From Professional Resources

Child Development Support in New West

Concerned about your child’s development? New West has many resources.

If a child is born healthy, the future seems limitless. But for some of us, the dream of sports trophies, academic achievements and a large group of friends fades as we slowly come to see that something just isn’t right.

Where can you turn if your child is not hitting important milestones, showing odd behaviour or giving you other reasons to worry about his or her development? If you’re in New West then you’re in luck. There are many places with information, support and help.
Photo by Patrick Hajzler, used via a Creative Commons license.

If you’re not sure whether there’s a reason for concern

Sometimes, especially if you’re a first-time parent, it can be hard to know how your child is doing in relation to his or her peers. If, for example, your daughter isn’t walking at 14 months, is that normal?

The free drop-in programs for the under-5 crowd at New Westminster Family Place or Strong Start can help. The staff is well versed in child development and you’ll get an opportunity to meet other families with kids who are the same age to give you an idea of how your child is doing in comparison.

Your family doctor can be a great source of information about child development and can give a referral to a pediatrician or other services if needed.

The public health nurses at the Public Health Unit are also a great resource. They often have more time to discuss your concerns than a family doctor, so if you’re there for immunizations, it’s a great opportunity to discuss any concerns you have.

Important note: nobody is ever going to know more about your child than you. If your gut tells you that there’s something to be concerned about, it’s important that you follow up, even if health professionals are telling you that everything is fine.

If there’s a reason for concern

If you know that there are concerns that need to be addressed, the New Westminster Children’s Centre is your one-stop destination for getting the help you need. Located at 811 Royal Ave, they take referrals not just from medical professionals (like your doctor or public health nurse), but from parents as well.

Call them at 604.521.8078 local 318 and ask for either Infant Development (0-3 years) or Supported Child Development (3+ years). They will help you determine if your child meets the criteria to be eligible for services.

If your family is added to the caseload, a consultant will meet you at your home to discuss your concerns in detail. They have all of tools and knowledge to conduct an in-depth assessment, can suggest activities to help your child catch up and can refer you to therapies that may be appropriate, including speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

New West residents with a First Nations background can also contact the Spirit of the Children Society. It provides the services that the NWCC does, but with special support and resources for First Nations families.

Bio: Linda is a New West mom with two boys. Her older son has Autism and her younger son is undiagnosed with developmental delays. You can read more about her personal experience with looking for help here. You can connect with Linda on Twitter.

Harvest Box Program

Thanks to a partnership between the  New Westminster Community Food Action Committee, New Westminster Parks, Culture and Recreation, School District No. 40 (New Westminster) and Help on Wheels our community will soon be benefiting from a Harvest Box program. The program was developed to encourage healthy eating, educate people on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables daily, and support local BC farms. It is a program for anyone who wants to purchase fresh fruit and produce at affordable prices!


Starting today you can call or walk in to Century House (620 8th Street / 604.519.1066), Centennial Community Centre (65 E 6th Street/ 604.777.5100) or Queensborough Community Centre (920 Ewen Ave / 604.525.7388) and place your Harvest Box order.


Three varieties are avalable:


1. Harvest Value Box for $8 – features a variety of fruits and vegetables and has been designed to make eating fruits and vegetables more affordable.


2. Harvest Local Box for $15 – features local BC fruit and veggies – supporting local growers and sustainable agricultural methods.


3. Harvest BOGO Box for $15 – Buy One, Give One! You get a Harvest Value Box and another one is donated to an individual or family in need in the community.


Harvest Box Depot Days will be the 2nd and last Thursday of the month starting November 14th.


Orders for Harvest Boxes will need to be received by 4:30 pm the previous Thursday – so our first order deadline is November 7th at 4:30.


Harvest Box Depots (where you can pick your Harvest Box up) will be located at: Century House (620 8th Street), Centennial Community Centre (65 E 6th Street), Queensborough Community Centre  (920 Ewen Ave) and Lord Kelvin School (Community HUB portable at the back of the school on 7th Ave).


All donated BOGO boxes will be distributed through the Lord Kelvin Harvest Box Depot. The NW Community Food Action Committee will be working with local community service providers and school staff to distribute the donated BOGO boxes to individuals and families in need.

More information: 

About the Harvest Box Program and the BOGO Box HARVEST BOX Brochure. FINAL October 2013 Harvest Box Important Dates NW HBP BOGO electronic Request Form




Questions? Email:

How are New West Five -Year-Olds Growing?


Growing Up Great in New West!
Growing Up Great in New West!

The Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC has released the new EDI results for Wave 5. These maps and community summaries include data from over 42,000 EDI surveys completed by Kindergarten teachers across British Columbia in 2011-2013. EDI maps and community summaries are valuable tools that provide insights into children’s physical health and well-being, communication skills, language and cognitive skills, emotional maturity, and social competence.

The New Westminster School District (40) has participated in all 5 waves of EDI data collection. Wave 5 results were collected in 2011/12-2012/13 from 9 schools in 6 neighbourhood(s). A total of 452 kindergarten children participated in New Westminster in Wave 5. EDI results are mapped based on children’s neighbourhood of residence, not where they go to school.

Overall, New Westminster had a vulnerability rate of 33% compared to the provincial vulnerability rate of 32.5%.

District wide, vulnerability was highest on the Social Competence scale at: 16%. Child vulnerability was lowest on the Language & Cognitive Development scale at: 10%.

To read more, and to see mapped data…

New Westminster Community Summary:

New Westminster Wave 5 Map sets:

Interactive Map, showing EDI results over ten years:



Kids who Bounce Back

The ‘Reaching In Reaching Out’ program invites parents to show their children how to bounce back through daily challenges, so that they grow into resilient adults. Their website has fantastic resources for parents: tips sheets, story books, and fun activities for building skills like responsibility, caring relationships, thinking skills, participation, and more. 

This website is the go-to place for practical, value-added parenting skills!

Agencies interested in the RIRO program will find lesson modules here:

Thank you to BC Council for Families, for sharing this program information!

New Aboriginal Parenting Resources

How can we become the parents our children need us to be? Four new resource booklets can help First Nations and Métis parents answer this important question. The booklets were collaboratively developed by the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) and BC First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to share important parenting information, strategies, tips, and other resources that will help parents raise healthy, secure, confident, trusting, and resilient children. The series of four booklets can be found on the FNHA website.

KidCare Canada Videos: Hugs for a Brighter Future

KidCareCanada Society is a provincial charitable organization that provides a rich collection of educational videos for new parents called: Hugs for a Brighter Future.    Leading researchers and practitioners donate their time and expertise so that their work is more accessible to  new parents, grandparents, health providers, family resource programs, and organizations and agencies that work with families. The videos are available at no cost and can be viewed on their website: