May 4, 1970: Variety Club telethon results in pledges over $135,000 (including a $25,000 pledge from the Provincial Government). Some of which is used to help sponsor the Ladner Farm Training Center.
July 1971: The Delta Association for Handicapped Children opens summer program for teenagers with special needs.
September 1971: Delta Association for Handicapped children opens the preschool for children with special needs at The Variety Farm Training Centre.
November 30, 1971: Construction of Variety Farm Training Centre Completed.
May 17, 1972: Delta Association for Handicapped Children declares 6 main areas of assistance in community: Nursery school (pre-school/kindergarten); Home-care Unit (make trips to help children with special needs and their parents in the home); Sunbury School classroom for children with special needs run by the Delta School District; Happy Holidays summer recreation program for teenagers with special needs; Variety Farm Training Centre; and Flowers of Hope Campaign and Rummage Sales for Funds.
April 1, 1973: The New Provincial Day Care Program is implemented by the provincial government: no child to be denied benefits of daycare due to lack of family funds (including nursery, pre-schools, kindergartens and out-of-school care.)
Fall of 1973: Delta Association for Handicapped Children forms a committee to undertake the task of finding more suitable accommodation for the pre-school and day care centre that was being run out of the Ladner Farm Training Centre. The committee decided to lease and renovates the old Baptist Church in Ladner on 47th Avenue. This was a joint venture between the Delta Association for Handicapped Children and the Kiwanis Club of Tsawwassen. The need arose for a location closer to a populated area as there were transportation challenges taking the children to the Variety Learning Centre. This new location would allow the centre to operate year round rather than only between September and June.
November 21, 1973: Delta Association for Handicapped Children is to build the first community-based child development centre in BC. There is a lack of services to children under the age of 5. Out of 430 children with special needs under 5 only 15 were involved in pre-school programs (nine of whom are in the existing service provided by Delta Association For Handicapped Children). Delta Association For Handicapped Children has set the provision of educational services for the pre-school child as a high priority. This will be an integrated and non-categorical program. Objectives of Delta Association For Handicapped Children:
July 1974: Renovations commenced on the new preschool and it was completed by December 1, 1974
Donations from community and government included: Tsawwassen-Ladner Kiwanis Clubs; Local Radio Station campaign; and Provincial Government grants of $10,000 for construction and $2500 for equipment. As well, Lloyd MacKinnon, father of child attending and Director of Delta Association For Handicapped Children, spent many hours outside of his regular job doing the carpentry work on the school and supervised the renovations
March 15 1975: The preschool moves into its new location at the Ladner united Church 5008 47A Ladner. Carl Linden, NDP MLA for Delta, Burnaby-Richmond-Delta Conservative MP John Reynolds help celebrate at the opening ceremonies of the Delta Child Development Centre Preschool.
September 1976: Delta Child Development Centre preschool opens for classes. As an inclusive preschool, Delta Child Development Centre is one-of-a kind in the province and unique to the country, serving both children with special needs and children with typically developing needs together. Staff consists of regular preschool Teachers and special needs trained preschool Teachers.
Special historical note: Formed in 1974, the Delta unit of Association for Children with Learning Disabilities is an organization that provides screening of children in kindergarten for learning disabilities, support for parents of children with learning disabilities, advocacy, training for learning assistance teachers in the regular school system on supporting children with special needs, and public awareness of learning disabilities. In November 1974 they started a preschool called The Delta School Readiness Program (DSRP) in North Delta for children ages 3 to 6 years with developmental delays. In 2005 The Delta School Readiness program in North Delta joins the Delta Child Development Centre in South Delta as one of 2 preschools under the umbrella of Delta Association for Child Development. The two preschools are now known as and Reach Developmental Preschool South Delta (Delta Child Development Centre) and Reach Developmental Preschool North Delta (DSRP).
January 1978: Human Resources Minister Bill Vander Zalm pledges his support to the Delta Child Development Centre and says he will look into getting a salary through a works programs grant for a volunteer staff member and more money for the centre. He toured the facility and said it was “number 1 in the province” and was pleased with the support the School Board has shown the centre. Trustee Claudette Hayward states the centre takes $400 per month from Delta Association for Handicapped Children to stay open.
“ Delta Association for Handicapped Children asks the School Board to come out into the open” Delta Optimist. In-camera meetings had been held to discuss the Public Schools Act with regards to definitions of persons qualified to acceptance into schools and when and if a student could be expelled if disruptive to the rest of the class.