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Helping Hands

Helping Hands Children’s Centre began in 1983 under the leadership and guidance of its founders, Earl and Vernita Wood. The Woods had come to pastor the Guildford Church of the Nazarene in 1980 and one of the first programs they developed in the community was our Preschool.

The Preschool operated at the 107A Avenue Church location for seven years until the church relocated to its present site on 160th Street. The first director of the preschool was Betty Lalonde, who served until 1993 and was integral to the move to our present location. When the Centre opened at its current location, we expanded our program to include daycare and a small (14 spaces) school-aged program in addition to Preschool. Since that time our Out of School program has expanded three times to our current capacity of 61. Helping Hands transports children to and from four local schools on a daily basis.

Our name, Helping Hands, was chosen by Vernita Wood out of her experience as an elementary school teacher in Toronto. Every week, 2 children were chosen to be the “helping hands” in her classroom, to serve and help the other students. It seemed an appropriate name for the Preschool in Surrey as it symbolizes our commitment to our community. We value the opportunity to respond to the needs of families in our neighbourhood by providing an excellent learning and developmental environment for children. As well, we are committed to serving the unique needs of families while upholding the highest standards of teaching, care and nurture in a safe and secure setting.

Our programs are offered at an excellent and well cared for facility that provides open classroom space filled with natural light; inside space for engaging in gross motor activities and two large well equipped outside play areas. Our facility is cared for and maintained by support staff thereby allowing our teaching staff to devote their full attention to their primary responsibilities.

We are an approved facility licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

Our licensed capacities are as follows:
Daycare 33 (7:00am – 6:00pm, Monday to Friday) Out of School 61 (Before /After school & Pro D Days)

Under the provincial licensing authority we are inspected on an annual basis and are privileged to enjoy a consistently high approval rating.

Our current Director, Lorna Bartram, began working at Helping Hands in September of 1992 on a part-time casual basis in the Out of School program. In June of 1993, she began as the Centre’s director as a member of the pastoral staff of the Guildford Church of the Nazarene. She continues to lead the Centre along with a staff group ranging in number from 12 to 14 depending on the time of year and program operations.

We have enjoyed the opportunity to share together with our church colleagues the development and leadership of community events including; an Annual Easter Egg hunt, Canada Day Community Celebrations, Halloween events, and various Christmas programs and projects to help those in need in our local community and around the world.