Licensed preschool at community centres

Children and childcare in Vancouver

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

March 27, 2020: If you are providing essential services in Vancouver during the COVID-19 pandemic (example: health care) and have no other options for childcare, request a childcare referral.

What's happening

Review our latest report

May 28, 2020: May is Early Learning and Childcare month. Our staff report reviews how COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has impacted childcare, our response, and our goals for recovery.


New childcare spaces

July 4, 2019: Vancouver families can look forward to having as many as 2,300 new child care spaces created through our new partnership with the Province and other sectoral partners.

Children who have a good start in life do better at school and enjoy improved physical and mental health.

We recognize that children benefit from quality care, family support, and opportunities for play, learning, and connection. This is why childcare and early learning is reflected so prominently in our Healthy City Strategy.

Licensing, funding, and subsidizing childcare is the role of the provincial government. In April 2018, the Province of British Columbia committed to the Childcare BC plan . Council recognizes that accessible, affordable, quality childcare is best delivered with many partners working together.

Advancements in Vancouver childcare

The Mayor and Council speak about why access to quality and affordable childcare is essential to healthy, resilient, and equitable communities.

Addressing the high need for childcare

Recognizing that childcare is a public amenity intended primarily to support working families, Council and staff:

  • Partner with non-profit organizations to deliver quality, affordable, and accessible childcare
  • Facilitate the development of infrastructure to support integrated childcare services, including licensed group care and other family support services
  • Use financial tools to leverage facilities and land, and offset some operating costs 
  • Encourage senior governments to uphold their responsibility for childcare

Although childcare is a senior government responsibility, we're trying to make a modest impact and provide leadership in demonstrating the role that a municipal government can play in childcare.

Since the 1970’s we've facilitated the creation of over 4,400 childcare spaces (including preschool), in partnership with developers, the Province, and non-profit organizations. We surpassed our 1,000 space creation target from our 2015 – 2018 Capital Plan and set a new 1,000 space creation target for our 2019 – 2022 Capital Plan. We also provide grants to support qualifying non-profit childcare centres

Learn more about Vancouver’s approach to childcare.

For more information or assistance, contact us at childcare@vancouver.ca

Resources for childcare providers

Developing a childcare centre

The City helps create high quality, licensed childcare facilities throughout Vancouver. Get the City's Childcare Guidelines and apply for available grants.

Learn more

Resources for delivering quality early learning programs

Useful resources to help Early Childhood Educators and administrators deliver high-quality licensed childcare programs.

Learn more

Resources for parents and caregivers

Raising healthy children

Information, tools, and resources to help parents and guardians raise happy, healthy, and active children.

Learn more

UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP)

HELP’s population level research helps inform the work of City staff by highlighting the ways in which children and youth in Vancouver may or may not be thriving.