Get advice for finding safe licensed child care in your area.
How do I find licensed child care?
Finding the right child care for your children is an important decision many families need to make. It can be confusing to navigate the different types of child care options available and decide which one is right for you, your child, your family and your budget.
Check out our comprehensive guide to accessing child care to find answers about:
There are also several community programs and resources you can turn to for help in your search. The YMCA offers a Child Care Resource and Referral Program. This is a free service for B.C. parents looking for child care. YMCA program staff can answer questions and provide a list of licensed facilities in your area. Check out their free, downloadable parent information package.
The Government of British Columbia also offers a free Parents' Guide to Selecting and Monitoring Child Care in B.C. guide, which is available to download. You may also be interested in the parent participation StrongStart BC program, a free kindergarten-readiness program that children under five attend with their guardians. There are StrongStart BC centres located in select schools in most regions of the province.
How do I know if a child care facility is safe?
Take your time to do your research when choosing a safe child care provider for your child. Make sure to do your homework, ask questions, get the facts and ensure both you and your child feel comfortable with the provider, the facility, and their rules and regulations. Here are some things to consider:
- Make sure to visit child care facilities you are considering in advance to ask questions of the owners and care providers, to tour and inspect the facility and see children at play and the teachers in action.
- Ask for references and reach out to other parents you may know with children in care of the facility.
- Read the Government of British Columbia How to Choose Quality Child Care in B.C. guide.
- Check the inspection reports for child care providers from the last three years - just click on your community in the list at the left hand side of the page to see a full list of licensed day cares.
- If you are concerned about child abuse or neglect at a child care facility, here are things to keep in mind about keeping your child safe and reporting to authorities.