Halifax Developmental Centre for Early Learning


What is the centre?

Through our Halifax Developmental Centre for Early Learning, we provide exceptional care for extraordinary children - and we believe that all children are extraordinary. We believe in total inclusion for all children, and our services reflect that. 

At our integrated developmental program, children aged 18 months to 7 years (both children who are typically developing and those with disabilities or specialized needs) come together in an environment where the individual needs of each child are met. We have a wonderful toddler and preschool curriculum and a before and after school program for young children 5-7.

Our safe and stimulating environment includes, a discovery and science room, a creative play room,  an art room, a soft play room, a dining room, three Snoezelen rooms, a wheelchair lift, and an outdoor play space. These learning centers promote development, self-worth, independence, creative expression, and fun! 


Our Snoezelen Room

The positive effect of the Snoëzelen room on any child is remarkable. Time spent in a Snoëzelen room has been proven to be advantageous to the user. It improves concentration, alertness, calming behavior, and promotes a better awareness of the room around them.

The Snoëzelen is based in white because white has a calming effect. Once this effect can be achieved, the body is open to other stimulation and experiences. It is most effective because it is a separate room away from the busyness of “the real world”.  


HDCEL Conception of Snoëzelen

We firmly believe that the conception of the Snoëzelen environment at the Halifax Developmental Centre was the beginning of a wonderful and unique learning curve for all involved with this Centre. The introduction of Snoëzelen to our Centre has taken us in a new direction that has had substantial benefits to not only our children, but to the entire population of persons who have different learning styles. 

On May 20, 1994, Halifax Developmental Preschool opened the first fully installed Snoëzelen Room in Atlantic Canada and the 10th in Canada. As well, we are the only facility to also include a Soft playroom in the Snoëzelen environment. After seeing another Snoëzelen room, it became our vision to add a Snoëzelen/ Soft Play Environment to our facility. This would be a novel and unique approach to teaching children who have diverse needs. Since we are known as a progressive and innovative center, installing these two rooms in our Centre seemed to be the natural thing to do. 

The original two rooms were installed after receiving $10,000 each from Ronald McDonalds’s Children’s Charities (RMCC), and the IWK External Grants Program. We have grown leaps and bounds over the years since the conception of Snoëzelen. Over the years, a lot of money and vision went in to the two rooms. Today, there is a fully installed Snoëzelen Room and a SoftPlay Room with over $100,000 invested.