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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, INACís 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.