Island Health and VIU Partner to Promote Education Savings Initiatives

Island Health has joined Vancouver Island University's efforts to get the word out about the Canada Learning Bond and other education savings initiatives. The information will go out to parents in an information package given to families following the birth of their child at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

November 23, 2016 - 11:30am

Information about the Canada Learning Bond and BC Training and Education Savings Grant will go out in a new parent information package

There is funding available for families to put towards their children’s post-secondary education, and thanks to a partnership between Island Health and Vancouver Island University (VIU), new parents in the Nanaimo region will have the information they need to sign up right from the start.

Following the birth of their child at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Island Health gives new parents a package of information and resources that covers everything from newborn health and wellness, to breastfeeding and child car seat safety. About 1,300 families receive this information package every year, which will now include a postcard with information about two free government grants – the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and the BC Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) – that help families save up for their children’s post-secondary education.

“This is a great opportunity to help new parents give their children a head start for the future,” said Shauna Kazeil, Island Health Manager of Acute Pediatric & Perinatal Services. “We know that the early days of parenting can be overwhelming, and we prepare our Perinatal Unit discharge packages with that in mind. We are happy to support VIU in getting the word out about these two important post-secondary education grants.”

VIU is committed to making post-secondary education accessible to all children in BC. As part of that commitment, in the summer of 2013, the University hired two students to increase participation in education savings programs like the Canada Learning Bond. In October 2014, VIU hired a full-time Canada Learning Bond Coordinator to oversee the continued efforts to promote the Canada Learning Bond and other education savings incentives to families in the region.

“We are grateful to Island Health for stepping up to help us get the word out about these important resources,” said Rolanda Murray, VIU’s Canada Learning Bond Coordinator. “This is all part of our larger regional outreach work to ensure all children who are eligible for these programs are receiving the grants.”

Under the Canada Learning Bond program, if your child was born in 2004 or later and your family receives the National Child Benefit Supplement, you are eligible to receive up to $2,000 from the government to go towards your child’s Registered Education Savings Plan. To encourage families to start saving early for their children’s post-secondary education or training program, the BC Government will also contribute a grant of $1,200 to eligible children through the BCTESG.

To learn more, visit        



Valerie Wilson, Director, Communications and Engagement, Island Health

P: 250.739.6303 | E: | T: @VanIslandHealth


Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250-740-6288 | C: 250.619.6860 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community