North Delta’s George Mackie Library. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Campaign pledge prompts Delta libraries reminder of parents, infant health programs

Mayoral candidate George Harvie promised to restore the BabyDaze program if elected

Staff at Delta libraries are reminding residents that a BabyDaze-like program still exists in the city, after mayoral candidate George Harvie promised to bring it back if elected on Oct. 20.

George Mackie Library community librarian Minakshi Sidhu said it was library technician Sylvia Hampton who first brought Harvie’s announcement to her attention. Hampton had been working with the BabyDaze program for years before it was cancelled by Fraser Health, and continues to run similar programs with the library.

“She said we are offering this service already and maybe we need more advertisement,” Sidhu said.

“She was worried there might be a wrong impression in the community that these programs are not available.”

In a recent press release, Harvie announced that he would “restore Delta’s only public health resource for new parents with infants under the age of eight months as soon as spring of 2019” if elected this Saturday.

RELATED: Delta mayor candidate George Harvie promises to restore post-natal program

The nurse-led BabyDaze program was cancelled in late 2017. The program provided new moms a weekly opportunity to meet with Fraser Health nurses to discuss infant health concerns, get their babies weighed and get education on the health side of raising children.

Harvie said he would bring this program back to Delta if elected — however, library staff want to remind parents that although the official BabyDaze program is gone, they aren’t left without resources.

Before BabyDaze was cancelled, Hampton stepped in to continue providing a similar services through the library. The result, a program called Parent Time, follows the library’s early literacy program BabyTime.

Parent Time runs weekly, with guest speakers coming every week to talk about everything related to babies’ health: infant physio, infant development, infant first aid and more. The program also works with Fraser Health to have a public health nurse visit each of Delta’s three libraries on a monthly basis, as well as another public health nurse who comes every other month to run a “breastfeeding café.”

Parent Time runs Mondays from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Tsawwassen Library and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the George Mackie Library.

Sidhu also noted the library’s other programs for new parents, including BabyTime, Parent-Child Mother Goose, Storytime and Pyjama Storytime, all of which which help parents and their children with language development. Sidhu said the Babytime program consistently sees between 50 and 80 participants a week.

“It is a feeling of being supported and belonging somewhere,” Sidhu said about the program. “When you are new with a child, you don’t know how to entertain this little one. And at the same time [it’s] doing something with literacy.

“Our staff went to school for years and have special education on early literacy,” she continued. “It’s a very specialized program, people invest mental energy and their time to be good at what they’re doing.”

Both the early literacy programs and the Parent Time program bring a sense of “belonging and safety and support” to new parents from all walks of life in the community.

Similar programs are also in place in other areas around Delta, such as the North Delta Family Resource Centre (11838 88th Ave.) and Ladner’s Cedar Park Church.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Free pads, tampons now available in Surrey school washrooms

Menstrual products previously given out to students upon request

Surrey student selected as Loran Award recipient

Award is valued at $100K over four years of undergraduate studies

‘Coldest Night’ walk in Whalley aims to raise $25K on Saturday

Live music, food and commemorative toques attract teams to national event held annually

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

UPDATE: TransLink gets injunction ahead of pipeline, Indigenous rights protest

The protest rally is in opposition to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline projects

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

Most Read