FREDERICTON – The Alward government has introduced an eye care and dental program for children of low-income families.

Under the program, Social Development Minister Sue Stultz says each child is provided up to $1,000 of dental care per year, and vision coverage of $220 every two years.

Stultz says the program will cost $4.3 million dollars a year.

It starts September 1.

Stultz says there are 22,000 children who qualify for the coverage.

Liberal social development critic Bernard LeBlanc welcomes the news, but says the plan is 16 months late, according to the target set in the province’s poverty reduction plan.