Find child care

If you are working or going to school, you may need someone to take care of your children. British Columbia offers a wide range of child care options. Financial programs may help to cover some of the costs.

Licensed and Unlicensed Child Care

You can choose from licenced or unlicensed child care providers.

Licensed Child Care

Licensed child care facilities hire staff with specialized training who have passed inspections by local health authority community care licensing programs. Choose from these types of licensed child care:

  • A group child care centre (also called a daycare) takes children between 18 months and five years old. Daycare centres are usually open all day.
  • A family daycare usually takes babies and children of all ages, up to seven children in total. Family daycares are located in the caregiver’s home.
  • A preschool program has learning activities and games for children from three to five years old. Preschool programs usually run up to four hours each day.
  • Out-of-school care is a program for school-age children five to 12 years old at or near their school. It runs before and after school and on school holidays.

Unlicensed Child Care

Unlicensed child care facilities may only care for two children not related to the provider and are not monitored or inspected by the Government of British Columbia. Choose from these types of unlicensed child care:

  • A babysitter may be an adult or teenager who comes to your home for a day or for a shorter time. A nanny takes care of your child full-time. Nannies often live with the family.
  • An unlicensed daycare is usually located in the caregiver's home. It may take only one or two unrelated children, or one sibling group.
Check the Ministry of Children and Family Development website for more information.

Find a Child Care Provider in Your Community

B.C. Child Care Subsidy

Full-time child care can be expensive. A child care subsidy may pay for all or part of the cost of your child care, depending on how much money you earn.

Find out about the Child Care Subsidy Program  and how to apply  for it. Your local settlement services agency can help you.

Child Tax Benefit

If you have children under 18 years of age, the monthly Canada Child Tax Benefit could help you cover some of the costs of raising children. To qualify, at least one parent must be a resident of Canada. Both parents must send in their income tax forms every year, even if they have no income to report.

Learn more about the Child Tax Benefit and how to apply for it. Your local settlement services agency can help you.

Parenting Programs and Support Groups

Some programs can help you get information or support to raise your children or grandchildren.