Our History of Name Changes and Construction (1943 to Present day)
Wendy House (1943 to 1974)
1943/44-Mrs. Alma Reynolds opened Wendy House on Bellevue Avenue. It was named after the character Wendy in Peter Pan- likely because of the caregiver role of Wendy and Alma’s maiden name Barrie, the same as the author of Peter Pan.
At Wendy House there was a morning program for three and four year olds and an afternoon program for 5 year old. In the early years children were given a small carved wooden pin with the words ‘Wendy House’
The building on Bellevue experienced serious water issues due to a creek running through the property. The Reynolds had to opt to close Wendy House or relocate.
1953- A deal was made between Edward and Barbara Henderson and Wendy House Ltd. to purchase the land at 2478 Haywood Ave. for $2000.
1954 – Wendy House was built through the dedicated efforts of local parents who wished to have a special place for their children to grow and learn. Mrs. Alma Reynolds was the kindergarten teacher who provided her students with many opportunities to learn through music exploration. The cost for four half-days a week was $15 a month.
1974-At the age of 63, Mrs Reynolds decided it was time to retire from Wendy House.
West Van Day Care (1972 to 1974)
1972- West Van Day Care was started by Ruth Conlin at her home at 1590-19th street. At this time it was the only licensed child care centre in West Vancouver.
It was licensed for 17 and the fee was $100 a month for full time care.
However, many of the surrounding neighbours were unhappy with having a child care next door.
West Vancouver residents and parents Mr. John Murchie and Neil Stewart obtained a mortgage to purchase Wendy House.
1974– Wendy House was bought by a group of parents whose children had been attending Ruth Conlin’s home based West Van Day Care.
Wendy House became the West Vancouver Daycare Society, delivering child care for the changing needs of the families of West Vancouver.
West Vancouver Day Cares Society (1974 to 1991)
1974– The West Vancouver Day Cares Society was registered and opened the West Van Day Care at 2478 Haywood (Our current location) It was licensed for 25 children.
1976 (Feb 1st)- The Society found it difficult to meet the expenses associated with the mortgage and the building repairs required to meet the standards for full time childcare.
“We accept the offer by the West Vancouver Municipal Council to buy and payback mortgage, interest and back taxes on land and buildings. The amount will not exceed $35,000” February 1st, 1976 Motion Passed at General Meeting of West Van Daycare societies.
1976- (Oct) The Corporation of the District of West Vancouver and the West Vancouver Daycare’s Society signed a 5 year lease agreement.
West Vancouver Child Development Centre Association (1991 to present day)
1991 – The Centre underwent another name change: we became the West Vancouver Child Development Centre. We had four full-time staff offering care for 28 children on a full and part time basis.
1996 – Plans began to develop an Infant and Toddler Program.
1998 – With a lot of hard work from parents and staff, the Infant and Toddler room was opened creating 8 more spaces for children under the age of 3. We also welcomed 2 more full time staff members.
2008-Plans began to develop the mudroom.
2009-Was a busy construction year our new mudroom was opened in February and New energy efficient windows were installed throughout the centre in the summer.
2010-The Director Caroline Schier was given CHILD CARE PROVIDER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE in recognition of her outstanding contributions to quality child care for the children of British Columbia. With appreciation from Honourable Mary Polak Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for Child Care.
2014- We received the CHILD CARE LEGACY AWARD in recognition of 40 years of outstanding child care service, from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
At Present – We are still providing high quality child care for families on the North Shore. We provide care for over 33 children on a full and part time basis.
The West Vancouver Child Development centre at 2478 Haywood Ave. continues to operate from the original Wendy House- with a few additions and upgrades. A lease agreement continues to be in effect with the municipality.