Monday, November 1, 2010

New website reviews Vancouver's daycares and schools

Wondering how you'll decide which daycare or school to send your child to? A new website, has just launched today, and it's designed to provide parent- and teacher-written reviews on daycares, preschools and elementary schools in Metro Vancouver.

Here's's recent press release on the service it provides:
Vancouver is challenged by a complex daycare and school situation. Some schools have a lottery registration; others require parents to line up for days, and daycares have waiting lists that can stretch for years. Plus, parents face more decisions than ever: Montessori or French Immersion? Private or public? Family daycare or group daycare? The complexities can be overwhelming and parents urgently need an online resource to inform their decision-making.

“When I was searching for daycares and preschools for my own children, I was surprised to find very little information online,” says Karen Young Chester, founder of The Shorty List. “Not only was there very little beyond basic information, there was no online community of parents to share information about Metro Vancouver daycares and schools.”

Chester hopes to change the situation with a website packed with information about care and education. The site includes government-sourced data about individual facilities – listing elementary schools, preschools and daycare facilities in Metro Vancouver with information such as maximum daycare sizes, satisfaction surveys, test scores, and demographics. Owners and principals can also develop facility profiles to provide families with a fuller picture of their institutions. In addition, the site features reviews and comments from parents and staff. Site visitors can write in – anonymously, if they wish – about their experiences or perspectives on a school or daycare. An observation on how a school excels or a scoop on the challenges a daycare faces - this is honest nuanced information that is extremely valuable to parents making important choices for their children.

The site aims to be a destination for parents to learn more about individual daycares and schools, and also for facilities to reach out and connect with families. The Shorty List website is now live and available for the public to visit at The site is also absolutely free to use for all visitors.

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