The Children’s Treatment Centre was founded by the Nanaimo Neurological and Cerebral Palsy Association in 1967, to support the development of children with specific developmental needs. Originally run out of a small house on Estevan Road, the operation relocated to its current site (Nelson Street) in the 1970s, when it also changed its name to The Nanaimo Child Development Centre, the name it holds today. The centre is a not-for-profit organization that continues to support the development of children with individualized needs.
In addition to its name and location, many other aspects of the organization have changed. Initially, children were segregated at the centre, and developmental treatments often required them to be separated from their families for extensive periods of time. Now the organization makes house calls. With modern knowledge about early childhood development, families are now included more fully to actively participate in their child’s developmental journey, and they are educated about their children’s treatments and how to help them progress.
The organization continues to be an important support system for children and their families within the community, and provides individualized services for children with developmental needs from ages 0-19. The centre’s support network reaches beyond the city limits of Nanaimo to the neighbouring communities, and works with families from Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Gabriola Island and Protection Island to support nearly 1800 children each year.
Another way the centre has given to the city of Nanaimo and its environs is in its famed fundraisers––the centre is responsible for organizing the annual Silly Boat Regatta, an activity which has become a popular summertime event in the city over the past 33 years that it has taken place.
The Nanaimo Child Development Centre (NCDC) offers a number of services, including (but not limited to) Speech Language Therapy, the Infant Development Program, Supported Child Development Program, Child & Youth Development Program, and the Family Development Program. In 2017 the centre celebrated 50 years of supporting childhood development in the Nanaimo area.