In the early seventies, a group of concerned parents and professionals began to explore ways to offer Physiotherapy to community children with Cerebral Palsy. In March 1976 the Quesnel and District Cerebral Palsy Association became a registered charity. At that time twelve local children received Physiotherapy services from a therapist who traveled from either Williams Lake or Prince George depending on availability. This service was wholly funded through community donations and was dependent on road conditions, the availability of space, and the cooperation of the Physiotherapist. The parents of these children and their supporters organized fundraisers and lobbied the provincial government for grants to fund services to children with Cerebral Palsy. Provincial funding was eventually received and the Quesnel Cerebral Palsy Association hired its first paediatric physiotherapist, thus assuring delivery of services on a regular basis.

Our first permanent home was located in Helen Dixon Elementary School with Physiotherapy on the third floor and Preschool in the basement! Preschool was open to both typical children and chi dren with special needs aged three and four. Since our inception we have maintained a philosophy that supports inclusion.

In 1980, our Board of Directors in collaboration with other organizations purchased a shared building on Hoy Street, known as the Community Services Building. Shortly after this purchase the Infant Development Program was added to the services we offer and since then has become an integral part of the spectrum of services available to the children of our community. Over the intervening years we have received contracts to provide Speech Language Pathology, and a Family Support Worker. These programs along with the existing programs formed the basis for an early intervention interdisciplinary team that was better equipped to meet the needs of the child within the context of their family. Since then we have added an Occupational Therapist to work with school-aged children and a Pregnancy Outreach Program to provide services to expectant mothers. With the additional services came more children! By 1986, over 100 children were receiving one or more services from the Quesnel and District Cerebral Palsy Association. In 1987, the association changed its name to better reflect the services being provided and the wide range of developmental delays being identified in the children referred. Since then, the Quesnel and District Child Development Centre Association has continued to provide the spectrum of services children with developmental challenges need.

Space soon became an issue, which the Board of Directors addressed by purchasing a building on Elliott Street along with some adjoining lots. The building was a true community project, with renovations, painting, materials, and over 5000 volunteer hours being donated by individuals and businesses. The move to our new building took place in January 1989. With a great deal of help from the community the move was accomplished in only a few hours. By 2008 we had outgrown our Elliott Street building and bought and moved into our current home at 488 Mclean Street where we have room to spread out and still have space to lease.

Community support for the organization has continued to grow. Since 1984 the community, through its annual Telethon, has generously supported the CDC. The money raised each year has made it possible for us to continue to offer high quality services. Aside from the money raised, the telethon provides a venue for local musicians, storytellers, drama groups and dancers of all ages to showcase their talent. The Telethon also provides us with the opportunity to talk about the many ways we promote the developmental health of the children in our community.

The CDC continues to be recognized as a community leader in services for children with special needs, a fact borne out by our two successful CARF accreditations. Many of the programs currently offered are provided throughout the community at schools, daycares, homes, and other agencies. As the needs of the community have grown, so have the range and extent of the services we offer. The staff members of the CDC touch the lives of over 400 children and their families each year. We are honored to have had the opportunity to assist the children in our community to reach their full potential as adults. Every child belongs and every child deserves the opportunity to exercise their right of citizenship by participating to the best of their ability in the life of their community.

If you have any ideas about how we can improve our services, please contact us.

Quesnel & District Child Development Centre

Donate Now 300-488 McLean Street
Quesnel BC V2J 2P2
Ph: (250) 992-2481
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