Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre

Inspiring & Promoting Excellence in Child Care & Early Learning

Advice and Resources for Parents

Advice and Resources for Parents

Finding child care can be confusing, especially in a city like ours where over 16,000 additional spaces are needed. 

Each year, our Parent Services Team respond to over 7,000 requests from parents in Vancouver and help over 1,600 families to apply for financial assistance to help them pay for their child care. 

We have full lists of child care providers and vacancies around the city, and can help you understand your options and work out what type of child care will work best for your family. 

Some things to consider when you are thinking about finding child care are:

  • Your child’s age

  • Your schedule - what hours and days of the week do you need care for your child?

  • The location - whether you want child care in your home or near your home, work or school.

  • Your ideas about how your child should be cared for 

  • What child care is available in your community

  • What your family can afford to pay. 

Asking these questions will help our Parent Advisors provide you with a list of possible options. Once you have identified a shortlist of appropriate child care, you will want to arrange some visits and assess the suitability of the environment for your child.

A quality child care environment should:

  • Have a happy, relaxed atmosphere

  • Ensure children are well supervised, safe and secure

  • Demonstrate positive behaviour guidance

  • Be well planned and inviting

  • Promote children’s self-esteem and independence

  • Offer age-appropriate stimulating activities that help children learn and grow

  • Be clean, healthy and comfortable

  • Have quiet space for rest or sleep

  • Offer a range of books, creative materials, toys and both indoor and outdoor play areas 

  • Encourage parents to become involved in their children’s care. 

If you’re looking for child care in Vancouver and don’t know where to start, or you have questions about child care options, our Parent Advisors Grace Pan, Christine Fong and Angel Li are always happy to help. Advisors provide families with referrals only, not recommendations.

Community Outreach:

We also connect with community partners such as community centres and neighbourhood houses to present Choosing Child Care sessions and Affordable Child Care Benefit Clinics for parents.  We offer Choosing Child Care at least twice a month with Vancouver Coastal Health’s New Baby and Me drop-in programs. If you are interested in attending, you can connect with your local Public Health Nurse.  Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre is a non-profit organization and parent referral services are free of charge.

By Christine Fong, Grace Pan and Angel Li.