With only four days notice, Chilliwack Child Growth Society announced to its families their centre would be closing on Monday, March 29, 2021. (Google Maps)

With only four days notice, Chilliwack Child Growth Society announced to its families their centre would be closing on Monday, March 29, 2021. (Google Maps)

Sudden closure of Chilliwack childcare centre leaves parents scrambling

Workers, families ‘essentially screwed’ as result of Child Growth Society closing, says parent

Dozens of parents are now scrambling to find childcare after the centre where their children currently attend announced it would be closing in just a few days.

Chilliwack Child Growth Society – a non-profit Montessori centre which offers care to children aged three months to 12 years – sent a letter out to families on Thursday (March 25) stating the entire centre would be closed as of Monday (March 29) until further notice.

“The staff would like to offer their deepest apologies. Unfortunately, working conditions have not been as they should be in accordance to B.C. government’s Employment Standards Act and employees need to take a stand for their rights,” the letter reads, in part.

It came as a shock to parents.

“None of the parents have had any notice that this was happening,” said one father, who asked to remain anonymous. “Wait lists for care are often a year long in most cases so many workers and families are essentially screwed with the fallout of this.”

More than half a dozen parents posted in the ‘Chilliwack Daycare Community’ Facebook group looking for urgent childcare as a result of the sudden closure of Child Growth Society.

Shortage of childcare in Chilliwack and other cities has been an issue for years. Earlier this month, it was announced that 380 childcare spaces would be opening in the Fraser Valley, including 138 in Chilliwack, thanks to provincial funding.

READ MORE: Child-care spaces boosted by provincial fund across the Fraser Valley

The March 25 letter that parents received was sent out by the teachers at the centre, but a different letter from CEO Amber Bardwell was posted on the Chilliwack Child Growth Society’s Facebook page on March 26.

In it, she states the reason for the closure is due to personal family issues.

“The decision to close the centre was not taken into lightly. There is no way at this point we can continue to run in an effective way; adhering to all of our licensing regulations staffing ratios and good strong comfortable working environment,” Bardwell wrote.

“I can understand how stressful this very sudden move is now for you and your families. My disappointment and heartache in this situation is overwhelming. I spent years building up the nonprofit society for children of all needs because it’s a true passion and I’m very proud of what built. I spent a lot of months recently fighting to keep it for all of the families in our community.”

Bardwell went on to state she will be considering all options and will be posting an update toward the middle of April about “any possible reopening or unfortunate full closure.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

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

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Philomusica Chorus and Ensemble released ‘All Good Gifts’ on YouTube on April 3, 2021. (YouTube)
Chilliwack chorus shares latest song with ‘same love, enthusiasm’ as pre-pandemic music

Philomusica Chorus and Ensemble recently released its version of ‘All Good Gifts’ on YouTube

Crews are on scene of a three-vehicle collision at Vedder and Knight roads in Chilliwack on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
Three-vehicle collision in Chilliwack causes traffic backlog at busy intersection

Collision happened at intersection of Vedder and Knight

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Kay Campbell (left) and Linda Brawn with Chilliwack Senior Peer Counsellors said the organization is in need of more volunteers to chat with seniors. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Volunteers like ‘lifeline’ for lonely seniors, says Chilliwack Senior Peer Counsellors

National Volunteer Week: People encouraged to volunteer time in form of weekly phone chats with elderly

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read