(Photo: Flickr@familymwr)


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.”


Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read