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New Saanich Children’s Development Centre safer, equipped with mental health supports

Children to receive education, support in a seismically safe and modern building
The new Children’s Development Centre on Cordova Bay Road will provide specialized education and support for students in kindergarten to Grade 8. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The Saanich School District is excited to be able to swing open the doors of the new Children’s Development Centre just in time for the first day of school.

The centre, located in a seismically safe building on Cordova Bay Road, offers specialized education and support for students from kindergarten to Grade 5, and through the alternate learning program for middle school students in Grade 6 to 8.

The B.C. government provided $3.7 million for the replacement of the 53-year-old centre, while the Saanich School District contributed $500,000.

Students who need these services will be able to return to their community school with the tools they need to succeed, said Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside in a release.

The programs offered encourage social and emotional learning, literacy, and numeracy.

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Mental health supports for children and families in the community are also available, including early years programming, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and more.

The programs are offered by Beacon Community Services at the centre and will be primarily funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

In the past four years, the province has approved more than $1.2 billion in seismic upgrades or replacements at 58 schools, allowing more than 31,400 students to be better protected at school during an earthquake.


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