About the Program: Come Read with Me is an interactive workshop based on our tutor training and facilitated by a ONE TO ONE educator designed to give parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn positive strategies to help them support their children
The Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Service provides free, confidential, multilingual, information and referral regarding community resources for people in BC dealing with substance use and addiction issues. Provides information about detox, counselling, treatment programs, recovery homes, and support groups. Also covers education and prevention resources, and other concerns such as harm reduction and fetal alcohol and drug effects. Telephone assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Funded by Ministry of Health (MOH)
VictimLink BC provides free, confidential, multilingual phone information and referral about community resources for victims of crime, as well as immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services. Help line staff provide emotional and crisis support; referral to victim services, transition houses, counselling resources, and community services, and information about the justice system, federal and provincial legislation and services, crime prevention, safety planning, and the protection orders registry. Serves BC and Yukon, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Funded by Ministry of Attorney General (MAG). Administration: 604-875-6381 Fax: 604-660-9415
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program Pacific Post Partum Support Society (PPPSS) provides a variety of free or low-cost programs for those experiencing a difficult pregnancy or postpartum adjustment, including postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A) including fathers/partners and LGBTQ+ families. Their website is rich with videos and other resources, and they offer free telephone and text message support and weekly support groups.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program VICCIR assists immigrant and refugees who are suffering from the psychological and emotional wounds from their past experiences by providing quality and accessible counselling services. Offices located in Victoria and Duncan.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program 1st Wednesday of the month 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm What to expect: Come meet parents, caregivers, and close adult family members of trans, gender non-conforming, and Two-Spirit children, youth, and young adults. This group is facilitated by a trans person and a parent (on a rotating basis). We always have food and bus tickets available. No childminding on-site, but childminding subsidies are available. 3rd Monday of the month 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm What to expect: Come meet parents, caregivers, and close adult family members of trans, gender non-conforming, and Two-Spirit children, youth, and young adults. This group uses a peer-support model and is facilitated by a trans person and/or a parent of a trans young adult (on a rotating basis). Currently rotating between online and in-person meetings.
December 1, 2021: This program is currently on hold due to the pandemic. Please see the GVPL website for continuing program updates. Did you know libraries are for more than borrowing books, CDs, and movies? Passes to local museums and attractions are also up for loan! In partnership with local organizations, the Greater Victoria Public Library gives library cardholders the opportunity to enrich mind and body with hands-on experiences at cultural institutions and recreational centres. Examples of passes available: Butterfly Gardens, Maritime Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Robert Bateman Centre, Saanich Recreation, Royal BC Museum, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. If don't have a library card yet, don't worry, they're free! Just visit any GVPL branch.
This online guide provides ideas and suggestions about dental hygiene, preparing for visits to the dentist, and general care, for families with special needs children and teens.
The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) is a provincial not-for-profit society committed to supporting families who have a family member with a disability. FSI is unique in Canada and the only grassroots family-to-family organization with a broad volunteer base. FSI’s supports and services are FREE to any family.
ACT is a not-for-profit society that provides evidence-based information resources and training for the autism community. Our goal is to enable parents, professionals, and paraprofessionals to support children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to live productive, satisfying lives, but much of our information is relevant across neurodiversities. Visit our website to see our free information resources, training video library and our upcoming workshops.
ACT’s Autism Manual for B.C. is a manual for Living and Working with Children and Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Community organizations and parents are welcome to print the relevant sections of the manual for easy reference. If you have corrections or updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Options for Children and Families is a welcoming, innovative organization that provides a wide range of services to people with developmental disabilities, their families and their caregivers on South Vancouver Island. We work in partnership with other organizations, individuals and government to ensure the inclusion of all people in our community.
Autism Information Services British Columbia (AIS BC) is a provincial information centre for autism and related disorders that provides information and supports to families, service providers, and community professionals across B.C. Our experienced staff are available by phone, in person, or by email to explain the range of best practice treatment options for autism spectrum disorder to help you navigate the BC service system.
Working with families, the Supported Child Development Program (SCDP) provides consultation, extra staffing supports and staff training to child care providers and early childhood educators. The SCDP helps to ensure that all children are included in, and learn from, their preschool, daycare, or child care arrangement in Greater Victoria. Referrals are accepted from both parents and professionals who work with children with developmental and behavioural challenges from birth to 19 years.
This program provides speech and language services to infants, toddlers and preschool children. To receive services, children must: have only speech and/or language delays or disorders, and be preschool aged – not yet eligible for kindergarten. Speech-language assessments and treatment are offered at the five regional public health units located in Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, West Shore and the Peninsula. Visit the website to contact the Health Unit closest to you.
Queen Alexandra provides orthotics, foot care, splinting, prosthetics, pedorthics, seating, and assistive devices to people of all ages across Vancouver Island. They care for people who need acute care, emergency, and rehabilitation services. Whatever your physical needs or challenges, they can help you go where and do what you want. Their services are located in at Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health, in the Fisher Building, 2400 Arbutus Road. These services are referral-based, please talk to your doctor about obtaining a referral.
BC211 connects people to the community, government and social services they need. You can call or text 2-1-1 any day of the week, between 8 AM and 11PM. They offer confidential, multi-lingual, and texting services. You can also chat online, link is below.
In light of the enhanced public health strategies to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, La Leche League Canada has suspended all in-person meetings and events until further notice.
Free prenatal and free group meeting information: https://www.lllc.ca/virtual-
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program These informal drop-in education sessions are put on by the Sooke Health Unit. Topics focus on infants 0-12 months of age and are led by a public health nurse. This is a great way to learn about raising your baby as well as a great way to meet other parents of young infants. Located at the Sooke Health Unit, 6672 Wadams Way Sooke, B.C. Call to find out the weekly discussion topic.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program The Westshore "1000 X 5" Children’s Book Recycling Project was started in September 2012. Through this initiative, gently-used children’s picture books are collected from the community, screened for suitability, counted, labelled, sorted, and bagged for distribution to young children (birth-5 years) and their families in the Westshore. Drop off locations are at every School District #62 elementary school in the Westshore area. Just ask the office for the location of the donation box. We share books on a rotating basis to 250 families per month.
Island Sexual Health offers information on pregnancy, testing, options and decision making. They are are a pro-choice organization that offers non-biased, factual, and comprehensive information equally on all options available in Canada. They believe a pregnant person has the ability and right to make the best decision for themselves when they are given objective, non biased information. You can make an appointment for more information and support. The Victoria Clinic is located at #101-3960 Quadra Street
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. The centre helps immigrants, refugees, new Canadian citizens, and visible minorities settle and adapt into new lives in Greater Victoria. Their mission is to assist in the settlement and adjustment of immigrants and refugees in Canada, and to provide services designed to increase the newcomer's participation in Canadian society, by assisting the newcomer to overcome barriers. They are located at 1004 North Park Street, Victoria
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) helps individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. We provide information, support and tools to help immigrants and refugees reach their goals. By engaging people through networks, education, employment, and arts programming we create a welcoming community. Their main office is located at 930 Balmoral Road
The Compassionate Friends is an international, non-profit, non-denominational, self-help organization, offering friendship, understanding, grief education and HOPE for the future to all families who have experienced the death of a child at any age, from any cause. Our Primary Purpose is to aid in the positive reconciliation of grief and foster the physical and emotional health of parents and their surviving children. Our Secondary Purpose is to provide information and education about the grief of bereaved parents and their surviving children. The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, co-workers, employers and professionals to be supportive.
The BC Bereavement Helpline (BCBH) is here for you. We are a non-profit, free, and confidential service that connects the public to grief support services within the province of BC. Whether you are looking for bereavement support groups, community events, information on BC Bereavement Day, information on how to donate or to volunteer with us you will find it here. We host a suicide grief support group and homicide grief support groups. We also offer a Traumatic Loss Facilitator Training course to provide individuals with tools and guidance to run their own support group. Please call the BC Bereavement Helpline and speak with one of our caring volunteers for information on our bereavement support groups, agencies, and peer-based support. Your call is free, confidential, and anonymous. We will help you find the most appropriate support for your specific type of loss.
Guide to Literacy Organizations, Programs, and Services in Greater Victoria.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information.
The CCRR program staff work in partnership with Aboriginal families and communities on reserve and in urban settings throughout British Columbia. Our goal is to increase the availability and accessibility of high quality child care resources and services that support the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families. We strive to be adaptable, responsive, inclusive and culturally relevant.
Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) is a provincial program, funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) that is designed to specifically meet the needs of Aboriginal children with special needs. ASCD recognizes that inclusion and providing early intervention and support in child care settings during the early stages of development is important. ASCD enables children who require extra support to be included in a childcare, preschool or after-school setting when their parents or caregivers are working or going to school. The Aboriginal Infant Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development Provincial Office is located at: 551 Chatham Street, Victoria BC
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are proud to jointly offer funding to cover the costs of a birth doula and postpartum doula for pregnant Aboriginal mothers and families living in BC (both on and off reserve). This partnership aims to bring birth closer to home and back into the hands of women. Grants provide up to a maximum of $1000 to cover doula services for each woman's birth and postpartum needs. Speaking with your doula will help you best use a grant, based on your needs during pregnancy and at home following delivery. Payment is made directly to a doula after pre-approval and after BCAAFC has received an invoice for the doula care provided.
If you think a child or youth under 19 years of age is being abused or neglected, you have the legal duty to report your concern to a child welfare worker. Phone 1 800 663-9122 at any time of the day or night. Your call will be answered by the Provincial Centralized Screening team (PCS) and their primary role is to receive and assess child protection reports and initial requests for ministry service across the province, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If a child is in immediate danger, call police (call 9-1-1 or your local police) to intervene and a child protection social worker should be contacted to determine whether the child is in need of protection.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program A First Nations Health Authority program offered to some bands. COHI services are provided by a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) and a COHI Aide employed by the band. Services are similar to those offered through the Smiles First Program. COHI services are provided in 76 on-reserve communities in BC.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program One-on-one consultation for at-risk pregnant women and parents with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Smiles First provides assessment and skill building for parents to understand factors that increase the risk of dental disease, and learn ways to reduce risk. Visual screening can identify early stages of decay, and fluoride varnish or dental referral is provided as needed. This services is available at all health units and some community locations. Contact your local health unit for information.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program Clients of all ages and the public are welcome to visit our in-house Dental Hygiene clinic between September and April each year. Our Dental Hygiene students provide professional, preventive and therapeutic services that are caring, high quality and low cost. Personalized care is provided by students under the direction and supervision of licensed faculty. Initial screening is free for everyone. Subsequent appointments are free for children under 3, $5 for children ages 3-5. The Dental Clinic is is located at Camosun College Lansdowne (Dental Building), 3100 Foul Bay Rd. Victoria.
Supports the well-being of Aboriginal children, youth, and families, especially those who are vulnerable, through child and youth mental health services. Other services coordinated through central provincial offices include intake and screening; helplines and after-hours support; resources and referral; funding and benefits programs; and specialized treatment for disabilities, mental health issues, and substance use. Serves Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria, and View Royal. Office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Located at 2nd Floor-1195 Esquimalt Road, Victoria, BC V9A 3N6
Métis people acknowledge that our children are sacred gifts from our ancestors. They become our knowledge-keepers and carry our culture, language, and heritage forward for future generations. At Métis Nation British Columbia, this understanding informs our commitment to place our children at the center of all that we do. We strive to honour the traditional concept Takaki Awasisiwin, which means a good childhood for the future of our people.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program This parent-child playgroup is an extension of our Family Support Program. The group offers support to parents with children 0-6 years who may be facing challenges in life such as single parenthood, low income, or young parenthood. The group will focus on supportive parenting strategies. Call to register. Sooke group meets every other Thursdsay 10AM-noon.
The Office of the Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Infant Development Programs (AIDP) gives support and educational information to AIDP workers throughout the province in regards to aboriginal infant development programs. Programs offer support to families of infants who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with developmental delays. Programs are voluntary, family centered, and primarily focused on children ages 0-3 (in some communities 0 – 6). Consultants support families by providing home visits, activity planning, and developmental and family needs assessments in culturally sensitive and meaningful ways. Consultants also assist families in accessing other health, social, and community services. Located at 551 Chatham St, Victoria.
The BCANDS is an award winning, provincial, Indigenous not for profit, charitable Society serving the unique and diverse disability and health resource / support service needs of the Indigenous population of BC. BCANDS provides a vast array of services to eligible individuals, families and organizations, both within Indigenous communities and within BC’s urban and rural centres. If you are an Indigenous person living with a disability, residing in BC, or an on-reserve organization requiring health information / resources and support services, BCANDS may be able to assist. Offices located at #6 – 1610 Island Highway, Victoria.
To support culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal patients, Island Health is pleased to connect you with an Aboriginal Health Liaison Nurse. Patients, family and friends can request a referral to the Aboriginal Liaison Nurse before or during a hospital stay. Some ways Aboriginal Liaison Nurses help are by supporting patients and families while in hospital and explaining health care information, and work with hospital staff, patients, family and community to support clear communication and discharge planning.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program IMFCSS offers a community room & playground, computer lab, teaching garden, counselling room, & access to the centre’s community kitchen. Located at 345 Wale Road.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program The MFRC has resources to meet the unique demands of raising children in the military lifestyle. It’s about getting quality care, support and resources in an environment that understands the lifestyle. Services include: Parenting support, child care, literacy programs, counselling, etc. The Colwood Pacific Activity Centre is located at 2610 Rosebank Rd, Colwood.
Community parks and trails are yours to enjoy, and a legacy for future generations. While visiting, please respect the private property next to the parks, trails, viewpoints, and ocean accesses and leave no trace of your visit or the visit of your dog. Leave the treasures that you find, including wildflowers, for others to enjoy.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program The purpose of the Sooke Region Literacy Project is to build community and help people in the Sooke Region achieve the sense of empowerment that goes along with literacy. Our community development work is aimed at enhancing, coordinating and creating literacy programs in the Sooke Region, from East Sooke to Port Renfrew, making sure that everyone has access to the learning opportunities they need to fulfill their full potential.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. Sooke Family Resource Society offers the following groups in the Sooke/West Shore communities: Parent and Tot Playgroup, Parent Discussion Group, and Family Support Group. See calendar for schedule. Registration is required.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program School District 62 offers StrongStart drop-in programs for children 0 to 5 and their caregivers. Programs are offered at Colwood Elementary, Hans Helgesen Elementary, John Muir Elementary, Ruth King Elementary, Millstream Elementary, Willway Elementary, and Port Renfrew Elementary (outreach program). Please note that Sooke School District StrongStart drop-in programs are closed over the summer.
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. BC Child Care Resource & Referral programs offers referrals for quality child care and community resources, and support to child care providers and families in every community across the Province of British Columbia. Located at 100- 6672 Wadams Way, Sooke. West Shore office located at 345 Wale Road, Colwood.
Victoria's Online Youth Portal
COVID-19 Update: Please see website for most up to date information. About the program Ambit offers training and consulting to reduce barriers and improve accessibility for trans, non-binary, and other gender diverse people. Ambit's website also includes resources for queer and trans families.
Eye See... Eye Learn is a program that provides kindergarten student with a comprehensive eye exam from a participating BC doctor of optometry. If required, kindergarten students will also receive one free pair of eyeglasses.
The Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service is an interdisciplinary team working in collaboration with families and community partners to: support best practice in assessment and treatment of children and youth with feeding, swallowing and nutrition concerns; provide education for families and partners; contribute to current knowledge in order to support optimum, safe nutritional health for clients Located at Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health, 2400 Arbutus Rd. Victoria BC
A map of all licensed child care providers that receive Child Care Operating Funding across British-Columbia