Orientation and gradual entry

Once you have accepted your offer of enrolment, it’s time to get ready for your child’s first days with UBC Child Care.

Your orientation

After accepting your offer, an Early Childhood Educator from your child’s new setting will contact you to arrange an orientation meeting, which will take place prior to your child’s first day.

Your orientation will take about one hour, during which time you’ll get the chance to:

  • visit your child’s new child care setting and see the space.
  • meet your child’s educators.
  • learn more about the gradual entry process and schedule.
  • find out what to bring on your child’s first day—also covered below.
  • ask any additional questions.


Is the orientation meeting mandatory?

Yes, your orientation meeting is required. The meeting would only be waived if your family has previously been enrolled at the same setting.

What if I do not yet live in Vancouver?

If you have not yet moved to Vancouver, we can book your orientation meeting for after you arrive.

Gradual entry

Starting child care can be a big adjustment for both children and their families. Even children who have been in child care before typically need time to get to know new people before they become comfortable in a new space.

With that in mind, and to help provide the best start for your child, gradual entry is a required element of our orientation process.


Gradual entry lasts approximately one week, beginning with short visits and building up to a full day of care by the end of your child’s first week.

A more detailed schedule of the gradual entry process and schedule will be provided during your orientation meeting.

Pick-up and drop-off

To ensure there is opportunity for daily discussion and connection between families and educators during gradual entry, we recommend that a parent or guardian drop off and pick up their child during gradual entry.

However, we understand that some families may need to have another family member or caregiver drop off and pick up their child during gradual entry. If that will be the case for your family, please let us know during your orientation.

What to bring on your child’s first day

On your child’s first day, please be prepared to provide:

  • Lunch—please send a packed lunch for your child. Both hot and cold food is welcome, as long as it is packed safely (i.e., in a thermos to keep it hot or with an ice pack to keep it cold).
  • Snacks—please send two nutritious snacks for the day.
  • Napping supplies—a blanket and/or cuddly toy for children of napping age.
  • Extra clothing—a complete set of extra clothing. Please bring two or three sets for children who are still in toilet learning stages.
  • Outside clothing—a complete set of rain gear and warm clothing for outdoor play.

Any additions or changes to the above list will be discussed during your orientation meeting.

Nutritious lunch ideas!

Check out this great HealthLinkBC resource for lunch ideas, snack ideas, nutritional recommendations and more.