Child care and school registration

If you are a student with a child, there are many child care services you can access.


Browse on-campus or community resources and services for child care. The British Columbia government also offers provincial resources and tips on finding child care.

If you’re an international student, please familiarize yourself with the Canadian laws about the rights and responsibilities of parents in British Columbia. They may be different from those in your home country.

On-campus child care

  • UBC Child Care Services
    Apply for multiple licensed child care programs for children from infancy through elementary school age. The number of spaces is limited and waitlists can be very long, so apply before you arrive at UBC.
  • Berwick Child Development Centre
    Find licensed child care spaces for children aged 3 to 5, including those with special needs. Priority placements are given to children of UBC faculty, staff, students, or University Neighbourhoods Association residents.

Off-campus child care

The following services can provide guidance and referrals to off-campus child care facilities:

  • The Development Disabilities Association (DDA)
    The association provides over 50 community-based programs and services for all children, including those with special needs, youth, and adults. UBC has partnered with the DDA to enhance the availability of child care for faculty and staff in 5 of their centres.
  • Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre
    This non-profit society offers a list of all child care providers in the lower-mainland.
  • Immigrant Support Services of BC
    If you are an immigrant new to British Columbia, a variety of support services are available for you.
    Access social, educational, and health services, or get help with business and community development.
  • Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
    The community-based organization provides services for immigrant women and their young children.

About the British Columbia school system

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 4.

The Vancouver School Board operates the public elementary and secondary schools in Vancouver. Suburbs of Vancouver have their own school boards.

International student information

If your study permit is valid for at least 1 year, and you are enrolled at a publicly funded institution such as UBC, your minor children, aged 18 years of age or 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 the Immigrant Services Society of BC by phone at 604 684 2561 or through email at

Registering your children in school

For children born outside of Canada

Please complete the Newcomer Welcome Centre online application if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your child was born outside of Canada.
  • Your primary language at home is not English.
  • You and your child are currently living in Vancouver and have a confirmed address in Vancouver.

For children born in Canada

If your child was born in Canada and English is their first language, please register online with the Vancouver School Board.

Additional resources

  • Affordable Child Care Benefit
    Apply for a monthly payment to assist eligible families with the cost of child care. You may be eligible to receive full or partial subsidy based on your family’s circumstances.

  • UBC Parent Council
    The Council represents the parents of children enrolled in UBC Child Care Services. Parent representatives play a key role in communication between centre parents and UBC Child Care Services administration.

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