Providence is celebrating 70 years of supporting children with disabilities this year. And they’ve come a long way in that time: initially opening its doors to five abandoned babies in 1943, Providence now supports over 1000 pre-school aged children with disabilities each year through the operation of six preschools and a community service program.
Originally known as The Creche, it was started by a group of dedicated volunteers in a home in southwest Calgary. It soon became the Providence Crèche, when the Sisters of Charity of Providence took over the operation of the orphanage. The Sisters operated Providence Creche until 1969, when it became a non-profit society, renamed Providence Child Development Centre and operated by a nonsectarian board of directors.
“We are proud of our roots,” explains Rhonda Conway, President and CEO, “and we are proud of the fact we have built on that tradition of caring and compassion by adding highly-trained therapists and certified teachers to offer a warm, caring environment where most children reach 90% of their
educational and therapeutic goals.”
Today, with six preschools across the city and a community services team that provides assessment and therapy services through 130+ daycares, day homes and independent schools, Providence makes a difference in the lives of over 1000 preschool children with disabilities – and their families – every year.
Research is now proving what Providence has known for the past 70 years – that the first five years in a child’s life is a critical time in their development and that specialized intervention in these years can make dramatic improvements to the trajectory of a child’s life.
As Providence looks to the future, their vision is to continue to grow and change along with the city they grew up with, and to continue to support preschool-aged children with disabilities to reach their full potential.
For more information contact:
Senior Resource Development Officer