NEW BEDFORD—Families in New Bedford that have children with developmental delays or could potentially have such delays no longer need to travel to another town to get Early Intervention help.

Meeting Street had a ribbon-cutting for its new North Street location in New Bedford on Tuesday. The new, larger location brings the services of the Schwartz Center out of Dartmouth and back into New Bedford, with more room to be able to expand the services that are offered.

John Kelly, President of Meeting Street, says that about three years ago, Meeting Street was approached to take over the Schwartz Center Early Intervention program.

"We were really excited about that, because Schwartz had an amazing reputation for having talented professionals, great programs and doing a lot in the New Bedford community," Kelly said.

Mayor Jon Mitchell says Meeting Street fills "an important gap" for families with children that have or are at risk for developmental delays. He says it's important that Meeting Street puts an emphasis on early childhoold learning.

"To get kids in the habit of being life-long learners," he said. "And that's what it's going to take for them to lead successful lives and competitive lives in our economy."

One of the new programs being offered is an Early Head Start program that serves 36 families in New Bedford. Mike McKelvy, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Meeting Street, said the larger location marks a big step toward being able to increase services overall.

"Programs like early intervention make a tremendous difference, and this location is going to help us be more successful for the families in this community," he said. "I'm also pleased to share that we are growing our programs across Meeting Street with the opening of our Early Head Start program, and that's going to make also a huge impact on the families of New Bedford."

Children and families served by Meeting Street were invited to take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which also featured a storytelling time with McKelvy, Kelly and Mitchell.

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