First Call’s 25th BC Child Poverty Report Card was released on November 24, 2021.

All BC children and youth should have the same opportunities to grow up healthy and achieve their full potential, without the extra challenges created by experiencing poverty.

For twenty-five years, First Call’s Annual Child Poverty Report Card has been a valuable tool for advocacy on a range of child poverty-related issues.

In 2019, the year this report covers, there were 156,560 (18.0%) children and youth living in poor households with many living in deep poverty.

At 18.0%, BC had a slightly higher child poverty rate than Canada at 17.7%. We are encouraged to see the rate was down slightly from 2018 at 18.5% following the trend of gradual improvement since 2010 but progress is not fast enough for children whose health and development are at risk because they are poor.

A big surprise this year was the disparity between the average total incomes of the richest and poorest 10% of BC families with children – the difference was dramatic.

The report contains 22 child poverty reduction recommendations for the provincial government including indexing the BC Child Opportunity Benefit to inflation to ensure the value of the benefit does not erode over time, ensuring their direct and contract employees are paid a living wage and continue to prioritize new child care investments.

We work in partnership with Campaign 2000. Read the 2021 national report on child poverty, No One Left Behind: Strategies for an Inclusive Recovery.

Scaling up our work 

We’re mid-way through a Vancouver Foundation funded project to scale up our research to offer leaders and communities more resources for advocacy. This includes offering more data on smaller geographic areas, identifying local system opportunities and empowering leaders with tools and training that advance policy and practices that will reduce child and family poverty.