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provides on-demand, on-site, child care services by trained caregivers. Child care is available for children from 16 months up to school age at accessible prices and available indoors or outside.

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Understand the problem. 

What we know? What we don't know? What we need to know?


Happy Girl

Solve the problem of child care in the settlement sector

Mother and a Child

Enhance the overall well-being of newcomer women with young children

Mother and Daughter

Employment of qualified childcare staff

Mother and Sons

Services that respond to the needs of newcomer women 

Art Class

A program that delivers consistent and responsive quality care of newcomer children

Mission impact

PIRS's mission is to empower immigrant and refugee women and children to fully participate in Canadian life through neighbourhood-based, accessible and inclusive programs.

PIRS' Pop-Up Child Care Program has a strong track record of delivering high-impact programs that meet the specific needs of newcomer women with young children built on strong partnerships with over 20 organizations. PIRS has consistently demonstrated the ability to rapidly develop and deliver programs in response to the crisis. 


The Pop-Up Child Care Program (October 2018 - March 2021) provides child care services that address the affordability and flexibility of early learning and child care programs and services within the settlement sector. PIRS offers child care spaces at partner agencies to enable immigrants and refugee parents and caregivers to participate in training programs and events. Pop-Up Child Care is staffed by immigrant women who, subsidized by IRCC funding, receive a living wage for their work.

User-centric research & design

Pathways to employment

July 2019 

Launched under the name Pop-Up Child Care

Delivered child care at 22 events: 904 hours of service, 174 kids, 28 immigrant women employed

Website and online booking system developed through Apply Digital partnership

“I just want to say thank you. It’s a very unforgettable program. I never had that class is lovely, we all cared about each other. All the teachers, instructors, the workers were all very very helpful.” – Program participant

February 2019

3 Learning Labs (41 childcare workers and newcomer women who need childcare and receiving ECEA training)

Oct '18 - May '19

16 ECEA graduates in partnership with Vancouver Community College (100% employed)

What went well

Childcare staff with additional hours

Feedback of professionalism and excellence from our clients

16 ECEA got hired before graduation

44 Responsible Adult graduates with Food Safe and First Aid certificates

Partnership with Kiwassa (7 cohorts, 103 women trained)

Responsible Adult manual (being used by participants) 

Organized inventory of toy bins (ready-to-go for events/sessions)

Advisory Committee members expressed continued support 

Effects of the pandemic

  • 13 events canceled

  • $10,000 lost revenues

  • 193 hours still paid to staff

Effects of the pandemic

  • 13 events canceled

  • $10,000 lost revenues

  • 193 hours still paid to staff

This is what we did:

  • 250 emails sent to  settlement services

  • 100 emails sent to the private sector

  • 65 calls to follow-up

  • 27 new contacts (daycare centres, etc)

This is what we heard back:

  • Virtual sessions only

  • Work-from-home at the moment/no reply 

  • Will update once in-person programs resume

  • 4 preferred internal direct hiring ($16-$17/hour)

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Marketing efforts


  • Undervalued women’s work in the childcare field; volunteer childminders


  • Non-profits have limited budgets to pay childcare workers; different locations/ programs of the same agency have different budgets


  • Few or on-call job positions available for RA graduates


  • Most RA have no financial resources to upgrade to ECEA certificate or ECE diploma


  • Shortage of ECE or ECEA childcare staff

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