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Vancouver’s approach to children and childcare

Council recognizes that quality childcare and early learning opportunities help to foster healthy children and communities, and play a crucial role in the social and economic stability of our city.

Council also supports accessible, affordable and quality childcare as essential to the health and well-being of Vancouver’s children and families.

As such, it is critical that all levels of government, community and business sectors maintain an active partnership in developing and supporting a strong system of early care and learning.

The Joint Childcare Council

The City of Vancouver works with the Park Board and the Vancouver Board of Education work to support and deliver accessible, affordable, quality childcare spaces in the City.

Working with these two civic agencies - plus business and academic communities - we have established a Joint Council on Childcare (JCC).

The JCC provides leadership in childcare and child development in Vancouver. In 2012, the JCC accepted a target of creating 500 new childcare spaces in Vancouver over 3 years.

Early care and learning plan

In 2011, City Council passed a motion to support the $10-a-Day Plan (Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning)  (4 MB).

The plan was prepared by Early Childhood Education of BC and Coalition of Childcare Advocates of BC.

The plan builds on research that demonstrates that public spending  on the early years is a wise social and economic investment, and that quality childcare is early learning. It honours children's and families' right to quality early care and learning.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • A new role for boards of education
  • The development of early years centre networks
  • Enhancing kindergarten and grade one
  • Strengthening school age care and family child care
  • Developing an early childhood educator's workforce

The plan offers an innovative and ambitious way forward. It provides a framework for significant and lasting change.

Research on outdoor childcare spaces and child development

On May 3, 2016, professor Susan Herrington External website presented to Council as part of May is Early Learning and Childcare Month celebrations.

Her presentation "Outdoor Play Spaces at Childcare Centres: What Matters Most" PDF file (5 MB) shared recent research addressing physical factors of outdoor childcare spaces which contribute to early child development. High quality outdoor child care spaces address Healthy City Strategy goals around healthy childhood development, opportunities for active living, and access to nature.