Learn about Surrey's Child & Youth Friendly City Strategy.

More than 120,000 children and youth live in Surrey, and the numbers continue to grow. These young people come from diverse families. Their energy and exuberance contributes to making Surrey a vibrant and socially sustainable community.

Children and youth are a big part of our city, and we're committed to making Surrey a great place for children and youth to live, learn and play.

Child Care in Surrey

To locate a child care facility for your child, or learn the requirements of setting up your own licensed child care centre in Surrey, visit our Child Care Facilities page.

Surrey Community Child Care Action Plan

The City of Surrey received two $25,000 grants to engage in child care planning activities from the provincial Community Child Care Planning Program. The resulting Surrey Community Child Care Action Plan was recently adopted by Council to share with the community.

The purpose of creating the Action Plan was to:

  • collect information regarding the child care needs of the community
  • create an inventory of existing child care spaces
  • identify space creation targets over the next 10 years
  • identify actions that can be taken to meet the new spaces targets

The Action Plan was shared as part of the grant requirements with the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development to help inform future investments in child care space creation through funding programs such as the Child Care BC New Spaces Fund.

Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy

The Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy was adopted by Council in 2010. The Strategy identifies actions for the City to take to promote the healthy development of young people, from early childhood, through middle childhood and adolescence.

Our Vision

  • A community where children and youth are valued community members and actively contribute their time, ideas and perspectives to civic life.
  • A community that promotes social connectedness, where children and youth feel safe, have freedom of movement, green space and opportunities for play and imagination.
  • A community where all children and youth are able to access enriching and engaging programs and services that promote their healthy development regardless of their family’s income or background.

Policy & Program Areas

The Strategy focuses on three policy and program areas

  1. Engagement: Providing opportunities for children and youth to participate in and contribute to civic life.
  2. Physical Environment: A natural and built environment that supports the healthy development of children and youth.
  3. Civic Services: Recreation, library and cultural services that are framed around the developmental needs of children and youth.

Research & Consultation

Check out the results of research and consultation undertaken by the City of Surrey to create our Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy:

Creating a Child and Youth Friendly City: What Does It Mean? 
A review of research and reports conducted by the City to learn about what other cities around the world have done to create a child and youth friendly city.

Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy Results of Consultations with Children, Youth and Families
We consulted over 1000 children and youth. These young peoples’ ideas and suggestions shaped the later consultations held with City staff and community stakeholders.

A Profile of Surrey Youth 
This profile from 2012 contains demographic and other information regarding youth in Surrey.

Demographic Profile of Children
Produced by the Office of Early Childhood Development, Learning and Care.

Get Involved

Learn about the opportunities for youth in Surrey to develop leadership skills, take on community projects, or join a City Youth Council.


Learn more about our current and past projects:

    Many of our current priorities and projects in Social Planning are engaging youth, or addressing key social challenges faced by children and youth in our city, including:

    • Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC): the Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Leaving Care project is engaging the Surrey community to do a radical rethinking of the ways in which youth are supported when they transition from government care, at age 19, into adulthood.
    • Surrey Local Immigration Partnership: "Thriving Youth" is one of the five strategic directions identified in the Surrey Immigrant Integration Strategy.
    • Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy: The Indigenous population in Surrey is young, and growing. The Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy identifies key findings and actions related to indigenous children and youth.
    • Social Policy Advisory Council (SPAC): Children and youth is a key theme of the SPAC. The SPAC includes two designated Youth Representatives.

    Youth Engagement

    Social Planning piloted initiatives that would engage young people in civic issues and nurture leadership. These initiatives were created because we know these opportunities are critical components of a child and youth-friendly city:

    • Surrey Leadership Youth Council (SLYC) was developed to engage youth in our community. SLYC is a group of young people in Surrey who are aiming to have youth voices heard and acted upon by the City of Surrey. SLYC believes youth know what's up and can make a difference. One of the actions that the SLYC leads, is organizing and hosting the annual Youth Speak Up! forum.
    • Youth Planner Project: This project engaged children and youth in land use planning. Four high school students were employed by the City's Planning Department to develop a Youth Planner Toolkit of activities for consulting with children and youth on topics related to the physical environment for land use planning. The toolkit is a resource for consulting with children and youth as part of a Neighbourhood Concept Plan.

    IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

    • In 2012, the City of Surrey was one of only two Canadian cities to win a $400,000 grant from IBM as part of their IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. As part of the grant, Surrey gained access to IBM’s top experts who analyzed and offered their recommendations on the key challenge of improving outcomes for young children ages 0 to 5 and their families.

    Surrey Child Care Report

    This report highlights the important child care research that makes obvious the challenges that
    families face in seeking quality, affordable and accessible child care. Read the full Surrey Child Care Report.