From Featured Images

2014 Child Development Snapshot Brochure


New Westminster, BC – The Kids New West Child Development Committee has released a brochure detailing a snapshot of child development issues, and the issues that families in New Westminster face.

The committee promotes child and family-friendly policies, resources, and opportunities for families in New Westminster. The committee works to ensure that the community has the capacity to support healthy child development and has representation from numerous agencies and organizations including the City of New Westminster, Fraser Health, School District No. 40, Ministry of Children and Family Development, and other valuable non-profit partners. They focus on two age groups: early childhood, which encompasses children from birth to age six, and middle childhood, which includes children aged six to twelve.

Kids New West Child Development Committee also operates the Kids New West website, a resource connecting families to other families, resources, and events in the New Westminster.

The Child Development Snapshot brochure was developed to ensure that all municipal election candidates had access to current information and to better understand the issues families and children face on our community. All municipal election candidates have been supplied a copy for their information. It has been carefully developed using census information and numerous research sources, including data collected by the City and the committee’s partner organizations.

Brochure highlights:

  • A snapshot of families in New Westminster and the issues they face, such as poverty, housing and childcare affordability and / or availability
  • Data from the Heart-Mind Index from the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, which provides a snapshot of emotional well being in New Westminster children
  • Two important measurements (the Early Development Instrument and the Middle Development Instrument) that gauge vulnerability and how well children are thriving in our City as determined by the Human Early Learning Partnership research network based at UBC on an ongoing basis.

For further reading and the complete brochure, visit:

Media Contact:

Ramona Manzer, Chair, Kids New West Child Development Committee



Supportive Creativity

All kids need extra support from time to time but if you find yourself needing help with your child you shouldn’t feel like there is no one to turn to. As a community we strive to offer services that are inclusive in nature and where all children, regardless of their individual needs are welcome in neighbourhood settings.

Check out our page for extra support, for children who may have a developmental delay, a disability, or may require extra support. The list is updated as we hear of services that may help.

New Westminster Middle Childhood Development Committee

We offer an increasing amount of resources for the middle childhood years, ages 6-12. A great deal of development happens during this time, and while much focus has been centred on early childhood development and the challenges faced by kids ages 13+, the stage of 6-12 is only just coming into the forefront of research. Check out the detailed info about the Middle Childhood Development Committee here, or watch this great video.

Middle Childhood Video from Kids New West on Vimeo.

Illustrates the importance of relationships with role models for children ages 6 to 12 years.

With the Brain in Mind Website

(From First Call:)

With the Brain in Mind focuses on the importance of positive early brain development in giving children the best possible start in life. By providing opportunities to learn about the latest research and best practices in early childhood brain development, the website aims to increase the capacity of parents, professionals, and policy makers to facilitate positive changes in the lives of children and young adults.

With the Brain in Mind is based on the work of Dr. Fraser Mustard, a renowned expert in early childhood who passed away recently. The website includes a number of presentations and links to project websites. Visit

Children and Play: How does Culture fit in?

How are our approaches to play influenced by culture, and how are they impacted by the experience of immigration? That’s the intriguing question that Maya Goldstein, an MA graduate in Human Development, Learning and Culture at the Faculty of Education at UBC, has been investigating through a study conducted with South Asian families at a Family Resource Place in Surrey, BC. 

Do families belonging to a particular cultural group approach play in similar ways? And how do parents change or adapt their approaches to play in a Canadian context? Because few North American studies of play have focused on immigrant families, there are as yet few definitive answers to questions like these, and the implications for child development are significant. In her study, Goldstein observed interactions between parents and children from South Asian families while they attended a Family Resource Program in Surrey, BC, and continued with follow-up observations and interviews in their homes.

The families involved differed in their approaches to play — whether the play was parent or child-directed, whether the child and parent were close to each other physically and in the kinds of play materials chosen. Parents expressed differing ideas about the value of play, and about play’s role in preparing their child for the future.

Yet families in the study also had much in common, including a deep appreciation of the social contact with other families they experienced at the Family Resource Program. As recent immigrants, the parents found it very different to be raising children in Canada than it is in India, particularly the greater freedom for children in India to play outside on their own and the greater involvement of friends, neighbours and family members in raising children. That support was really missed.

Reflecting on the study, Maya notes that “Culture has a great influence on the lives of children and their play. There is no one right way to play with children. We should be open and accept different approaches to play.” This research reminds us to be aware of the influence of culture on play, to accept a variety of approaches to play, to learn from and about the immigrant families we know and work with, and to remember that there will be very significant differences within any one cultural group.

(From Healthy Families:)