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Child development centre gets federal grant

Ottawa rejected the Child Development Centre’s application but then had second thoughts.
Bulkley Child Development Centre in Smithers before renovations started. (Left) Chris Gareau photo Concept design (below) for the renovated building in Smithers. Contributed illustration

The Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre (CDC) has been given a grant from the federal government after being rejected for the money twice.

CDC executive director Kerri Bassett said their application for the Enabling Accessibility Program was finally approved for $50,000.

“This was our second application to the federal government around accessibility for our Columbia building. Last year we were not approved at the first round so tried again this year, and initially we were not approved again,” she said. “But then we chatted with Nathan Cullen, our member of Parliament here in Smithers. He was able to help get this reviewed again and we were able to receive a positive result of this second review of this application.”

The money will go towards funding an elevator at their new location on Columbia Drive, which is currently undergoing renovations.

This project is part of a larger capital project that will see the relocation of the two CDC Smithers facilities integrated into one inclusive and accessible location on Columbia Drive.

Basset hopes the doors will be reopened in May as they’ve closed them recently to renovate.

Most of their services are being delivered via outreach as the renovations continue, but stay and play and IDP play groups are being held in Ranger Park.

The CDC offers a number of programs such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy to more than 30 communities from Atlin to Vanderhoof, with their headquarters in Smithers. More than 450 children use the CDC annually.

Updates on services, schedules and where programs are being held can be found on their Facebook page or by calling the main office at 250-847-4122.

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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