Please note we have temporarily closed grant applications for Private Autism Assessments and Private Psychoeducational Assessments. Since opening funding for assessments in June 2021, Variety has enabled over 1,300 children to receive assessments unlocking critical funding for essential therapies and other resources. We currently have a long list of applications waiting to be reviewed and assessed as the demand for requests continues to grow at an overwhelming rate. We’ll be temporarily closing applications while we evaluate a manageable way forward.
Variety Steps in Where Health Care Ends
Designed to be flexible, our child grants allow families to apply for the items that best meet their children’s needs. We aim to fill the gaps that aren’t covered by government programs, health care, or private health plans. Sometimes, we top up funding when another agency cannot fund the entire cost.
Recognizing that every child is unique, we review each application on an individual basis.
To help kids access additional government support, we provide funding for private autism and psychoeducational assessments:
- Autism Assessments – In BC, an autism assessment resulting in a confirmed diagnosis gives families with children under the age of 6 access to $22,000 per year of government funding for essential therapies and other resources. That funding drops to just $6,000 after the age of 6. With the wait for an assessment through the public health system being as long as 2 to 3 years, we felt that it was important to step in to fill this need by funding private autism assessments.
In 2022, Variety BC enabled 589 kids the opportunity to access this government support by funding a private autism assessment. This opened up $9.8 million dollars of support per year for these families. The cumulative total of kids helped in this area since the program launched in 2021 to 736 kids. This has opened up $11.7 million dollars per year in government support for these kids to get the tools that they need to thrive.
- Psychoeducational Assessments – Offering insight into a child’s unique strengths and challenges, psychoeducational assessments empower parents and school administrators to work together to create a personalized approach to learning. The current wait for psychoeducational assessments through the public school system can be several years. To help families gain timely insight into their children’s educational needs, we’ve fund private assessments.
To qualify for our grants, families must meet the following criteria:
- The grant must be for a child who is between birth and their 19th birthday.
- The child must be a resident of B.C. or Yukon and must have resided here for a minimum of three months.
- The child must have a valid Health Care Card.
- The grant must be for a child with a qualified medical or developmental special need, recognized by a designated professional. (This does not apply to private autism and psychoeducational assessments or mental wellness requests)
- The family must have limited financial resources to afford the item or service required. (We are currently able to consider requests from households with an annual income of up to $85,000).
- Families can apply for up to two grants in one fiscal year (October through September) with one application and one set of supporting documents.
Child Grant Application Process
We’re here to help you every step of the way through our confidential application process.
Please follow the instructions below carefully to ensure your request can be reviewed as soon as possible.
Our current child grants are for adaptive and mobility equipment, mental wellness, private assessments, specialized therapies, tuition & tutoring and we have a child grant for Type 1 Diabetes Support. Review each of these web pages for more information.
Review eligibility criteria as shown above to ensure your child and family are qualified to apply.
Download the Grant Application to your computers and save it before typing in the form. Remember to save it while you are filling it out to keep all your changes.
Complete the application using your computer to populate the “”fill-able”” fields. Alternatively, you can print the form and complete it by hand.
Each type of grant has very specific checklists. Please review carefully to ensure you download the checklists you need to review.
Collect all supporting documents outlined in the relevant checklists. Please note that we can only work with Canadian vendors, suppliers, and therapists.
Send your completed application and all the required supporting documents to Variety BC by email (preferred) or standard mail:
1. Email to: [email protected].
2. Standard mail to:
Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC
4300 Still Creek Drive
Burnaby BC V5C 6C6
Please Note: To be considered, grant applications must be complete and submitted together with supporting documents.
Child Grant Supporting Documents
Your Completed Signed Application from a Parent/Caregiver Must Include:
A current letter of justification/referral
A current letter of justification/referral from medical/social/SLP therapist/educational professional/consulting team member which includes/states: special need(s) of child or “red flag” signs indicating need for assessment and how request will support the overall care plan of the child.
Please Note: The referral can not be from the vendor or service provider your child will be receiving support from.
Confirmation of therapy or equipment cost
For therapies, you will need a letter from a certified Therapist that includes the number of sessions, length of sessions, cost per session, total amount.
For adaptive equipment and orthotics, you will need a detailed quote for each item of adaptive equipment.
For psychoeducational/autism assessments you will need a detailed quote from the Assessment provider.
For tutoring, you will need a letter from a qualified/certified tutor/tutoring service with the hourly rate.
Click on the below document checklists to download the list relevant to your application for more details.
A current Notice of Assessment (NOA) from Canada Revenue Agency
A current Notice of Assessment (NOA) from Revenue Canada for each adult (household) contributor that shows net income (line 23600) or Canada Child Benefit (CCB) notice statement that shows net family income. (T4 slips, T1 summaries or pay stubs will NOT be accepted).
For Private Assessments you also need:
Child Grant Application
Answer our Eligibility Questions and then you can download your fillable PDF Child Grant Application.
Send your completed application and all the required supporting documents to Variety BC by email (preferred – click on button below) or standard mail:
Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC, 4300 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby BC V5C 6C6
Frequently Asked Questions
My autism assessment will be in less than two months, can I request special consideration?
Due to the current reviewing/processing time of 12 weeks, we will NOT be able to consider grant requests for assessments taking place in less than two months from submitting a grant application.
If you would like to be considered for a grant you will need to reschedule your assessment.
Please make sure to note your appointment date on all communication and follow up to ensure we received your application with all requested documentation.
Do I need to have an autism assessment appointment before applying for a grant?
You do not need to have a confirmed appointment booked before applying. But you will have to select the clinic/professional and obtain a quote for the autism assessment before your grant application can go through the final review process. A grant is approved for a specific professional who then invoice Variety directly for services provided.
My child already had an autism assessment (not from Variety) but did not meet the diagnosis criteria at that time, will Variety cover another autism assessment?
Yes, Variety will consider one autism assessment grant request per child, who meets our grant eligibility criteria.
My child recently had a private autism assessment. Can I apply for a grant to be reimbursed?
Regrettably, as per our guidelines Variety is not able to pay for expenses that have already been initiated or have already occurred prior to submission or written approval. We are also not able to reimburse families, as we pay the vendors directly. So, Variety will not be able to help those families who already had an autism assessment and who already paid the full cost.