Financial Assistance for Single Mothers in Prince Edward Island

Explore how your government can help your family. Prince Edward Island and the Federal government work together to provide assistance to PEI families in almost all areas where children are involved. Healthy, happy, productive children are important to our future, and these programs all aim to make sure every family has access to aids and supports in this endeavour.

Whether you’re in need of financial assistance, locating resources, or just finding more information about an issue in your family, this is a good place to start. Browse the listings below and see how your government can help.

Federal program titles are preceded by (CAN), while provincial program titles are preceded by (PEI).

This listing focuses on family-related services. For a full listing of benefits, programs and services, see the websites of Benefits Canada or Service Canada.

Education Savings

(CAN) Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-267-3100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-267-3100 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

An RESP is a great way to start saving early for your child’s education. For one thing, having an RESP in place makes your child eligible for various grants that can then be deposited into the RESP; for another, income generated from the contributions is not taxable as long as it remains in the RESP. Parents, relatives, and friends of a beneficiary may also contribute, up to a lifetime limit of $50,000 per child.

Funds from the RESP are disbursed for qualified educational purposes: full- or part-time studies in an apprenticeship program, a CEGEP, trade school, college or university. Students will pay taxes on income disbursed from the fund, but not on contribution amounts.

The RESP account remains open for 36 years from inception, so there’s no pressure on you or your child to start or finish school on a tight schedule. If for some reason the funds are not used for your child’s education, the contributions are returned to you as tax-free income.


Both the subscriber and the beneficiary(ies) must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How To Apply:

You (the subscriber) need to choose a promoter (the entity that will administer the savings plan and disburse funds). Information on RESP application procedures is available from most financial institutions.

  • Important: research your options first. Some promoters may not offer all the programs for which you are eligible. This can mean giving up free money for your child, or embarking on a longish process of changing promoters and transferring your account. Visit this website to see what you need to know before choosing a promoter.

(CAN) Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This federal grant makes a payment of 20% on RESP contributions for an eligible beneficiary, up until the age of 17.

For families with low to middle-income, there is also an Additional CESG (A-CESG) over and above the basic CESG described above. This grant will add either 10% or 20%, depending on family income, to the first $500 contributed to the beneficiary’s RESP each calendar year, up until the end of the year in which the child turns 17. Year 2010 income limits are $41,544.00 (for the 20% grant) and $83,088 (for the 10% grant).


All children up to age 17 are eligible for the basic CESG, as long as they are Canadian residents and have an RESP. There are special rules for children age 15-17. These rules and other information can be found at the link above.

How To Apply:

Your RESP provider should automatically ensure that the basic CESG grant is being deposited in your child’s RESP.

One of the considerations when choosing a provider (also known as a promoter) is to ensure they offer the A-CESG if you qualify by income. If you’ve already opened an RESP and your provider does not offer this grant, you will have to transfer the RESP to one who does, in order to apply.

(CAN) Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Toll-Free:1- 800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1- 800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Another incentive program from the federal government to help make starting an RESP an easy choice for families on a limited budget.

This program will deposit $500 into your child’s RESP regardless of any contributions you do or do not make. Each year thereafter until your child reaches age 15, $100 will be deposited into the RESP. (An extra $25 will be provided to help offset any costs associated with setting up the RESP.) That’s up to $2000 plus interest provided for your child’s education after high school.


To qualify for this bond program:

  • · Your child must have been born after December 31, 2003
  • · You receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) as part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”).

How To Apply

Just open an RESP for your child (a SIN will be required). When selecting an RESP provider/promoter, remember to verify that they offer this bond first. If you anticipate contributing to your child’s RESP at any point in the future, make sure the RESP provider also offers the A-CESG if you believe your income will qualify you for that additional grant amount.

Child Care

(CAN) Universal Child Care Benefit

Toll-Free: 1-800-622-6232 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-622-6232 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This taxable benefit is paid to parents in monthly instalments of $100 per month per child under the age of six. The benefit is available to any Canadian family with young children, no matter where you live or what your financial situation. You can use the payment for any child care-related expense, whether it be out-of-home care, to help pay for pre-school programs or educational materials, or even apply it toward an education fund (RESP or RDSP).

Payment is made monthly directly to the lower-earning parent. The “taxability” of the benefit has recently been improved so that single-parent families receive tax treatment comparable to two-parent families. Joint custody provisions will soon be added to make it easier for parents to share the amount received.


  • You must be the primary caregiver of a child under 6 years of age on or after July 1, 2006
  • You must be a resident of Canada

How to Apply:

If your family is already receiving/has qualified for the Canada Child Tax Benefit then you will automatically receive the UCCB. There is no need to apply separately.

There are three ways to apply:

  1. Through the Canada Revenue Agency website.
  2. At a Service Canada Centre. Find the centre closest to you.
  3. By phoning 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

(PEI) Child Care Subsidy Program

General Inquiries: 902-620-3777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-620-3777 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program helps parents with the cost of licensed child care, subsidizing either part or all of the expense. The amount of subsidy is based on the net monthly family income, age of dependents, and size of family.

Reasons for needing child care range from working parents, to parents attending school, to children with special needs. Your child’s attendance at any of the following qualifies:

  • A licensed centre
  • A nursery program
  • An Early Years Centre
  • A family daycare home
  • Before-and-after-school programs


Any island family needing child care may apply. Your family situation and resources will be assessed to determine if you qualify for the subsidy.

How To Apply

Call one of the numbers listed below:

Charlottetown: 368-6470

Summerside: 888-8245

Montague: 838-0700

Souris: 687-7170

O’Leary: 859-8835

Healthy Families

(CAN) Nobody’s Perfect

General Inquiries: 1-613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Nobody’s Perfect is a parenting education and support program for parents of young children. Parents who are young, single, isolated geographically or socially, or who have low income and education levels may not have had access to the kind of parenting information that will help their child thrive. This program, offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions, is designed for just such parents.

Materials are free, and trained facilitators (community workers, other parents and public health nurses) help participants work together to discover positive parenting techniques. The program is based on the principles of adult education—building on what these capable adults already know and do, then involving them in the learning process to expand on those capabilities. The network formed by this learning process provides a source of advice and support that can carry well beyond the weekly meetings.


Parents of children age birth to 5 years

How To Apply

Contact a provincial coordinator at this website.

(PEI) Children’s Dental Care Program

Toll-Free: 1-866 368-5460 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866 368-5460 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Basic dental services are provided to children between age 3 and 17 who have a Prince Edward Island health card. Basic procedures such as examinations, x-rays, preventive services, fillings and extractions are covered under this program.

There is an annual registration fee of $15 per child (to a maximum of  $35 per family), and parents pay 20% of treatment fees. However, families earning less than $30,000 per year can apply for an exemption from fees.

Two related programs are offered under the Children’s Dental Care Program:

  • The Preventive Orthodontic Program, wherein orthodontic problems that may become more serious are addressed. Simple, removable appliances to reposition teeth are covered; if more complex intervention is necessary (such as braces), the cost is not covered. Your child’s dentist will refer you to this program if necessary.
  • The Cleft Palate Orthodontic Treatment Program allows parents to share 50-50 in the cost of treating their child’s cleft palate. Depending on family income, parents may be eligible for 75% or 100% coverage. Your child’s dentist will also have information about this program. There is a special application form for this program.

For more information on either of the two special programs listed above, call 902-368-4920 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-368-4920 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.


All children between 3 and 17 living in Prince Edward Island are eligible.

How To Apply

An application form is available online.

(CAN) Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities

General Inquiries: 613-952-1220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-952-1220 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities Program is a community-based children’s program delivered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). It focuses on early childhood development for First Nation, Inuit and Métis children and their families living off-reserve.

The program is individually developed for each community where it exists, but typically will include the following components in a structured half-day preschool format:

  • Aboriginal culture and language
  • Education and school readiness
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition
  • Social support
  • Parental involvement

The program is free.


Any family from one of the populations mentioned who lives off-reserve is eligible to apply. There is a similar program in place for on-reserve families, the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve.

How To Apply

To see if programs exist in your area, and to inquire about registration and transportation, contact the PHAC regional office nearest you.

(PEI) Nutrition Program

Toll-Free: 1-877-577-3737 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-577-3737 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program makes available vitamin and mineral supplements for pregnant women who otherwise might not receive adequate nutrition during this critical time.

Community nutritionists are responsible for ordering and distributing the supplements, as well as determining an applicant’s eligibility. In general, the program is meant for low-income and/or high-risk pregnant women


Must be eligible for PEI Medicare

How To Apply

Contact a community nutritionist—call PEI Pharmacare at the toll-free number above, or PEI Drug Programs office at 902-368-4947 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-368-4947 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

(PEI) Family Ties

Toll-Free: 1-866-594-3777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-594-3777 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

A resource offered to all Islanders who wish to strengthen or improve relationships within the family, Family Ties is a voluntary outreach service providing individual, group and family counseling to adolescents and their families.


All Islanders are eligible

How To Apply

Contact the program in your area:

  • Charlottetown (Family Ties):  368-4960
  • Summerside (Family Focus):  888-8480
  • Montague (Family Outreach Services):          838-0715
  • Souris (Family Outreach Program of Kings County):            687-7014
  • O’Leary (Family Resource):   859-8812

Employment and Pension

(CAN) Child Rearing Drop-Out Provision (CRDP)

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9114 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9114 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

When you retire or become disabled, you become eligible to receive basic benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In the event of your death, these benefits transfer to your partner and/or children. Naturally, you will want this monthly benefit to be calculated to your advantage wherever possible.

The benefit amount is calculated on how much and how long you paid into the pension plan; however, certain life events cause people to “drop out” of earning at their full potential for some period of time. One of these events is child rearing. The CRDP is a provision to exclude such a period from your earnings calculations, so that your ultimate CPP benefit is not reduced


The CRDP can only be used for months where:

  • Your family received National Child Benefit Supplement (also known as “family allowance” or “baby bonus”) payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit)


  • Your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, or worked fewer hours to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven


  • That child was born after December 31, 1958

How To Apply

Apply for the CRDP at the same time you apply for any CPP benefit. You should apply at least six months before you would like to start receiving the benefit.

Applications are available online here.

You may also stop at any Service Canada Centre for a kit. Find the Centre nearest you.

(CAN) Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Children’s Benefits

Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-277-9914 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CPP Children’s Benefits provide a monthly benefit to the dependent children of disabled or deceased contributors. Your rates will vary based on your parent’s contributions, but averages and maximums can be investigated at this link.


For you to be eligible for Children’s Benefits, your parent must have made sufficient contributions to the CPP. Also, if you are between 18 and 25, you must be attending school full time at a recognized institution. Children under 18 do not have to be in school to be eligible.

How To Apply

You should apply when you first become aware that your parent has applied for a disability benefit, or should your parent die.

Information and links to application forms can be found here.

(CAN) Employment Insurance (EI)

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Employment Insurance provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. There’s no way to tell in advance of application what your benefit will be, but the basic rate is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. At present, the maximum amount is $468 per week (based on the maximum yearly insurable amount of $44, 200).

Benefits are provided for a period of from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on unemployment rates in your region and the number of insurable work hours you accumulated during the 52 weeks preceding your claim. If you should find work before exhausting your benefit, the remainder can be “reactivated” for you to use again should another layoff occur.

While you are receiving benefits, you must be actively looking for work and keeping a written record of employer contacts.


You may be eligible for this benefit if you:

  • Have paid EI premiums (through paycheck deductions during periods of employment)
  • Lost your employment through no fault of your own
  • Have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • Have worked for the required number of insurance hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim (whichever is shorter)

How To Apply

The application for EI regular benefits is completed online (whether you do it from home, from a Service Canada Centre, or from some public internet access point) and could take up to an hour. Review the instructions beforehand to make sure you have all required information and documentation.

(CAN) Employment Insurance Family Supplement

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-206-7218 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Family Supplement is a feature of Employment Insurance (EI) that provides additional benefits to low-income families with children when a caregiver loses his or her job.

The maximum Family Supplement will reach as high as 80% of your average insurable earnings.

As your income level rises, the Family Supplement gradually decreases, so that when the maximum income of $25,921 is reached no supplement is payable.


If your family receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit, then you are eligible to receive the supplement on qualifying income levels.

How To Apply

No application is necessary—if you are eligible, the Family Supplement will automatically be added to your EI benefit.


(CAN) Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

Toll-Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax‑free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The amount of this benefit is calculated using the information you provide on your income tax returns. The benefit comprises two parts:

  1. The National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), the federal government’s contribution to the National Child Benefit.
  2. The CCTB may also include the Child Disability Benefit (CDB), a monthly benefit for qualified families caring for children with severe and prolonged mental or physical impairments.


  • Child must be under age 18
  • Child must live with you and you are the child’s caregiver (there are provisions for shared and temporary custodianship)
  • You must be a resident of Canada
  • You (or your partner) must be a Canadian citizen or a recognized legal resident with a period of established residency (more information at the program website).

How To Apply:

You should apply for the CCTB as soon as possible after any of these events:

  • Your child is born
  • A child begins to live with you
  • You become a resident of Canada

Don’t assume you are ineligible because your family income seems too high. The eligibility calculations can be complex and you might be missing a detail that qualifies you. Apply regardless and see what the agency comes up with.

There are three ways to apply for the CCTB:

  1. If you consented to use the Automated Benefits Application Service (ABA) on the birth registration form when your child was born, you should have all the information you need to apply using this service. It is important to verify whether or not you provided this consent—if you apply for benefits using one of the next two methods, and you are already a registered ABA user, your benefits may be delayed. See how to use the ABA here.
  2. You can fill out a form and mail it in. For the form and address, see here.
  3. You can apply online here.

For the CDB (the benefit for families having a disabled child), see more information below.

(CAN) Child Disability Benefit (CDB)

Toll Free: 1-800-387-1193 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-387-1193 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Child Disability Benefit (CDB) is a tax-free benefit, paid monthly, of up to $2470 per year ($205.83 per month) for families who care for a child under age 18 with a major disability. This could be a physical or mental impairment that can be classified as “severe and prolonged” (lasting, or expected to last, at least 12 months).


Families who are eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit will receive the CDB only if the child is also eligible for the disability amount, also known as the Disability Tax Credit. Determining eligibility for the disability amount is the first step, and requires a doctor’s certification that the child’s impairment meets certain conditions.

How To Apply

A special form must be completed by both you and a qualified practitioner attesting to the child’s disability. If Canada Revenue Agency approves that form, then the CDP payments will begin.

The special form to complete is called T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and can be found here.

Send the completed form to your tax centre after you have filed your taxes for the year, to avoid a delay in assessment.

(PEI) Family Health Benefit Program

Toll-Free: 1-877-577-3737 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-577-3737 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program helps parents pay for prescription medications for their children younger than 18 (or 25, if a full-time student and claimed as a dependent). The coverage is based on family income and number of dependent children.

Medications covered are those in the formulary for PEI Pharmacare. Families are still responsible for paying the pharmacy professional fee when picking up their prescriptions. The program ends when all children have passed the eligible age, or upon exit from PEI.


The family must be eligible for PEI Medicare in order to benefit from this program. Otherwise, the family must have a need for financial assistance and include at least one child under the age of 18, or a dependent full-time student child under 25.

How To Apply

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or fill out the application. You will need to include your most recent income tax notice of assessment for all family members who filed a return.

You must re-apply to this program each year.


(PEI) Audiology Program

Charlottetown: 902-368-5807 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-368-5807 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Audiology Program provides assessment, diagnosis and rehabilitation for auditory disorders. Children are given priority for early identification, so their referral is open. Adults require a medical referral.

The main diagnostic facility is at the Sherwood Business Centre, but regional clinics are held in Summerside and Alberton.

Services offered include:

  • Regional hearing clinics
  • Infant Hearing Screening Program
  • Hearing loss and hearing aid workshops
  • Central auditory testing and auditory processing workshops
  • Sedated audiological assessments
  • Adult neurological assessments
  • Audiometer calibration clinics


Any child is eligible for evaluation; adults must have a medical referral.

How To Apply

Contact the Sherwood Business Centre at the number listed above.

(PEI) Autism Early Intervention Program

General Inquiries: 902-620-3777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-620-3777 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

In this program, a preschool autism specialist works with each family to develop individualized programs to enhance development in knowledge, independence and social interaction. Tutors are hired by the family to implement the program on a daily basis, either at home or at an early-childhood centre. Some of the costs associated with this intervention are reimbursed. Up to 20 hours per week of instruction is eligible for some level of reimbursement.


A family with a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

How To Apply

Contact the Disability Support Worker at this link, or call the number given above.

You can also get in touch with Access PEI Souris or Montague.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown also has information on the program.

(PEI) Speech Language Pathology Program

Charlottetown: 902-368-4440 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 902-368-4440 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

This program provides assessment, consultation and intervention services for children and adults with communication difficulties. Examples of the types of problems addressed are:

  • Stuttering
  • Language or sound articulation problems
  • Nasality
  • Hearing loss
  • Aphasia from stroke
  • Cochlear implant

The pre-school program includes assessment and follow-up, parent and caregiver seminars, and support as children transition to school.

The adult program is more limited and assessment-oriented.


All Islanders are eligible for this community service

How To Apply

Contact the sponsoring location nearest you.

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