through the NCB to enhance benefits and to provide a range of services and programs to help low- and moderate-income families and their children.

The two primary areas funded through Nunavut NCB initiatives are the Nunavut Child Benefit/Territorial Workers' Supplement and the Healthy Children Initiative.

The Nunavut Child Benefit (NUCB) is a tax-free payment given to qualifying families with children under age 18 living at home. There is no need to apply separately for the NUCB. Benefits are combined with the Canada Child Tax Benefit into a single monthly payment. Under the NUCB, families may be entitled to receive a basic benefit of $27.50 per month for each child. Families who have earned income of more than $3,750 may also get the Territorial Workers' Supplement of up to $22.91 per month for one child, and up to $29.16 per month for two or more children. Families with net income above $20,921 may receive part of the benefit. For more information on the NUCB, call toll-free at 1-800-387-1193.

Healthy Children Initiative focuses on the healthy development of children up to age six through the improvement or expansion of community-based programs and services for young children and their families. Over 2,000 Nunavut families are helped through these initiatives annually.

Nunavut will be continuing with these initiatives for 2001-02. In the coming year, Nunavut will be examining the development of other specific initiatives under the National Child Benefit that will reflect the needs of Nunavut families and communities.

Contact us: or call us at 1-867-975-5680


Read more about the Ontario National Child Benefit program

Ontario knows that solutions to the problem of child poverty have to focus on building a strong economy focusing on job creation and making sure people have the supports they need to improve their situation. In Ontario, the provincial government and municipal governments have made significant investments in NCB initiatives. Because social assistance is cost-shared between the province (80%) and municipalities (20%), each has a role to play in Ontario's reinvestment strategy.

Provincial Reinvestment - Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families

This program provides a monthly benefit to low- and middle-income families with children under seven to assist with the costs of child care. Families with annual earnings of at least $5,000, or families where parents are in training or attending school, receive up to $91.67 per month or $1,100 per year for each child under the age of seven. Working single parents also receive a supplemental benefit worth $210 annually.

For the latest press release go to: Ontario Child Care Supplement.

Municipal Reinvestments

Ontario Municipalities are implementing their own initiatives as part of the overall Ontario NCB reinvestment strategy in ways that meet their local needs and priorities. Examples of municipal strategies include Healthy Babies/Healthy Children, Learning Earning and Parenting (LEAP) and Ontario Works Child Care.

Healthy Babies/Healthy Children Program is part of a province-wide network of prevention and early intervention services for families. The program puts into place services to help mothers learn to care for their babies.

The Learning Earning and Parenting Program helps teen parents complete high school by providing help with tutoring, parenting skills, child care, school expenses and finding a job.

Ontario Works Child Care provides financial assistance for child care in addition to fee subsidies to support participation in employment assistance activities and the transition to employment.

Ontario tracks and reports on municipal reinvestments as well as on provincially implemented strategies.

Go to 2000 Ontario/Municipal NCB Reinvestment Report for a copy of the report.

Ontario’s NCB reinvestment strategy complements a wide range of other programs and supports that the province provides for children and their families. For more information go to

Contact us:


Read more about the Quebec National Child Benefit program

The Government of Québec has stated that it agrees with the general principles of the National Child Benefit (NCB). Québec chose not to participate in the NCB because it wanted to assume control over income support for children in Québec; however, it has adopted a similar approach. Like other Canadians, Québecers have access to the Canada Child Tax Benefit. They also benefit from the considerable investments and reinvestments made by the Government of Québec, under its family policy, to provide services for families and children.

For information on the family benefits provided by the Government of Québec, go to

For information on the programs and services provided by the Government of Québec for families and children, go to (site available in French only).

For information on the Parental Wage Assistance (PWA) benefit offered by the Government of Québec, go to (disponible en anglais seulement).

Prince Edward Island

Read more about the Prince Edward Island National Child Benefit program

Through the National Child Benefit (NCB), Prince Edward Island has reinvested funds in programs and services for children and low-income families including:

  • Substantial funding for child care subsidies through the PEI Child Care Subsidy Program. More than 1,100 children benefited through this funding in 2000/2001.
  • Substantial assistance to low-income families with children with the cost of prescription drugs through the PEI Family Health Benefit. This program provides assistance for the cost of prescription medications for families with children under 18 and net household income under $22,000 for one child (add $2,000 for each additional child).
  • Grants to child care centres for children with special needs.
  • Assistance for children with disabilities.
  • Contributions to literacy and adult-based education programs to enable clients to access and retain employment opportunities.
  • Funding for the “Looking After Children Program” to help improve outcomes for children in care.
  • Funding for children's mental health programs.
  • Contributions to the provincial Healthy Child Allowance which supports the P.E.I. Healthy Child Development Strategy.

Contact us: 1-902-368-6519


Read more about the Saskatchewan National Child Benefit program

Launched in July 1998, Building Independence represents the most significant change to Saskatchewan's income security programs in 35 years. Three of the four Building Independence programs are part of the NCB initiative.

The Saskatchewan Child Benefit provides a monthly payment to assist low-income families with the cost of raising children.

The Saskatchewan Employment Supplement assists low-income families that have income from employment and maintenance.

The Family Health Benefits Program provides supplementary health benefits to children in low-income families to support working families and reduce the risk that children's health costs might drive families onto social assistance.

Building Independence programs provide support outside of welfare, helping parents to move into the labour market and stay there. They address the root causes of low income by helping parents to take advantage of opportunities for a better life.

This approach achieves results. In the three years since the Building Independence programs were introduced, 3,800 fewer Saskatchewan families with children rely on social assistance. The average time on social assistance for families with children has decreased by 25%.

Contact us: Toll free 1-888-488-6385;
in Regina call 787-4723


Read more about the Yukon National Child Benefit program

Yukon reinvested $225,000 in 2000/01 in initiatives that support the goals of the NCB. The Yukon government has invested an additional $640,000 to supplement these reinvestments, including fully funding the Yukon Child Benefit. The initiatives include:

Healthy Families Initiative - provides in-home assistance and education to new parents. The program also provides support to parents who are adapting to life with an infant and learning necessary skills to care for the child

Kids' Recreation Fund - the fund covers registration fees, equipment and supplies for sports, arts, cultural, recreational and social activities for children whose families are experiencing financial hardship. The fund is supported by the NCB reinvestment with an additional investment by the Territory to cover administrative costs.

Food for Learning - provides funds to assist schools in offering nutrition programs such as breakfast, lunch or snacks for students who do not have enough to eat. It received a one-time NCB reinvestment in 1998-99 with ongoing funding provided by the Territorial government, donations and other sources.

Yukon Children's Drug and Optical Program - helps low-income families with the costs of prescription drugs and eye care for children up to the age of 18. Families pay a deductible based on their income and the number of family members.

Yukon Child Benefit (YCB) - The YCB is a tax-free monthly payment to help low-and modest-income families with the cost of raising children under age 18. Benefits are combined with the Canada Child Tax Benefit into a single monthly payment. The YCB provides a benefit of $25 per month for each child. Families with net income above $16,700 may receive part of the benefit. This program is funded by the Yukon with a contribution from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on behalf of Status Indian children.

For more information, call 1-800-387-1193 or go to Yukon Child Benefit.

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