Expansion of child care facilities on UBC Vancouver Campus

December 04, 2018

The UBC Executive recently approved the construction of three- 3,500 square foot modular buildings in Acadia Park, which will add up to 100 child care spaces to the Vancouver campus by the end of summer 2019. 

UBC is the largest provider of on-campus child care in North America, with a total of 814 licensed spaces currently funded across campus. Although the supply of child care spaces at UBC has progressively increased over the last 40 years – similar to regional trends – the university continues to face growing demand for child care from university faculty, students and staff, especially as the number of permanent residents on campus grows. As such, the new modular buildings will enable UBC to fast-track the addition of child care spaces so it can respond more quickly to increases in child care demand.


Custom-designed for the needs of children, the modular buildings will provide a significant expansion of infant, toddler, 3-5-year old and school-age care while also meeting strict regulatory requirements from Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC. 

Modular buildings are a relatively quick, efficient and cost-effective way to deliver new child care spaces on existing vacant land in East Campus. When the land is redeveloped in 10-15 years, these modular centres will be replaced at a minimum one-to-one ratio and the buildings will be decommissioned, repurposed in a different campus location or sold. 

In addition, as the provincial government increases funding for child care spaces, UBC’s modular childcare buildings have the potential to be used as a standard for other projects and influence future construction of child care spaces at UBC and around the province. 


Architectural plans for the modular child care spaces are being finalized along with details of the bid process, which is expected to go to tender before the end of the year. Construction is anticipated to begin early in 2019, with occupancy in late summer 2019.

Moving forward, UBC is committed to expanding child care options as the campus community grows. The university recognizes that child care is not only a key component of recruitment and retention for UBC faculty, students and staff, but it is also a provincially-required amenity for UBC neighbourhood development. As such, university staff have been exploring options to deliver new child care spaces earlier than originally planned in the university’s Child care Expansion Plan (CCEP). The plan provides a framework to deliver on UBC’s child care policy commitments, and addresses both long-range institutional needs for child care and projected neighbourhood demand. 

Since a revised CCEP was presented to Executive in May 2018, the university has made a number of positive steps towards improving access to child care. In addition to the expansion in Acadia Park, UBC has also approved the Wesbrook Child Care Centre, a 49-space facility that is now in the design-development phase and is expected to be completed in spring 2020. In addition, a 24-space before- and after-school care centre, operated by the YMCA, opened this fall in the Old Barn Community Centre. 

Please visit the UBC Housing & Relocation Services website for information about the various on- and off-campus child care options, including UBC Child Care Services which operates licensed group care on the Point Grey campus for children of students, faculty and staff at UBC. All students, faculty and staff should apply early to the UBC Child Care Services Waitlist

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