Childcare and school registration

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

On-campus childcare

UBC Child Care Services

The UBC Child Care Services provides 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

The Berwick Child Development Centre has licensed child care spaces for children ages 3 to 5, including those with special needs. Priority placements are given to children of UBC faculty, staff, students, or University Neighbourhoods Association residents.

To apply, please email or call 604 822 6616.

Off-campus childcare

The following services can provide guidance and referrals to off-campus childcare facilities:​​​​​​

  • The Development Disabilities Association (DDA) 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.
  • Wescoast Child Care Resource Centre | A non-profit society providing a list of all childcare providers in the lower-mainland
  • Immigrant Support Services of BC | Providing a variety of support services to help immigrants get settled.
  • SUCCESS | Supports the wellbeing of Canadians and immigrants from diverse ethnic origins through social, educational, and health services, business and community development, and advocacy.
  • Pacific Immigrant Resources Society | Community-based organization that provides services for immigrant women and their young children.

School registration

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 |

How to register your children in school

  1. Determine where you need to go
    1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Prepare relevant documents
    • District Reception and Placement Centre:
      • Passport
      • 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.

Helpful tips

For information about provincial standards and helpful tips on how to find child care, visit the Government of BC’s website on child care.


Rights and responsibilities

Laws about the rights and responsibilities of parents in BC and in Canada may be different from those in your home country. Be sure to read Caring for Children: Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities, a booklet published in several languages by the People’s Law School.


Child Care Subsidy | 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 Child Care Services | Operates licensed group care for infants through to school age children, as well as a preschool program and independent kindergarten for families accessing the University of British Columbia. 
604 822 5343 |

UBC Daycare Parent Council | The UBC Child Care Parent 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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