Garderie Les Petits Anges de Wesley is a non-profit, private daycare in the heart of the NDG community, taking care of 69 children aged 18 months to 5 years old. The center offers a safe, warm and interesting environment for children to live, learn, play and make friends, and since 2011, nearly 20% of its spots are reserved for children with developmental disabilities.
Last year Garderie Les Petits Anges de Wesley, along with West Montreal Readaptation Centre (CROM), collaborated together on a pilot project called The Social Integration Project. This project sought to integrate children with an ASD into a daycare center with no integration history. The project was successful and allowed these children to work on developing social skills in a real social setting by interacting with others, listening in groups and by mimicking their peers’ behaviour. The educators from Garderie Les Petits Anges de Wesley also benefited after attending information workshops, which in turn helped to facilitate the social integration of the children with ASD when they arrived.
Garderie Les Petits Anges de Wesley has partnered with the Taylor-Birks Foundation to build Arthur’s Garden, a sensory-based playground where children and children with developmental disabilities can learn, play, strive and make friends. Arthur’s Garden will be a venue where children, and particularly children with ASD and developmental disorders, can easily relax, explore and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and different textures of nature. Arthur’s Garden will have clearly defined pathways and boundaries, a variety of activity level spaces, places where children can go when over stimulated, opportunities for an array of appropriate sensory input, and a variety of ways to foster communications between peers.