During 1976 the Child Development Services Program at the Nova Scotia Teachers College grew out of an initiative of the Departments of Education and Social Services, with the co-operation of Professors Jane Norman and Ruth Bakewell and Principal George MacIntosh. Professors Norman and Bakewell were on the faculty of the College in the Early Childhood Program, and were very much in accordance with the provincial departments that there was a need to train professionals for the important job of working in pre-school settings in Nova Scotia.
By 1981, under a contractual agreement reached between the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services, under the principalship of the College and in consultation with the administration of Family and Child Welfare, the program became more fully developed. Qualification for Associate in Child Development Services could be achieved in three ways:
- through upgrading qualifications of individuals in the field;
- through effective liaison with adult education, vocational schools and other training sources in Nova Scotia;
- through a two-year Child Development program at the College and at the Froebel Centre, a specially purchased manor house in Princeport ten miles from Truro.
Field experience interwoven with child development principles and practices formed the structure around which competency-based training was built. Appropriate resource personnel were mobilized from the staff of the Nova Scotia Teachers College, professionals from the community-at-large, representatives from government departments and select personnel in the child development field from Canada, United States and the UK. Students in the program were eligible to live in residence at the College and participate in the social, recreational and athletic activities open to Nova Scotia Teachers College students.
In 1992 the work of CDS was recognized and the program was incorporated as a college in its own right. The college is now known as the Institute for Human Services in Education to better represent the diversity of its programs and services.