Wait times for children in need of speech-language pathology services may soon improve in Delta, due to increased city funding for the Reach Child and Youth Development Society.
Delta council unanimously approved the increase at their regular meeting on June 24, as part of another one-year service agreement between the city and service provider.
The agreement, which extends until April 30, 2020, includes funding of $50,274, an increase of $22,724 from 2018. The funding will be taken from the 2019 Social Planning budget.
According to the Corporate Services report submitted to council, Reach requested the increased funding to sustain their therapies program for children with special needs, especially for speech-language pathology (SLP) staff.
In 2018, the report said, Reach staff supported a total of 212 children. SLP staff supported 98 of those children, which was 13 percent more children than in 2017.
Reach marketing coordinator Alison Martin also told the Reporter that the wait list for the program currently has 60 families on it and is 16 months long.
The service agreement was approved with special praise from Coun. Lois E. Jackson and Mayor George Harvie.
Harvie said the new Reach building at 5050 47 Ave. near the Ladner Rotary splash park, one of three locations, “looks wonderful.”
Reach fundraised for years to support the development of the new Ladner centre facility.
“It’s just made a huge impact on that area of Delta, which was looking a little tired before, but it sure doesn’t now,” he said, adding that Reach has also integrated a daycare.
“They really want to do the best for the community.”