Vancouver offers a wide range of childcare and school options for families, including on-campus childcare at UBC Vancouver campus.
Use the resources below for specific information about placing your children in childcare, elementary and secondary schools in Vancouver.
For information on childcare and schools in Kelowna near the UBC Okanagan campus, please visit Relocating to Kelowna.
UBC Childcare Services
UBC Childcare Services operates licensed group care for children from infancy through elementary school age on the Point Grey campus in Vancouver. It provides over 700 spaces designated for the children of students, faculty and staff at UBC and is the largest campus-based childcare provider in North America, and the largest provider of infant/toddler childcare in Vancouver.
All faculty and staff may apply for the UBC childcare waitlist. The waiting list tend to be long, and we suggest that you inquire early about available space.
Provost Priority Childcare Placement Program (PCPP)
In an effort to improve timing of access into on-campus childcare, this supplementary Provost Priority Childcare Placement Program (PCPP), provides a limited number of faculty members with priority placement on the UBC Childcare wait list in order to support strategic recruitment and retention priorities.
Tenure-stream faculty candidates who are interested in being recommended for this program should discuss potential access with the head, director or selection committee chair in their academic unit. Department Heads or Dean may recommend tenure stream faculty candidates for this program by completing the application (link below). Applications are forwarded to Vice Provost Academic Affairs for consideration of final approval.
UBC Childcare charges an additional monthly premium on top of regular childcare rates for two years for each daycare spot achieved through the PCPP. The Faculty or Department is required to pay the additional per child monthly premium cost associated with PCPP-assisted childcare spots for all endorsed faculty members. This program is not available to postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and / or associates, and staff.
Applications for July 2024 spots are now open through April 5th, 2024. Decisions will be communicated to applicants in early May.
Other Childcare Options
- Established in 1966, University Hill is a licensed non-profit preschool that offers a play-based program, which primarily follows the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching. It includes specific activities of the Montessori school as well, referred to as "exercises of practical life". Their programs run from September to June and welcome 3-year-old and 4-year-old students.
- Berwick Child Development Centre offers licensed childcare spaces to children ages 3-5 year-round in an integrated setting with typical children as well as children with special needs. Classes are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with extended day options from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. as well as 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Berwick focuses on growing communication and social skills in a rich and engaging learning environment. Priority placements are given to children of UBC faculty, staff, students, or University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) residents. Applications for supported special needs spaces at Berwick should refer to the Vancouver Supported Child Development Program.
- The Vista Point YMCA Child Care Centre has been made possible through a partnership between the YMCA, the UNA, and UBC. This centre has been built with the expressed purpose of addressing childcare needs for UBC’s growing residential community, with priority for families who do not work or study at UBC. It is intended to complement the services provided by UBC Childcare Services, who give priority to families who work or study at UBC.
- The new Wesbrook Childcare Centre has been constructed as an addition to the Wesbrook Community Centre. The facility accommodates 49 childcare spaces for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.children. The facility is the first building to meet the UBC Green Building Action Plan strategies in energy, water, materials and resources, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, quality, climate adaption, and place and experience. The centre is managed by the UNA and operated by the YMCA.
Off-campus Childcare in Vancouver
- Visit ChildCareBC for more information on childcare services available in Vancouver.
- Kids & Co. gives faculty and staff access to emergency childcare as well as priority placement. UBC is a member of this national childcare company that has several locations in the Lower Mainland and across B.C.
- Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre provides information, referrals, training and resources to families and care givers. Initiatives include the active recruitment of “license not required” caregivers (LNRs) around Vancouver and the accessibility to toy library services.
- The Development Disabilities Association (DDA) provides over 50 community-based programs and services for all children (including special needs), youths, and adults. UBC has partnered with the DDA to enhance the availability of child care for faculty and staff in five of their centres.
- Nannies on Call provides reliable quality childcare 24/7. Nannies have two years childcare experience, are pre-screened, and are first aid certified.
Elementary and Secondary Schools
B.C.'s Ministry of Education (link) is the provincial government branch that oversees standards and the quality of the educational system for both publicly funded and privately funded schools, from kindergarten through grade 12 (ages 5 - 17). Public schools in B.C. are organized geographically into school districts, and each of these districts have their own registration process.
- New Westminster
- Coquitlam / Port Coquitlam/ Port Moody
- North Vancouver
- West Vancouver
Please visit your local school district website for information on the registration process, school directories, catchment areas and specialized programs and services.
Foreign nationals and international fees:
New UBC faculty members who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply for either a study permit or a visitor record for each of their children. The documents will be attached to the children’s passports, with marked dates that they can legally reside in Canada.
Dates usually match the dates set out in the faculty member’s work permit. Preschool children do not need a study permit and can obtain a visitor record or a stamp in their passport on entry to Canada.
Your work permit must be valid for a full year in order to register your children in school without paying international fees.
Public Schools on UBCV Campus
There are three public schools on UBC campus that are within the Vancouver School district:
There is no guarantee that your child will be placed in your preferred school.
To register for public schools on campus, refer to Registering for Schools in Vancouver.
Registering for Schools in Vancouver
Children are required to register online through the Newcomer Welcome Centre (NWC), if one of the following criteria applies to them:
- Grade 1 to Grade 12 students born in Canada, and who DO NOT speak English as their home language.
- Kindergarten to Grade 12 students born outside Canada, regardless of language spoken at home.
- Parent/legal guardian is neither a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. This applies even if the child was born in Canada.
- Former students, who meet the criteria listed above, who were withdrawn from the VSB and have returned.
If your child was born in Canada, English is their first language, and none of the criteria indicated above apply, you will need to register on the VSB Apply Now portal.
The following documents are needed for the online registration to determine eligibility:
- Proof of British Columbia residency;
- The original birth certificate of the child;
- Applicable Immigration/Citizenship/Permanent Resident Documentation;
- Immunization Records, if available;
- Most recent report card, if available.
Documents that are not in English or French need to be translated in English by a certified translator. Please visit VSB for a comprehensive list of required documents/
After you complete the online registration process, you will be required to appear in person at the NWC with your child and your original documents. Use the confirmation email you received, after you submitted your online registration, to book an in-person appointment with a Registrar. You will need to present your original supporting documents during this meeting. Missing documents will delay the process.
Once your registration has been reviewed by a Registrar, and your child is assessed, if necessary, the completed registration package and the assessment results will be sent directly to the catchment/placement school. The school will contact you shortly after to discuss the next steps.
Your child will be placed at your neighbourhood school if you live within that school's boundary and there is space and a program available. If your catchment school is full, the school will find a place for your child at the next closest school that has space and a program available.
An elementary school student can transfer to the neighbourhood school when space becomes available. Secondary school students can only transfer to the neighbourhood school at the end of the school year, provided there is space, resources and a program available to accommodate the student.
If you arrive in the summer and your children are starting school in September, you may not find out the school they have been allocated to until late August.
- The Affordable Childcare Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of childcare. Factors like income, family size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. Families need to renew their applications every year.
- The UNA provides community centres, parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and community gardens throughout UBC’s residential neighbourhoods.
- Wesbrook Community Centre is located in the heart of Wesbrook Village, a resident-focused recreation in the UBC community. The community centre includes studios, gymnasiums, fitness centres, recycling centre and parking services.
- Located at Hawthorn Place, the Old Barn Community Centre provides a social, recreational and community gathering place for residents and students on campus. The Old Barn Community Centre houses meeting rooms, social spaces, a fitness centre and the Bean Around the World coffee shop.
- UBC Camps is a leading provider of high-quality camps for children ages 3-17. They offer a vast selection of summer camps, including adventure, art and music, enrichment, and sport and recreation programming.
- UBC Recreation is committed to providing all individuals on campus with welcoming, accessible, and enjoyable physical recreation opportunities. Some programs offered include the Intercultural Physical Activity Series, Move More, Learn More and Walking Programs.
- StrongStart is a free drop-in program offered to parents and caregivers with children ages zero to five years old. StrongStart program emphasizes learning through play, language and positive social interactions. StrongStart provides a rich learning environment, designed for early learning development. Qualified early childhood educators lead learning activities where children find opportunities to make friends and interact with others of similar ages. The overall learning experience is shared as parents and caregivers attend with their children and are encouraged to get involved in activities like telling stories, playing games and serving healthy snacks. English as a first language is not necessary to attend a StrongStart program.