Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (C.F.A.F.)
The Childcare Financial Assistance Fund (C.F.A.F.) supports members who are parents and either incur (1) childcare expenses (expenses related to paying a childcare provider for care of their child(ren) while a parent is at work or school), or (2) primary care expenses (defined as expenses associated with having the member, or a household or family member, provide primary care for one or more of their (step-)children in the eligible age range).
Who is eligible to apply to the fund?
For the May 2019 round of the C.F.A.F., anyone who meets the following criteria is eligible to apply: (a) You have secured at least 30 hours of Unit 1 work between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019. (b) You have (step-)children in the eligible age range: from birth until the day they turn 16. (c) You have eligible childcare expenses supported by receipts, and/or you have documentation showing that you, or one of your household or family members, provide primary care for one or more of your (step-)children in the eligible age range. (d) Your childcare expenses are for child care that took place between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019.
What is the eligible age range for children?
(1) For childcare expenses, the eligible age range is from birth until the day they turn 16. (2) For primary care expenses, the eligible age range is from the day they turn 1 until September 1 of the calendar year in which they turn 4. (The rationale for this is that the government supports up to year 1 through EI, and from September 1 of the year they turn 4 they’re eligible for school and the relevant subsidies.) If the child is only in the eligible age range for part of the C.F.A.F. year (May-April), the disbursement will be prorated by month.
What is an eligible (1) childcare expense?
Eligible expenses include anything that would qualify as a childcare expense for tax purposes (see here for more information). Some examples include: babysitters, nannies, daycare, preschool, summer camps, March break programs, after school programs, and sports/activities/lessons offered through local recreation centres or the equivalent. Ineligible expenses include: tuition for private primary school, school lunches, medical expenses, toys, clothing, and food.
I receive subsidised daycare rates; does this affect my eligible (1) childcare expenses?
If you receive a daycare subsidy, you can still claim the amount that you do pay with the CFAF. However, if you receive reimbursement as a result of subsidy, you are obligated to disclose that to the Union along with your application.
Some of my (1) childcare expenses are in another currency; can I still submit them?
Yes. Please use a site like xe.com to convert the prices to CAD for the correct date/period (there are features on currency sites where you can convert an amount based on the date the receipt was issued or averaged over a period).
What is an eligible (2) primary care expense?
If you, or your household or family member, provide primary care for one or more of your (step-)children in the eligible primary care age range, then you will receive some support from the C.F.A.F. for each month your (step-)children were in the primary care age range. Each month that your (step-)children were in the primary care age range will be treated as an eligible expense.
How much money will I get?
The C.F.A.F. has been allocated $500,000 per year to cover eligible childcare and primary care expenses for members. Each year disbursement amounts will vary depending on the total number of applicants and their overall need. After all applications have been received and processed, caps will be set on the maximum amount a member can receive (1) for childcare expenses per child, (2) for primary care expenses per child, and per family. The 2017-18 caps were (1) $3,000 for childcare expenses per child, (2) $1,500 for primary care expenses per child, and $8,500 per family. The 2018-19 caps will necessarily not be advertised in advance of the application deadline. The fund will be disbursed in full each year.
When will I get my money?
Applications for this fund will be open between May 1 and May 31, 2019. Disbursements will follow in the Summer semester.
How do I apply?
When the application opens on May 1, 2019, the form will be available online and accessible through the Union’s website. To find the application, login to the Member Portal (found by scrolling up to the top right of this page).
A complete application for the C.F.A.F. will include: (a) a membership card, (b) the 2018-19 C.F.A.F. Application Form, and (c) supporting documentation—(1) for childcare expenses, this documentation will include the child’s birth certificate and receipts for all expenses claimed organized into a single .pdf and ordered according to the date of the childcare (from May-April), and (2) for primary care expenses, this documentation will include the child’s birth certificate.
You will receive an immediate confirmation email for each application you submit. PLEASE NOTE: if you do not receive a confirmation email you did not successfully submit the application.
If you do not have (a) a membership card (i.e., you do not have a CUPE No., found on the left-hand side of the Portal home page), you will be directed to fill out a Membership Application Form (also found on the ‘Forms’ tab). When your membership application is processed, the 2018-19 C.F.A.F. Application Form will be accessible through the portal. PLEASE NOTE: processing membership applications can take up to four (4) business days. Failure to fill out a membership application in a timely way (i.e., less than five days before the deadline) is not grounds for submitting a late application.
Applications will be accepted between 1 – 31 May 2019.