We offer funding for specialized therapies to help children thrive.
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.
We fund various specialized therapies for BC kids with special needs:
- occupational therapy – helping kids learn the basic skills for everyday living
- physical therapy – helping kids building crucial muscles and restore movement
- speech & language therapy – helping kids develop communication skills
- music therapy – transforming the lives of many kids with autism and other conditions. Musical therapy can improve communications skills along with cognitive, motor, and social skills. A therapy session might include playing musical instruments, composing songs, singing, dancing, or simply listening to a song.
- equine therapy – facilitated with the help of horses, this innovative treatment provides a therapeutic environment for children & youth with autism and for those who are experiencing mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Individual therapy sessions can include feeding, grooming, ground exercises, interactive vaulting, and therapeutic riding
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.
- Maximum per fiscal year (Oct – Sep) for specialized therapies: $2,500
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 any of these therapies you will 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
How does Variety help?
Variety steps in where health care ends aiming to fill the gaps which are not covered by government programs, health care or private health plans. Variety relies solely on the generosity of individuals, corporate sponsors and organizations to fund our child grants. Grants are designed to be flexible to allow you to apply for the items that best meet your child’s needs. As every child is unique, so is every application and each is reviewed on an individual basis. Sometimes, Variety tops up funding where another agency cannot fund the entire cost. An example would be a partial contribution towards vehicle modifications.
Who can apply for a child grant?
Only families whose child meets all of the following criteria can be considered for an individual grant:
– Children from birth to their 19th birthday
– A child must be a B.C. resident with a valid Personal Health Number (PHN) or Yukon resident with a valid Health Care Card
– Qualified special need (medical and/or developmental) as confirmed by a designated health care professional
– Financial circumstance that limits the ability to afford the item or service required
What can I apply for?
Our current grant priority areas are:
- Adaptive & Mobility Equipment (e.g. Power and manual wheel chairs, adaptive trikes, hearing aids, standing walkers, custom orthotics, van conversions)
- Mental Wellness Counselling
- Specialized Therapies (e.g. Speech & language, occupational, physical, music, equine & counselling)
- Tuition & Tutoring Bursaries for Learning Disabilities
- Private Autism/Psychoeducational Assessments
- Type 1 Diabetes support
What can’t I apply for?
No medicines/prescriptions, eye glasses or dental
1. Services or equipment not directly related to a child’s special/extra needs and which are not deemed medically/developmentally necessary
2. Alternative or naturopathic treatments or those not provided in person including neuroplasticity or computer stimulation
3. Any program/service or equipment that can be or is paid wholly by government (including Autism, At Home, Early Intervention, Health Region, First Nations Health, BC Family Residence Program. Top up considered
4. Behavioral Intervention/Consultation
5. Funding for any services related to Autism for children under six years old who receive over $22,000 per year in government funding. Except for music therapy will be considered for under six year olds with Autism funding.
6. Childcare, respite or related programs/services
7. Warranties, insurance, maintenance, service agreements, batteries, repairs
8. Administrative fees or operational costs
9. Vehicles – except: Sunshine Family Van program and van conversions (including van ramp and tie downs) to a maximum of $7,500
10. Medical services plans, premiums, deductibles – except for type 1 diabetic supplies.
11. Apps or software for technology
12. Travel costs including: time, gas, mileage, truck or car rentals, parking or insurance
13. Sports equipment that is non-adaptive or does not support special needs
14. Non-B.C. residents
15. Reports, consultations, assessments – except autism/psychoeducational assessments
16. More than one autism/psychoeducational assessment per child
17. Expenses that have already been initiated or have already occurred prior to submission or written approval
18. Incomplete application forms
19. Those without specific certification or professional credentials to deliver services to clients or the use of assistants
20. Children or Youth over 19 years old
21. A child without a personal health number (Care card)
22. More than two request in one Variety fiscal year over $4000 total
23. Children under five who qualify for early intervention or services through a Child Development Centre (CDC) or Health Authority (HA). (Top up considered)
24. Equipment from non-Canadian distributors that cannot be invoiced directly from Variety or services outside Canada
How much can I ask for?
Variety’s funding is always based on what funds are available. We will consider one application per year, per child and must be completed within one Variety fiscal year. Your priorities must be listed on the application for Variety’s consideration.
Limits also include:
– Therapies: Maximum $2,500 per year for one and $4,000 total for two.
– Tutoring: Maximum $1,500 per year; Tuition: Maximum $4,000 per year (reviewed only from August to October)
– Compliance with our policies and guidelines does not guarantee funding of any application.