Supported Child Development

Supported Child Development Island Health

Working with families, the Supported Child Development Program (SCDP) provides consultation, extra staffing supports and staff training to child care providers and early childhood educators.

The SCDP helps to ensure that all children are included in, and learn from, their preschool, daycare, or child care arrangement in Greater Victoria.

The Supported Child Development Program (SCDP)

  • accepts referrals from both parents and professionals who work with children with developmental and behavioural challenges from birth to 19 years
  • gives priority to the inclusion of children in licensed child care and preschool programs   
  • contracts with child care providers, preschool operators and families to provide inclusive care and developmental opportunities

SCD Consultants

  • must be involved for a family or child care provider to receive any of the services from the Supported Child Development Program
  • are either a member of the QACCH’s Early Intervention Program (birth to 5 years or school entry) or the School Age Therapy Program (5 to 13 years)
  • commits resources to the support plans based on local and provincial policies and procedures to the limit of the SCDP’s available budget
  • decides on the level of consultant support and funding for staffing (in addition to Island Health Licensing adult-to-child ratio) by:
    • completing the support guide with families and child care providers
    • observing the child in their child care setting
    • consulting with other health care professionals and community partners involved with the child and family

Community Partners

Victoria Native Friendship Centre
Community Living Victoria
Ministry for Children and Family Development

More Information

SCD Program Brochure

Training Opportunities

Inclusion is the philosophy and day-to-day practices that allow every child to learn and thrive in any child development and care setting in Greater Victoria.

The Supported Child Development Programs is committed to inclusion of all children, no matter their abilities. Key principles guide how the SCDP promotes the inclusion of children. 

Age Groups

Children - Birth to 5 years (school entry)

The Supported Child Development Program will:

  • provide support for one inclusive child development opportunity for children birth to 5 years (school entry)
  • give priority to those inclusive opportunities in preschools and daycares upon completion of the support guide process
  • encourage families to first explore preschool or daycare settings before a consultant may consider providing support for an IAC or In-Own-Home child care arrangement.

When parents are neither working nor going to school full-time, preschools are the primary settings for a child development opportunity. The SCDP will support only one preschool program. Neither consultant nor extra staffing support will be provided to a child’s second preschool setting.


When both parents are working or going to school full-time, families may access SCDP supports to promote their child's inclusion in a daycare program.

See SCDP Contracts for more detailed information.

Children 5 (kindergarten) to 12 years

The Supported Child Development Program:

  • give priority to supporting children whose parents require child care to work or go to school full-time outside school hours
  • may provide support and resources to kindercare or out of school care settings
Out of School Care (OSC)

Out of school care may take place before and/or after school. Private or public school is considered the primary development opportunity for children in this age range. Families are encouraged to explore licensed out of school care settings before an SCD consultant may approve an IAC provider or In-Own-Home arrangement.

Inclusive Assisted Care (IAC)

After the family has exhausted all community alternatives, an IAC arrangement may be organized as:

  • a temporary child care setting for emergency child care 
  • a short-term coverage between inclusive child care arrangements
  • a means of slowly joining a licensed child care setting that includes overlapping support for extended visits

In-Own-Home contracts will be reserved for those children with medical complexities and extreme behavioural challenges that necessitate an extended transition into a more inclusive community child care setting. 

Guide completed by an SCD consultant to access supports from the Supported Child Development Program (SCDP).

See SCDP Contracts for more detailed information.

The Support Guide

The information gathered during the Support Guide process helps to guide the SCD consultant's clinical decision regarding the level of SCDP services.

The Support Guide may include:

  • SCD consultant’s observations of the child in the child care setting
  • assessments and/or reports of other health care professionals and community partners
  • the efforts and strategies used by the child care staff to promote inclusion

Using the Support Guide, the SCD consultant may decide on:

  • consult only support
  • consultant support in combination with extra staffing support in licensed child care settings
  • consultant support in combination with a temporary supported child care arrangement

Consultant Only Services include:

  • the provision of on-site training with observations, suggestions and discussion around a family’s goals for a child’s development and care
  • organizing of team meetings with therapists and other Island Health and community professionals
  • off-site training in the form of workshops, information sessions, mentoring opportunities
  • networking opportunities for families and/or child care providers
  • guidance on child development opportunities including daycare options as well as recreation centres or playgroups
  • navigating community partners through the local child care system

Extra Staffing Support funded by SCDP

  • enhances staffing levels in order to help ensure the effective inclusion of all the children in the child care setting. 
  • are considered shared and are in addition to adult-to-child ratios specified by Island Health Licensing regulations. SCDP does not fund “one-to-one” support.
  • promotes teamwork by helping all staff to take responsibility and participate in modifications or adaptations to the environment and programming.
  • may only complement on-site therapeutic interventions with prior approval by the SCD consultant.

Temporary Supported Care Arrangements may include:

  • sub-contracting with an individual to provide care in their own home as an Inclusive Assisted Care (IAC) provider
  • creating an In-Own-Home contract with a family for a child with medical complexities or severe behaviour challenges

General Information on Supported Child Development

Referral Required?
Not required
How to get a Referral

The Supported Child Development Program has an "open" referral process.

Families, care providers, and health care professionals may refer any child or youth from birth to 19 years who is at risk for being excluded from a preschool or child care opportunity, regardless of diagnosis. Priorities for SCD resources and services take into consideration the child's age and whether the child's parents/guardians are working or going to school full-time.

Phone number for referrals: 250-519-6763 or 250-519-6967

Contact Us

Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health
2400 Arbutus Road
Victoria, B.C.
V8N 1V7

Phone number for referrals: 250-519-6763 or 250-519-6967

Jenni Funk
SCDP Administrative Assistant


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