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.
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1970 Best ever telethon results for farm centre

1970 New officers elected for DAHC

November 25, 1970:  “A pre-school for retarded children, aged three to six years, may be started in Delta.  There are four youngsters whose parents have indicated an interest in the formation of a kindergarten.  Additional information may be obtained from the Variety Farm Training Centre.  Mrs. Tony Schmand of the centre’s Ways and Means Committee reported that more than $800 was realized from the recent rummage sale...a portion of this could be used to start a kindergarten.  The remainder will go for operating costs at the Training Centre.” Delta Optimist . This parent-initiated preschool for children with special needs is planned to take place in a small building at the Ladner Farm Training Centre under the guidance of Delta Association for Handicapped Children. A special education teacher is hired. The preschool will be opened in September 1971.
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1970 Preschool possible

1971 Retarded need rides to kindergarten

1971 DAHC operating kindergarten

July 1971: The Delta Association for Handicapped Children opens summer program for teenagers with special needs.

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1971 Teenagers volunteer to aid handicapped in summer program

July 21, 1971:  Government announces $900 monthly grant for staff expense at Variety Farm training Centre.
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1971 variety farm gets $900 monthly grant

“ …(Mr. Wenman) compared the services the Variety Training Farm provides with those of Woodlands School in New Westminster, which he calls the “big numbers system”, and says this difference is because the farm was started by Tony Schmand and a group of parents, rather than by the government.”


September 1971: Delta Association for Handicapped children opens the  preschool for children with special needs at The Variety Farm Training Centre.
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1971 DAHC operating kindergarten


November 30, 1971: Construction of Variety Farm Training Centre Completed.
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1971 official completion of Ladner farm training centre

1971 Variety farm centre expansion program

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.

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1972 association gives valuable assistance in Delta

1972 National mental retardation week - everybody's concern


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.
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1974 Site for DAHC Child Development Centre

1974 Prep for opening Delta Child Development Centre at church


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:
  • Pre-school program for 25 handicapped children between 3-5 for five days per week 9:30 – 2pm
  • Provide behaviourally based instruction
  • Provide structured series of relevant learning settings
  • Provide intensive supportive services to parents including a home teacher for consistency of teaching and generalization of skills
  • Provide adequate training of staff to implement this new model
  • Provide for evaluation of the effectiveness of the total program by staff, parents and outside agencies
  • Maintain close relationships with outside agencies, other pre-schools and the education district  
April 17, 1974:  Dr. L Kanee and Dr NB Gregory, owners of the historic Ladner Baptist Church give permission to convert the building for the Delta Child Development Centre pre-school.  


July 1974:  Renovations commenced on the new preschool and it was completed by December 1, 1974
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1974 DCDC needs volunteers to help build


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.
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1975 collage of new preschool

1975 Chance to see new DCDC

1975 New DCDC opens 

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.

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1975 DCDC unique program offered

1975 new centre caters to handicapped

Delta Child Development Centre begins summer program June 1976 There are 32 children attending the Delta Child Development Centre preschool: 19 children with typically developing needs, and 12 children with special needs.
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1976 Focus on habilitation

1977 DCDC second of its kind

1978: Speech and Language Pathologist is hired to support children at Delta Child Development Centre preschool. Delta Child Development Centre has acquired the reputation of being one of the finest in the province. Presently the preschool serves 52 typical children and 12 handicapped.  There is a waiting list of applications to the program by parents of typical children.  Support of the community and the Delta School District has been encouraging.  


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).

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1976 Group calls for pre screening (Delta School readiness preschool beginnings))

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.  
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1978 Vander Zalm pledges his support

March 1, 1978:  Claudette Hayward, Vice President of the Delta Association for Handicapped Children speaks to Leisure Services Program Committee to request that ALL children be registered in regular Swimming Classes. Alderwoman Lois Jackson initiates the special committee set-up to liaise between the Delta Association for the Handicapped and municipal leisure staff. Pilot program of training municipal staff in working with special needs swim students is set-up.
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1978 committee is set up to liase with group for handicap

1978 handicapped in regular swimming classes

September 13, 1978:  In conjunction with school district’s continuing education department, Delta Association for Handicapped Children presents a 6 week course “Communicating with and about the mentally handicapped adult and child”.  Instruction would be led by Bob Brandes, Woodlands school psychologist, and consist of role playing, simulation exercises, video tapes and different approaches to allow people to get in touch with their own behaviour.
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1978 a course on how to deal with hanicapped persons

B.C. Human Resources Department stops funding for non-educational aides in Delta Classrooms.  The Ministry of Education will not pay for these aides.  Delta Association for Handicapped Children offers to train volunteers to work in the classrooms.
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1978 handicapped still have place in schools

November 22, 1978:  School Board cuts force an end to funding for the transportation of 12 children with special needs to the Delta Child Development Centre inclusive preschool. Preschool is now looking for volunteers to fill the job.
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1978 special needs children losing transportation

November 1978   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.
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1978 handicap association wants open debate from trustees

June 27, 1979: Article in the Delta Optimist by new teacher Diane Sweeney about the Delta Child Development Centre philosophy.
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1979 Love important for a child

July 11, 1979:  Municipal Program Committee approves that the Leisure Services Department continue supporting the Delta Association for Handicapped Children to initiate recreational and leisure opportunities for people with special needs, especially summer programming.
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1979 Handicapped to receive support