Preschool

Free money (sort of): Watch for the extended Universal Child Care Benefit

Parents with kids under six now get $160 a month. Winning!

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Starting later this month, families will receive $160 a month for each child under six (previously $100 a month) and new benefit of $60 per month for each child between the ages of six and 17 under the extended Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).

Since these payments are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, families with two children under six years old can expect $1,040 lump sum payment via cheque or direct deposit as early as July 20.

Wondering what to do with extra cash? Consider starting or topping up your Registered Education Savings Program (RESP) to save for your child’s future education. The federal government’s Canada Education Savings Grant program pays a 20% grant on contributions, up to a maximum of $500 per year.

The UCCB was first introduced in 2006 as a taxable benefit designed to help Canadian families through direct financial support regardless of whether children are enrolled in formal daycare programs. The above enhancements were announced in the 2015 federal budget.

Check the CRA website to see if you qualify for the UCCB. Be sure to apply if you do (and you’ve never applied before)!

This article originally appeared on MoneySense.ca with the headline Extended Universal Child Care Benefit in effect this month.

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