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Posted: August 31, 2016

BCTESG expanded on first anniversary

The families of more than 32,000 B.C. children born in 2007 or later have taken up the opportunity to kick-start their education savings during the first year of the $1,200 British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG).

Starting August 15, children born in 2006 can also apply for the grant at any participating financial instruction in B.C. – including the 163 branches of TD Bank, the newest partner offering the grant.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced that TD Bank branches can now help people open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), apply for the $1,200 grant and invest in their child’s future.

“Today is a huge milestone. Not only are we celebrating the first anniversary of the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant, children born in 2006 can now officially apply for the $1,200 grant. The Province wants to make education more affordable and accessible. I encourage all parents and grandparents to visit their local participating financial institution, open an RESP, and kick-start their child’s post-secondary education savings today,” Bernier stated.

The $1,200 grant puts British Columbians first by helping parents, grandparents and guardians kick-start savings for their children’s post-secondary education.

Applying takes three easy steps:

1. Obtain a Social Insurance Number for the eligible child.

2. Open a Registered Education Savings Plan at a participating financial institution.

3. Apply for the grant. Families have three years to submit an application for the grant once their child becomes eligible.

All children must be residents of British Columbia, along with a parent or guardian.

The earliest a parent or guardian can apply for the grant is when their child turns six. After that, they can apply any day before their child’s ninth birthday. Because this is a new program, if the child had their sixth birthday in 2013, 2014 or 2015, they have an extension until Aug. 14, 2018, or the day before their ninth birthday – whichever is later to get the grant. Children who had their sixth birthday in 2012 will have until Aug. 14, 2019, to apply for the grant.

People can apply for the grant at B.C. credit unions, BMO Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, RBC Royal Bank, HSBC Bank of Canada and TD Bank.

A full list of participating financial institutions is online.

There are no barriers for low-income families applying for the grant since no matching or additional contributions are required to access the $1,200. The province is working to ensure children in care have access to equivalent funds for training and education through the Learning Fund for Young Adults. To date, the province has funded more than $36 million in grants under the BCTESG program.

As a result of B.C.’s strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to support and fund projects that make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.

With the $1,200 grant and an investment of $50 a month, savings could grow to $12,000 in 13 years (based on a 3.5% annual growth rate). Growth of funds will depend on the amount invested and actual returns.


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