A healthy city for all goal 1: A good start
Goal 1: A good start

A good start

Our goal: Vancouver's children have the best chance of enjoying a healthy childhood.
children considered developmentally ready for school at kindergarten in 2016

Our experiences as children and youth affect our development and health throughout life. Investment in all aspects of child development, including quality childcare and early learning, is an investment in the sustainability of the city.

Considerations for healthy good starts include:

  • Physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual development
  • Loving and secure attachments
  • Housing and neighbourhoods
  • Family income
  • Clean environments and quality food
  • Health and childcare
Our target: 85% of Vancouver’s children are developmentally ready for school when they enter kindergarten

Progress we've made so far

Hover on data points for more information.
Data Source: UBC HELP, Early Development Instrument

School readiness

  • 64% of kindergarten children are considered ready for school (2013‑2016)
    Source: UBC Human Early Learning Partnership, Early Development Instrument

    Readiness for school is measured through the Human Early Learning Partnership's Early Development Instrument (EDI). The EDI measures vulnerability on five scales:

    • Communication skills
    • Physical health and well-being
    • Social competence
    • Emotional maturity
    • Language and cognitive development

Child poverty

  • 21% of children aged 0‑17 are in low income families (2014)
    Source: Statistics Canada, Income Tax Returns, accessed through Community Data Program

Access to licensed, affordable, and accessible childcare

Over the next ten years, we will encourage growth and education from an early age.

  1. Create a Good Start Framework for children in the City of Vancouver from birth to 24 years. This framework will include guiding principles and priorities as well as some key actions including:
    • Promotion of the "$10 a day child care plan"
    • Promotion of affordable family housing
    • A Collective Impact approach to early childhood development
    • Creation of a minimum of 1,000 new child care spaces
    • Enhancement of parental leave opportunities
    • Initiatives to reduce childhood sedentary behaviour (such as physical literacy)
    • Facilitate 1,300 daily school breakfasts and food literacy development
    • Results: We will develop a framework that outlines the most effective way to use and align resources and partnerships to support children and families along a continuum of birth to 24 years.

Initiatives helping us reach these goals and targets

Children and childcare

Council is committed to making sure that all children get the support and care they need to grow and develop physically and mentally. Learn more about childcare and child development programs.

Vancouver Food Strategy

The Vancouver Food Strategy is a plan to improve our food system, making the city more equitable, sustainable, and economically healthy. Learn more, and get involved.

Neighbourhood planning projects

Community plans are important road maps that provide clear but flexible frameworks to guide positive change and development in neighbourhoods

Healthy City Action Plan 2015 - 2018

See what we've got planned to help meet our goals. 

Download the plan