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Press Release

Sept. 24, 2018

SURREY – Two exceptional Surrey child care providers are being honoured with 2018 Child Care Awards of Excellence for their dedication to early care and learning.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m glad our village includes Tammy Dyer and Vanessa Hickman,” said Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford. “These leaders have made an incredible difference to the children and families in our community for more than 20 years, and the benefit of their legacies will be felt for years to come.”

Tammy Dyer, former manager of Growing Supports Daycare, is being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award. Spanning more than two decades, Dyer has provided invaluable support to countless teen parents and their young children throughout her career.

“Tammy has created quality programs that give young parents the tools they need to be successful, while also supporting the needs of children,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Over the years, she has knocked on doors to check on students not attending classes and has connected individuals to basic needs, including housing. She has even attended childbirths to help young mothers in labour.”

Beyond her work with Growing Together Daycare, Dyer is the deputy executive director at Options Community Services, where she provides help, information and referrals for all citizens. She also facilitates parenting programs in the community and is helping to improve the early childhood educator program at Douglas College.

Vanessa Hickman, facility manager of the Awahsuk Aboriginal Head Start Preschool in Surrey, is being honoured with the Lenora Pritchard Award of Excellence. A strong advocate for Indigenous families, Hickman has been a guiding force at the preschool – a much-loved early care and learning program that helps guide the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of Indigenous children – for more than 20 years.

“Every child is different, and Vanessa ensures that each child receives individual care and attention,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Her leadership and tireless dedication has created quality programs with a strong focus on Indigenous culture; this includes having Elders share their history and traditional language with the younger generation.”

Hickman is sharing her knowledge, commitment and expertise beyond the community of Surrey. She is reaching even more children by managing all the early years programming at the Fraser Region Aboriginal Centre.

Quick Facts:

  • The Child Care Awards of Excellence recognize the exceptional contributions that early childhood educators, licensed child care providers, organizations and local governments make throughout British Columbia.
  • Award recipients were nominated by peers, parents and local governments.
  • The ministry received 66 nominations for this year’s awards.

Learn More:

View photos from the award ceremony here:?

For more information about child care in B.C., visit:?

Growing Together Daycare and Options Community Services:?

Awahsuk Aboriginal Head Start Preschool: ?


Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028


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