Need help finding child care? British Columbia families can now access a new, improved online map that takes the guesswork out of searching for child care.
With just a few clicks of a mouse, the new Child Care Map provides busy parents quick, at-a-glance information that shows – for each facility in a parent’s desired location – what programs are offered, if there are any available spaces, contact information, hours of operation and more. This is one of only three child-care maps in all of Canada that show which centres have vacancies.
“The Child Care Map was designed to reflect feedback that we heard from both parents and providers to help make finding child care easier,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. “Now for the first time in B.C., parents have access to all the information they need on one screen with the ability to print the profiles of facilities they want to check out in person.”
Here’s how the new Child Care Map makes searching for child care easier for parents:
- New icons clearly indicate vacancies in both licensed family and licensed group child-care centres.
- Search filters are now embedded in the map, allowing parents to have real-time, concurrent searches all on one screen.
- Updated search functions allow parents to search for child care by using their current GPS location, typing in a city and clicking on a location on the map.
- At-a-glance information that clearly indicates whether a facility is staffed with certified Early Childhood Educators or those trained within the Early Learning Framework.
- New pop-up tabs break out information into easy-to-read, functional categories.
- The new print feature allows parents to print single provider profiles or a list of provider profiles with maps.
To help make this online tool even more accessible, a mobile-friendly version is expected later this year, so parents can search from anywhere on any device. Also on the way is a new search feature that will allow parents to search for child care by vacancy – so, if they choose, the only results they will get are for centres that currently have spaces available.
“Selecting the right child-care space for my son was important to me.” said parent Mulalo Sadike. “The new Child Care Map cuts the time it takes to research facilities online in half and within seconds of clicking on the map, I could instantly see what was available near me. This would have saved me hours of time searching online and making phone calls. If you are just starting to look for care, make sure you check this map out.”
“Parents and child-care providers are busy,” said Stephen Butz, CEO of YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “This new Child Care Map makes it easy for providers like us to give parents accurate information about the services we offer, spaces we have available and how to contact us for more information or to book a tour.”
The ministry partnered with DataBC with the goal of improving the existing child-care map. Originally, staff thought the way to do so was to create a full child-care registry. However, after engaging with and listening to parents and child-care providers, staff learned that many parents and providers prefer to manage the registry process on their own. With this feedback in mind, the new Child Care Map better supports both parents and care providers.
“Our government is committed to streamlining and improving service delivery for British Columbians,” said Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Coralee Oakes. “The new Child Care Map is a perfect example of how we are improving existing services to better support the needs of parents and business owners in B.C.”
The government’s investment of $150,000 for the new Child Care Map is part of an ongoing commitment under the B.C. Early Years Strategy to help improve access and provide families with more choice in a range of high-quality child-care programs.
- The launch of the new Child Care Map is part of a number of activities the Ministry of Children and Family Development announced as part of Child Care Month in May.
- Other announcements include:
- $500,000 for the Early Childhood Education Bursary, bringing the total Provincial investment to $2.13 million since 2014;
- Child Care Awards of Excellence and Child Care Legacy Awards, which recognize the outstanding dedication of B.C.’s child-care providers and early childhood educators and facilities with over 40 years of service; and
- Projects approved for Phase 3 Child Care Major Capital Funding, which will help build new licensed child-care spaces in British Columbia. Stay tuned for more information about these new spaces and this investment later this week.
To check out the new Child Care Map, please visit: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
If you are a child care operator and would like more information about funding and other services the government offers, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareoperatingfunding
Share your ideas to help cut red tape: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/helpcutredtape/