Settlement Information for Newcomers

Settlement Information For Newcomers

Settling in BC: Questions and Answers

Immigrants have many questions about living, studying, and working in BC.

The NewToBC team has collected 100s of questions that are often asked by new immigrants before or after they arrive in BC. To answer these questions, the team researched and found the most up-to-date and credible sources of information. Look through the lists of categories and questions for information about immigration, employment, education, health, housing, banking, the BC legal system, and transportation.

Many newcomers have shared with the NewToBC team that they wished they had known about this resource sooner!

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Child Care & Early Childhood Education

Child Care

Parents who work or go to school may need someone to take care of their children. If you do not have a family member to take care of your children, there are two different kinds of child care available – licensed and unlicensed. Licensed child care includes group child care centres, licensed family daycares, pre-school programs, and out-of-school care. Unlicensed child care includes nannies, babysitters, and unlicensed family daycares.

For more information:

The Government of British Columbia has developed a Child Care Programs Map, which lists all government-funded licensed child care facilities in British Columbia. You can also contact the Child Care Resource and Referral office in your community, and they can help you find child care. Your local settlement agency or your child’s school may also be able to provide you with information or referrals.

For more information:

In British Columbia, child care can be expensive and the cost varies depending on the age of the child and from provider to provider. The BC government provides different ways to reduce the cost of child care, including direct funding to some child care providers and child care benefits to some families.

For more information:

The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment made by the BC government to help eligible families with the cost of child care. Factors like income, family, size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. The Canada child benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families with children under age 18. It is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

For more information:

Early Childhood Education

A pre-school is a part-day program that helps young children prepare for school. Many pre-schools serve mixed-age groups and operate within a licensed child care. Others have separate sessions for children who are 3-4 years old. StrongStart and Ready, Set, Learn are located within elementary schools and are free. There are many other pre-schools such as Montessori, CEFA, and parent participation pre-schools that are not free. Most pre-schools run from September to June.

For more information:

You should contact your local settlement agency. They will be able to give you information about pre-schools in your community.

For more information:

If you would like to enrol your child in a StrongStartBC or ReadySetLearn program, you should contact your local school district. If you would like to enrol your child in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, you should contact your local settlement agency.

For more information: