Motivating youth and creating robust child care programs has been a part of Donna Chang’s daily life for over 24 years. Recognized for her extensive work, Chang is being honoured with a 2018 Child Care Award of Excellence for Leadership from the B.C. government.
As the executive director of Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, Chang is changing the lives of Vancouver families with the belief that quality child care services help everyone.
“Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House is an important community hub for families, seniors and youth,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “Donna’s work creates opportunities for children to thrive and helps shape the next generation of change makers. Ha’awa for your leadership!”
Throughout her time at Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, Chang was the first to develop a comprehensive child care program that is now being used at other neighbourhood houses across the Lower Mainland. Chang drew on her extensive knowledge and experience to deliver family-friendly programing that fits the needs of the community, including activities such as drop-in play time, family cooking lessons, music and movement opportunities and parenting classes.
Everyone in the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House knows Chang. Her personable nature makes even young adults feel comfortable, giving them a sense of belonging. She encourages teens to see the opportunities in front of them and connects them to resources tailored to their individual needs and interests, such as food literacy programs and a drop-in youth space. Chang has helped numerous teens grow both personally and professionally.
“Positive early learning experiences really set the path for the a child’s health and well-being,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “This is a belief that Donna Chang lives by. Her commitment and dedication to support everyone she meets is just one of the many reasons why Donna is being honoured.”
Chang’s influence is far reaching. She holds various leadership positions with other child care and early learning organizations. With a desire to better the community, province and nation, Chang has participated in evaluating Canada’s early childhood policies. She also worked to improve licensing and subsidies when she was on the Provincial Child Care Council.
- Cedar Cottage is one of seven neighbourhood houses in the Metro Vancouver area to be operated by the Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC. In 2017/18, ANHBC offered more than 1,100 licensed child care spaces.
- Donna Chang is one of 10 child care providers in British Columbia receiving a 2018 Child Care Award of Excellence.
- The Leadership Award recognizes professionals who have shown leadership in the field of early learning and care, in their communities, with families or serving underserved or vulnerable populations.
- Eighteen child care facilities in B.C. are also receiving Child Care Legacy Awards for providing 40 or more years of dedicated service to children and their families. This year’s recipients include Vancouver’s Cedar Cottage Preschool and the Raymur Place Day Care Centre.
- 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.
View photos from the ceremony here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/43964141145/in/datetaken-public/
For more information about child care in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House: www.cedarcottage.org