Staff/Student/Volunteer Team


Our hiring practices focus on recruiting and retaining qualified, caring, nurturing, knowledgeable Early Childhood Educators who are committed to the ongoing development and operation of the highest quality early learning/childcare possible.  Our staff members are partners with parents in meeting the needs of each individual child within our program. They are passionate about working with children and their families and are hard working team players.  The average years of service of our employees at 

A Place to Grow is over 12 years, with several team members starting at A Place to Grow in 1997, 2000 and 2006. 


We have a diverse team of educated, quality staff who hold valid First Aid certificates and has submitted to a full Criminal Record Check.  A Place to Grow staff meet or exceed licensing requirements and are committed to the Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia (ECEBC) Code of Ethics:


  • promote the heath and well-being of all children

  • use developmentally appropriate practices when working with all children

  • demonstrate caring for all children in all aspects of their practice

  • work in partnership with parents, supporting them in meeting their responsibilities to their children

  • work in partnership with colleagues and other service providers in the community to support the well-being of families

  • work in ways that enhance human dignity

  • pursue, on an ongoing basis, the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness needed to be professionally competent

  •  demonstrate integrity in all of their professional relationships


In addition to our dedicated staff team listed below we have approximately 15-20 regular casual on-call ECE staff that work within our team. A Place To Grow Childcare Centre also provides opportunities for student and volunteer internships and practicums in a variety of disciplines such as early childhood education care and learning, teaching, nursing, psychology and social work practicum students from a variety of community and private colleges throughout the lower mainland. Staff and student research and ongoing learning is encouraged to improve best practices in early care and education, and our facility will serve as a site for observation to augment classroom instruction.  A Place To  Grow is operated by a non-profit group of elected volunteer board members, the Surrey Hospital Community Childcare Society, who work together with the program Director and staff to over see the operation of the childcare program.




Claudia Fenwick, has worked at A Place to Grow since 2008. Starting as an Early Childhood Educator in the 3-5 program and later taking over the role of Director in January 2018. Claudia has her diploma in Early Childhood Education with her Infant/Toddler and Special Needs certification. In addition, she is currently involved with the Children the Heart of the Matter ELC Conference Committee and serves on the Making Children First Committee in Surrey/White Rock. She is a proud fur mom to her rescue dog named Simba and also lives in the Surrey community.  


Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire :


Kelly McCarthyjoined our A Place to Grow team in 2013. Kelly provides direct administrative support to the program. She has a diploma in Business and Hotel Management. She has two children and also lives in the Surrey community.



Our Superb Infant Toddler Team:



Jeanine Erickson, has worked at APTG since 2000, after she graduated from the Early Childhood program with her ECE and her Special Needs certification and lives in the Surrey community.


Rammy Sidhu, has worked at APTG for a combined 10+ years, as a casual and now as a regular permanent staff. Rammy is a qualified Early Childhood Educator and is in the process of completing her Infant/Toddler certification. She has 2 children and lives in the Surrey community.


Angel Yang, began working with us at APTG as a casual in November 2015. This past December 2017, she moved into a full-time permanent position and has been a wonderful addition to our program. Angel has her Early Childhood Education certificate as well as her Under 3's Qualifications. She has 2 children and lives with her family in the Surrey community. 


Mirza Martinez, has worked at APTG since 1997.  She moved here from Mexico and began working with children here in Canada in 1991.  Mirza is qualified with her Early Childhood Education certification.  Mirza has 3 grown children and is a grandmother and lives in the Surrey community.



Alicia Hildago, has worked at APTG since September 2007.  Alicia entered the field of ECE in 2000 after moving here from El Salvador and she has a background in Montessori.  She is a qualified Early Childhood Educator with her Under 3's certification.  Alicia has 3 grown children and lives in the Surrey community.


Charlene Lagyap, began with us as a casual in 2018 then moved into a full time permanent position shortly after and has been a fantastic addition to the toddler program. Charlene has her Early Childhood Education certificate as well as her under 3's qualifications. She lives in the Surrey community with her family. 


Indira Gunesse, began working at APTG originally in 1999 and then retired a few years later but in 2006 we pulled Indira out of retirement and welcomed her back onto our casual substitute list for several years, until 2011 when Indira returned to a full time position again at APTG. Indira has her Early Childhood Education, her Under 3's and Special Needs qualifications, is the proud Grandmother to 1 and lives in the Surrey community.  


Our Fabulous Over 3's team:



Wendy Duncan, has worked at APTG since 1997 a few months after the program opened.  Wendy is a qualified Early Childhood Educator and lives in the Surrey community.


Jas Dosanjh, has worked at APTG since 2007. She is a qualified Early Childhood Educator with additional Infant/Toddler and Special Needs qualifications. After switching to a casual role for a short time, Jas has returned to a permanent full time position in 2019. We are happy to have brought back such a positive and experienced caregiver. 


Adora Tajan, has worked at APTG since 2013. After completing her practicum in the 3-5 program, we were fortunate to have her join us as a casual for several years. In February 2018, she moved into a full-time permanent position. Adora is a qualified Early Childhood Educator. She is a proud great auntie to her energetic nephew and lives with her family in the Surrey community. 



Our Outstanding Casual Substitute team:


We have several quality, experienced casual staff on our A Place To Grow team. Below are some of the casuals currently working to support our program when the regular staff are away on vacation or due to illness:


Amber Sihota, Amnah Chohan, Bina Shrestha, Marina Villarfria, Rafiat Davies, Bukola Akindele, Seiko Moulden, Jane Zheng,  Faiza Bhutta. Aman Pannu,  Anit Raja, Veronica Diestro, Jindy Singh, Leah Dazon, Tina Siau,  Kristen Hunt, Shazia Agro, Amanpreet Kaur, Anisha Hanif, Lynn Robertson and Manjit Kang. 



All have a minimum of an Early Childhood Assistant licence to practice, most have a full licence to practice, with additional credentials in post basic Early Childhood Infant toddler and Special Needs Educator training. A few of our casual staff also have Undergraduate degrees in Bachelors in Social Work, Primary Education, Special Education Assistant credentials and many many years of experience in the Early Years field of education and care. 


Practicum Students and Volunteers:


A Place to Grow supports and encourages providing practicum placements for Early Childhood Education students from local public colleges and training institutions. Additionally, A Place to Grow promotes providing placements for volunteers, through the Surrey Memorial Hospital Volunteer Services program, as well as supporting highschool students from local Surrey schools who are involved in career development and have an interest in working with young children.


Placements with A Place to Grow:

  • provides students/volunteers with an environment that will enhance their skills and competencies
  • provide students/volunteers with an environment that reflects current theory and best practice
  • supports A Place to Grow and the Surrey Hospital Childcare Society professional commitment to the Early Childhood field
  • keeps A Place to Grow informed of the latest research, theory and practice in the early years profession
  • establishes collaborative relationships with local colleges and institutions