(Photo: Flickr@familymwr)

Guildford

Surrey charity in ‘shock’ after district drops it from daycare program for teen parents

Options Community Services says it has operated the Growing Together program in Guildford for 33 years

Changes to a childcare program for high-school aged parents in Guildford has the former service provider who ran it in “absolute shock.”

Janice Boyle, director of development for Options Community Services, says the charity has operated the Growing Together program based out of Guildford Park Secondary in partnership with the district for the past 33 years.

That is, until Option received notice a couple of months ago that the school district wanted the charity to move out of the facility by the end of August.

Boyle said she hasn’t been given a reason why, and stressed it puts the clients of the program in jeopardy.

“Even if we found another place, which we haven’t yet – and we’ve been looking hard – we probably would not be able to get it licensed again in time,” she said. “We are asking the school board to allow us to stay longer so daycare is not interrupted, and we’re able to secure a new location. We really don’t understand why this is happening.

“It was out of left field,” she added. “We have been working hard to try to talk to the school board to, as of yet, no success.”

Surrey school district spokesman Doug Strachan told the Now-Leader the district “went to tender and will have a new daycare operator to manage that part of the program.”

He said “that’s all that’s changed” and said there would be no changes to the program.

Asked the reason behind the change, Strachan said the district feels it’s “time to refresh our Growing Together program and refocus it again on our students, as well as explore other partnerships that can enhance the program.”

“We expect to make an announcement about our new partners shortly and we’re excited about the bright future for the program and its clients,” he added.

But Boyle said the program is “a lot more than a daycare” and that Options staff would provide wraparound services for the young moms, and occasional young dads, in the program.

“That includes everything from providing extra diapers and a food hamper, and a cook that does meals and teaches them cooking skills. They’ll take the kids to appointments. So we’ve been trying to explain that. It’s not clear there’s an understanding of what happens in addition to the child care,” she said.

The program was also one of the B.C. locations chosen to pilot the NDP’s $10-a-day childcare rates, and is licensed for 36 spots. While most are filled by students in high school, Boyle said community members have been let in, when there’s room, and they are often former high school students who have moved on to university.

“We’re fighting to stay,” Boyle added.

The Surrey school district’s website describes Growing Together as a “district support program and daycare for students who are attending school and are expecting or are who are young mothers.”

It adds the program “provides social-emotional support, parenting advice, and connections with community agencies, and focuses on helping students graduate.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

Gift-wrapping tips from a new-to-Surrey pro

Nikki Pursani aims to bring ‘happiness and excitement’ with her Wrapped by Nikki enterprise

Surrey man accused of sex offences against child released on bail, warn Delta police

Gurchetan Singh Samra, 69, must stay away from — and not communicate with — anyone under 16 years old

Surrey’s new top cop doesn’t believe residents have lost faith in the RCMP

Brian Edwards will take over the reins of Canada’s largest RCMP detachment on Jan. 6

VIDEO: Alex Fraser Bridge counterflow expected to be up and running early next week

New movable centre barrier will give northbound drivers four lanes during the morning rush

VIDEO: Feds give update on flying clearance for Santa’s sled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has this message for the country’s children

Investigators confirm three died in B.C. plane crash

Transport Canada provides information bulletin

Prime Minister sets 2025 timeline for plan to remove fish farms from B.C. waters

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Planning price tag for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford revealed

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

Canada’s Attorney General looking to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

1,300-signature petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

‘Go with the flow’ campaign calls for all University of the Fraser Valley bathrooms to be stocked

Wagon wheels can now be any size: B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Most Read