Working Women’s HIPPY program not only empowers newcomer parents to help their children succeed in school, it allows these parents to be better providers by helping them integrate into Canadian society more quickly and easily.


The HIPPY program, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is a free home-based program which recognizes the parents to be their children’s first and best teachers. Research has shown that the ideal time for children to start learning is in their earliest years. HIPPY at Working Women Community Centre provides newcomer families with tools and support that allow them to make a real difference in their children’s lives. The program empowers parents to help their children successfully enter the school system. Through early intervention, the program also helps immigrant families with their settlement needs; ensures enhanced success for children headed to kindergarten; and enables parents to play a key role in this learning and settlement process. Home visitors are employed to work with families in their homes. The home visitors bring a new set of instructional materials weekly, and using role-play, they spend one hour per week with the parent(s) reviewing the materials which in turn, the parents then deliver to their child in 15-minute daily sessions. Newcomer families make a two-year commitment to participate in the program for 30 weeks per year, concurrently with the school year. During the past few years, and through each of the HIPPY cycles, our program has served over 200 families and 210 children all across the sites in Toronto.

HIPPY Graduation Malvern 2013

HIPPY, which stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, is an internationally recognized trademarked program which was brought to Canada in 2001, and currently operates in over 10 Canadian cities. For more information about HIPPY in Canada, please visit: www.hippycanada.ca.

In Toronto, we run the program in the following neighborhoods: Bloor West, Malvern, Flemingdon, Thorncliffe, Victoria Village and Jane/Finch, as well as in the Francophone and Karen communities.

Working Women Community Centre runs the HIPPY Program across the city of Toronto in collaboration with several community partners. Our community partners are: Davenport Perth Neighbourhood & Health Centre, Malvern Family Resource Centre, Rouge River Ontario Early Years Center, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, and Flemingdon Neighbourhood Services.

In 2014 the HIPPY Toronto program expanded its services to one more site by launching the very first Young Mothers Project for women 29 years and younger with children ages 3 to 5 with a focus on children’s education development and relationship building.

Here is the contact information for HIPPY Staff:

Sylvie Charliekaram
HIPPY Toronto Program Manager
Working Women Community Centre
1527 Victoria Park Ave.
Toronto, ON, M1L 2T3
The Hub-HIPPY Office, 2nd Floor
Tel: 416-750-9600 Ext 260
Direct- line: 647-847-2554
e-mail: scharliekaram@workingwomencc.org

Konul Gurbanova
HIPPY Administrative/Employment Counsellor
Working Women Community Centre
533A Gladstone Ave.
Toronto, ON M6H 3J1
Phone: (416)532-2824 ext 231
Fax: (416) 532-1065
1527 Victoria Park Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M1L 2T3
Phone: (416) 750-9600 Ext. 208
Email: kgurbanova@workingwomencc.org

Charmaine Greenidge
HIPPY Site Lead for Thorncliffe, Flemingdon and Victoria Park
1527 Victoria Park Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M1L 2T3
Phone: (416) 750-9600 Ext. 212

Stefania Ntonas-Kostova
HIPPY Site Lead for Downtown West
1081 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 3J1
Tel:416-532-2824 ext.33
Email: sntonas@workingwomencc.org

Dorothy Tabe
HIPPY Site Lead for Jane/Finch Community
2065 Jane Street West, Suite 106
Toronto, Ontario M3N 2V7
Phone:(647) 346-3700 ext 322
Fax: (647) 346-3701
E-mail: dtabe@workingwomencc.org

Angela Edwards
HIPPY Site Lead for Malvern Community
1527 Victoria Park Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M1L 2T3
Phone: (416) 750-9600 Ext. 224
Email: aedwards@workingwomencc.org

Chantel Espinola
HIPPY Site-Lead for Young Moms Project
Working Women Community Centre
Tel: 416-532-2824 ext. 248
Fax: 416-532-1065
E-mail: cespinola@workingwomencc.org