How to Find Childcare When You Move

Even if you have answered the million dollar question of where to find a daycare near me, found the perfect place and fell in love with the people, life has a funny way of turning things upside down.

I know. Three years ago I was settled in Alberta. My only daughter was in a fantastic daycare, and everything was figured out. Fast forward to today, and I am in British Columbia, I have another 16 month old daughter, and I work from home because I just couldn't find daycare that met our needs when I needed it.

Finding Childcare When You Move

If you think that finding daycare when you move is going to be as simple as typing "daycare near me" into your browser, making a few phone calls, sending a few emails, doing a site visit and signing the paperwork, think again.

Childcare, particularly in Canada's big cities, has a serious availability shortage, and it gets worse when you're dealing with younger kids, notably because of staffing ratios. So many people, like me, will move to a new city to pursue a job, only to find when they arrive that they just can't find the childcare they need.

Leaving Support Systems Behind

One of the biggest problems for most people seeking childcare when they move is that they typically move away from support systems. In my case, I had left my family behind when I emigrated to Canada already, but moving from a moderately sized city in Alberta to one of the biggest cities in Canada brought a host of challenges that I wasn't prepared for. Anyone leaving their family behind to pursue the Canadian dream is likely to experience the same problem. Things get tricky when nana is no longer around to take care of your darlings when you need her to!

Start Early!

Our last move was a surprise. So much of a surprise that from confirming that we were moving, to being on the road, was less than two weeks. That's not ideal when you're moving to a large Canadian city, and you're going to need child care!

Start as early as you can. Find out where you're going to be living, and start calling around. If you can plan a trip to visit childcare locations personally, and get on the wait list, so much the better. Many child care facilities in bigger Canadian cities have wait lists that are many months deep though, so don't wait. Get started as soon as you can.

Plan B

When we moved to the west coast, it was a big surprise for everyone. Since I had a job and my husband didn't, and since we only had one daughter at the time that needed out of school care, we were able to get her into an OSC within about a month of arriving, and my husband simply delayed his job search until that happened. I'd strongly recommend having a similar plan B in place unless you have the paperwork signed and deposit paid on your child care plans.

Use a Service Like is a service that lets parents post their baby sitting needs in a specific location, and by skills required, certifications, services needed and budget, among many other options. The best part? We're going to be national soon, and then no matter where you're moving from, and where you're moving to, you can post your child care needs free, and start getting offers, long before you have to start filling boxes! connects Canadian parents with child care providers of all sizes and descriptions, from full time facility based care to nannies and babysitters. We also allow families to post respite care, pet sitting and elder care jobs. Join us. Make finding child care during your next move easy, convenient and stress free!


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