Delivering B.C.’s fourth consecutive balanced budget was no easy feat—it came after years of tough decision-making and fiscal discipline in the midst of global economic uncertainty. But that prudence has paid off, because our government is now in a position to make some important investments that will make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.
One of the best investments we can make is in our future— our children and grandchildren. That’s why we’ve expanded a significant program that’s helping parents and grandparents save for their loved one’s future post-secondary education needs.
We’re investing $39 million to extend the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant to eligible children born in 2006. Previously, it was offered to kids born in 2007 or later. This commitment means the families of 40,000 additional children will be able to apply for the grant later this year.
To be eligible, children must be residents of B.C. along with a parent or guardian. It’s a simple process– all families need to do is open an RESP account before the child turns seven years old to get the grant. Families have three years to submit an application for the grant when their child becomes eligible.
No matching or additional contributions are required—however, if a contribution of $50 per month was made after your child’s 6th birthday, you could have up to $9,000 saved by the time he or she turns 18. What a great head start for your future student.
Since the launch of the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant in August, more than 9,000 applications have been approved for a total of $8.1 million in grants. B.C.’s credit unions, with more than 350 branches, were the first major financial institutions to offer the grant. BMO Bank of Montreal was the first bank to sign on so people could apply for it in their 100 branches.
We know that nearly 80 per cent of job openings in the next decade will require some form of post-secondary education and training, which is why our government continue to invest in education. The B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant will help and encourage parents to plan and save for their children’s post-secondary education, so they can take advantage of B.C.’s strong and growing economy.