04/16/2015 02:48 EDT | Updated 06/16/2015 05:59 EDT

Pierre Poilievre Urges Eligible Families To Apply For Expanded Child Care Benefit

TORONTO - The federal government is trying to track down an estimated 200,000 families who are eligible to receive money under its expanded child care benefit program, but aren't registered in the system.

Social Development Minister Pierre Poilievre is asking the media and the public to encourage newly eligible families to apply for the benefit.

Poilievre says the majority of families with children are known to the government and will automatically receive the enhanced benefit, or will be contacted to confirm their information.

He says eligible families not currently registered in the child care benefit system, however, may miss out on what could total millions of dollars.

Under proposed enhancements to the benefit, families would receive almost $2,000 a year for each child under six and $720 a year for each child aged six through 17.

Poilievre says families that aren't getting the current benefit or haven't applied for a child tax benefit should log on to www.canada.ca/taxsavings to learn how to apply.

"We want to ensure that every family with children receives the enhanced universal child care benefit," he said in a statement.

He said the benefit is straightforward.

"If you've got kids under 18, you qualify. Period. It doesn't matter how much you make or the type of child care you choose."

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