Emergency Childcare, Extra Support & Tips for Parents

Temporary emergency child care for essential workers  

We are pleased to inform you that Temporary Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers is now available for children age 0-12 of essential service workers, including VCH and PHC staff, who have no other care options. There are referral systems set up across the VCH and PHC region that will connect essential workers with providers of licensed childcare services that are open, safe, and available during this public health crisis.

Who does it apply to?

The Temporary Emergency Child Care is for essential workers who do not have any other appropriate alternative care options. Essential workers include staff who are essential to delivering patient care and life-saving services. A detailed list of essential services is available here. As per the director of Provincial Health Officer, Bonnie Henry, we encourage any family who can arrange for care at home to please do so. We encourage managers and staff to explore flexible work arrangements where possible.

Who manages the intake and matching process?

Intake and matching for children age 0-12 is being done by Child Care Resource & Referral Centres (CCRRs). CCRRs are long-standing community-based organizations, funded by MCFD to connect families to licensed child care. There is one CCRR in each of Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, Sea to Sky and Sunshine Coast, and they are all-hands-on-deck to support and coordinate these efforts (CCRR descripti​on)​

Submission forms


If you would like to access care in Vancouver, submit the Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre (WCCRC) online req​uest form.

Parents or guardians will then receive an email from WCCRC with a list of operators to contact.

Outside Vancouver

If you would like to access care in one of the regions below, please fill out this form​ and submit via email to the appropriate contact person below:​

North shore CCRR

Richmond CCRR

Sea to Sky CCRR

Sunshine Coast CCRR

Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody – YMCA CCRR

Burnaby, New Westminster – YMCA CCRR

Information about services:

Childcare will be provided in appropriately licensed childcare facilities for ages 0-3, 3-school age, school age-12

Program Capacity: The number of spaces made available for emergency childcare will be at the discretion of each operator, within their licensed capacity and under health protocols. ​

Hours of operation: Hours of operation vary by operator. Many are open Monday to Friday, approximately 7:30am – 6:00pm. Some may offer extended and weekend hours.  

Fees: To be paid to the operator directly, at a rate defined by the operator.  

Duration: The Temporary Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers initiative will be in place as long as the Public Health Officer is advising that all parents who can, should care for their children at home, and that childcare services can and must be provided in a safe manner for those families whose parents work in critical roles.  

Health & Safety: Childcare operators have been adjusting the way they operate in response to COVID-19 and will continue to do so with the guidance of the Public Health Officer and support from the licensing team at Vancouver Coastal Health

 Financial support: If people need financial support for childcare the CCRR can provide information about accessing the Affordable Child Care Benefit 

Additional information for children aged 0-5 and school aged children 5-12 is found on my.vch.ca 

UBC Med Students offer help Medical Staff:

The Vancouver Medical Staff Association would like to thank all of its members for their tireless service during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of recent school and impending daycare closures, and recognizing that your hours and responsibilities are likely being extended while these services have been taken away, medical students at UBC have volunteered their time to support you. 

If you are in need of childcare or other urgent services and would like assistance from a UBC med student, please click here to fill out a short application. (Please read the application carefully as student availability may vary.) Members from departments most impacted by COVID-19 will be prioritized. Please note that this is not an initiative of the UBC Faculty of Medicine; it is a student-led and student-organized attempt to support the physician community.

Additional resources from the Vancouver Medical, Dental and Allied Staff Association (VMDAS) can be located online via their website.

BCIT nursing students offer to help frontline

Are you nursing staff or physician looking for a little extra support outside work? The BCIT student nursing program has co-ordinated a group of volunteers looking to provide assistance to frontline workers.
Types of support include, but not necessarily limited to are:

  • Basic childcare
  • Grocery shopping
  • Trips to the pharmacy
  • Pet care
  • General errands for health-care providers.

Senior students are also open to the possibility of para-clinical (e.g. contact tracing) volunteer opportunities should they be identified, so long as policies are in place to ensure the safety of students in a more clinical setting.

 Should you feel that you would benefit from this service, please fill one of the following surveys to make an individual or para-clinical request. 


B.C.’s schools are officially closed: Tips for VCH parents

With B.C.’s schools now closed indefinitely, Vancouver Coastal Health has established a priority working group with key municipal partners to address childcare needs for essential services staff. While day care centres are permitted to stay open for now, the situation may change in the coming

While a longer-term strategy is being developed, we are hoping the following tips are helpful for VCH parents.  Download the guide here.