Let me paint a picture for you: it’s a rainy morning, your toddler is crawling the walls, your baby is cranky and you just need to see another adult. Of course there are many things you can do in Vancouver. But how much do they cost? Luckily, parents of kids from birth to age five can take advantage of one of the StrongStart Vancouver locations and the fabulous, free program they offer to preschoolers and their parents.
StrongStart is a provincial program designed to foster early learning. Parents participate with their children in play-based activities such as stories, music and art. All of the StrongStart Vancouver locations help prepare children for success in kindergarten – and help connect parents to local resources and to each other.
StrongStart Vancouver Details
Vancouver has 19 StrongStart Early Learning Centres, and all of them are located in public elementary schools. This isn’t really preschool – parents and caregivers are required to stay with their children – but it feels a lot like preschool all the same. Schedules vary, but most include play time, art activities, circle time, snack time and so on. We should note that caregivers besides parents can bring children. It is also not necessary to have English as a first language to attend.
The program runs on Monday through Friday on school days. Keep in mind that while they all have similar hours, different StrongStart Vancouver locations are busier than others. Also keep in mind that you will have to register on your first day so bring proof of your child’s birthdate and proof of residency (i.e. your child’s birth certificate and your BC driver’s license). It’s best to call ahead for details about registration and hours.
StrongStart Vancouver Locations
Here are the 19 StrongStart locations in the city:
- Champlain Heights Annex, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4880
- Collingwood, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.5340
- Cook, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4828
- Douglas, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4817
- Grenfell, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4844
- Henderson Annex, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4872
- MacDonald, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4696
- MacKenzie, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4799
- Macquinna, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4705
- Moberly, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4784
- Mt Pleasant, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4617
- Nelson, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4595
- Nightingale, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.5290
- Queen Alexandra, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4599
- Selkirk, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4650
- Seymour, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.5945
- Thunderbird, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4611
- Tillicum Annex, 12:30 – 3:30pm, 604.713.4716
- Waverley, 9:00am – 12:00pm, 604.713.4752
For more information about StrongStart Vancouver, visit www.vsb.bc.ca/programs/strong-start. To find out more about StrongStart across the whole province (it’s not just in Vancouver!) visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/learn/strongstart-bc.