Cote des Neiges Child Care Centre: Passing the test of time

Cote des Neiges Child Care Centre: Passing the test of time

by: Tynesha Mullings

Not many people can carry a vision and fan its flame to success for 50 years, but Mr. Osborne Allen has done just that with The Côte-des-Neiges Child Care Centre.
The Centre has been a foundational pillar in the history of the Black community here in Montreal and now in its 50th year continues to stand tall.
Mr. Allen recognizes the magnitude of the accomplishment: For us and the community 50 years is a proud achievement,” he told the CONTACT “Generations of kids have grown to send their children to the daycare.”
From its humble beginnings to surviving the Covid-19 pandemic that closed the doors of many daycares across the province,
Mr. Allen was able to circle his wagons by consolidating his staff and students and continued serving families.
It all started in 1973, when Mr. Allen was education coordinator at the Quebec Black Community Project lead by LeRoy Butcher.
At the time the Project coordinated many summer programs and activities for youth in the community but were faced with the realization that there were no services available to the children.
Mr. Allen, who was an educator in his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was more than capable of finding the solution and laid the groundwork for establishing the daycare center.
The new institution established a long-lasting partnership with The Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, now known as, the English Montreal School Board which allowed them to expand the academic growth of the students and prepare them for elementary school.
The Centre also distinguished itself by providing stable employment to Black educators for decades.
Initially its service was geared towards the children of the Black community, filling a dire need, however, with the changing demographics in the Cote des Neiges area and across Montreal it soon became a refuge for families of diverse backgrounds.
Over the span of half a century, there have been challenges along the way, such as adapting to demographic changes, increase in government regulations and competing daycares, but Mr. Allen says he benefitted from the support of families of his students, a faithful staff and the Centre’s community-based board of directors all of whom have stood to withstand the winds of change and the test of time.
Mr. Allen underlined the cohesiveness of staff families and community that has helped to sustain the Centre.

“All of those summer picnics on Saturdays, community outings, road trips and annual retreats had woven generations of families to the Centre in a way that is unparalleled connecting children, parents and grandparents to a cause that helped shape them over the years.”

Today, Mr. Allen and The Cote des Neiges Childcare Centre are recognized for their exceptional leadership and outstanding service to Montreal.
On May 27, the CdN Childcare Centre 50th marks its 50th Anniversary with a big Anniversary Banquet and Ball at Schofield Hall, 90 Roosevelt Ave., Town of Mont-Royal featuring performances by Mireille Philosca, Cleopatra Marshall, CC Walker, West Can Folk Performing Company, Pete Douglas and many more Music for dancing will be provided by Little Thunder Sounds.

For tickets call C.P.E Cote Des Neiges 514 733 1397 and Mr. Osborne Allen 514 620 5876