An Advisory Committee is formed to coordinate medical and rehabilitation services for handicapped children in the Kingston Region with representatives of Kingston General Hospital, Queen’s University Departments of Pediatrics, Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and the Board of Education.
Kingston General Hospital is chosen as administrator and site for the “Regional Centre for Handicapped Children”. The first hospital based treatment centre in Ontario, this model will promote earlier referral for therapeutic services, access to consultant services and children will be treated by the same therapeutic staff whether as an inpatient or an outpatient.

Dr. Jean Alexander, a Pediatrician with a focus on Child Development, is appointed as Director of the Regional Centre for Handicapped Children. She establishes a program that provides integrated, multi-disciplinary services to children in a variety of settings including the treatment centre, the child’s home, and school.
This integrated service model is unique in Ontario. Other treatment centres are independent organizations that provide rehabilitation and education in-centre only, with a focus on orthopedics.

The Regional Centre for Handicapped Children officially opens November 23, 1973 on Nickle 1 of Kingston General Hospital.

1977: Bill 160 is passed by the Government of Ontario enabling the integration of preschoolers with physical and developmental disabilities within the childcare system, in part due to Dr. Alexander’s lobbying efforts.

1979: The Infant Stimulation Program, a research project since 1976, receives on-going provincial funding to deliver in-home developmental programs to children at risk of developmental delay. The program is transferred to the administration of the Regional Centre for Handicapped Children and Kingston General Hospital.


The demand for the Regional Handicapped Children’s Centre services increases as the effectiveness of early diagnosis and intervention is recognized. Community consultation and service requests rise with the integration of handicapped children in childcare programs and schools.

1982: The centre is renamed “The Child Development Centre” and the Infant Stimulation Program becomes the “Infant Development Program”, to better reflect the nature of our services. The centre relocates to the Kidd House at Kingston General Hospital.

1984: The Child Development Centre moves to new facilities at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The trend in rehabilitation service delivery shifts to sub-specialization and several new programs are established. These include:

  • Augmentative Communication Clinic
  • Seating Clinic
  • Learning Disabilities Clinic
  • Feeding Clinic
  • Special Infant Clinic
  • Therapeutic Riding Program

The Moose Factory Program, an outreach program to Moose Factory and outlying coastal communities along James Bay is developed.


“Family Centred Care” is formally introduced at the Child Development Centre. Our services and practices are reviewed and changes implemented to meet the principles of Family Centred Care.

1993: the Neuromuscular Clinic and the Acquired Brain Injury Clinic are established.

1994: The Volunteer Fund was established with annual support from the Hotel Dieu Hospital Volunteer Services Group. Families can access this fund for extraordinary expenses.

1996: The Community Advisory Committee with representation from parents and community agencies is formed.

1998: The Child Development Centre is named the recipient of the 2nd Annual HDH Run/Walk proceeds. Under the leadership of Marvin Switzer, Race Director, this event became the “Child Development Centre Run/Walk,” an ongoing major fundraiser for the centre.


2000: The Chances for Children Trust Fund is established through the hard work of Liz Hundevad, CDC Social Worker and the generosity of DuPont Canada. This fund assists CDC families with exceptional costs incurred when a child is disabled including special equipment and home renovations.
The A.B.I. Program is officially designated and funded as “The South-East Ontario Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury Program”.

2006: The Ministry of Children and Youth establishes Best Start Networks to support increased integration, planning and collaboration of Children’s Services within communities.

CDC partners with Pathways for Children and Youth to establish a community based clinic to identify children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Infant Development Program collaborates with Ontario Early Years Centres to offer specialized playgroups. CDC therapists offer consultative services to this group.
Consultation to families and developmental screening is offered at multiple Ontario Early Years Centres sites in South Eastern Ontario.
Outreach multidisciplinary clinics for preschool children are organized in Leeds and Grenville and Lanark Counties.
CDC partners with the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre and children’s service providers in Lanark County to explore innovative ways of providing Occupational Therapy expertise in the community through a consultation model.

2013: Hayley’s Voice Lending Library is created to provide children with low tech communication supports and computer access equipment through the Augmentative Communication Services.

2014: CDC officially offers French Language Services.