In Canada, the school year for children runs from September to June. There is a two-week break in December and a two-week break in March. Children can enter Kindergarten as young as age four.
The Vancouver School Board operates the public elementary and secondary schools in Vancouver. Suburbs of Vancouver have their own school boards.
If your study permit is valid for at least one year and you are enrolled at a publicly funded institution such as UBC, your minor children (18 years of age and younger) are eligible to attend elementary and secondary school as if they were Canadian residents. They will not be required to pay international student fees. You should begin the enrolment process for your children as early as possible after your arrival. If you reside in Vancouver, see the Vancouver School Board website for more information.
English Classes for Children
Many schools offer ESL classes for their students as part of the regular curriculum. For information about these programs, contact:
Immigrant Services Society of BC | 604 684 2561 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to register your children in school
- Determine where you need to go
- Register at the District Reception and Placement Centre (1000 East 59th Avenue; open 8.30-11am, Monday to Friday):
- all children NOT born in Canada
- Grade 1 to Grade 12 children born in Canada who DO NOT speak English as their home language
- Register at neighbourhood schools:
- Grade 1 to Grade 12 children born in Canada who speak English as their home language
- all Kindergarten children born in Canada regardless of their home language
- Prepare relevant documents
- District Reception and Placement Centre:
- Passport stamp or visitor record indicating the day your child entered CanadaCopy of the parents' study or work permitsProof of residence in Vancouver: formal long-term rental or lease agreement and hydro or cable statement or Parent Declaration of Residence form (available at the District Reception and Placement Centre)
- The following should be translated in English if necessary:
- Immunization documents
- Birth certificate
- Copies of the last two years of school report cards/marks/evaluations (ELEMENTARY) or all report cards from grade7/age 13 to present (SECONDARY)
- Any other relevant documentation involving guardianship, court orders, etc.
- Neighbourhood schools:
- Student Application Form
- All the documents listed on the form
For more information, visit the Vancouver School Board website or the CIC website.