IDV began in the homes of a small number of families in 1939, borne from a common desire to provide specialist and individualised support to children with a disability. By the late 1940s, the St George’s Church in Ivanhoe was used to support some 12 children each morning. At this time, discussions regarding a possible amalgamation took place with the Helping Hand Association who operated groups in Brighton, Northcote and South Yarra.
In the early 1950s, St George’s Church announced plans to extend and the group was forced to move to a new location. Soon after, the local Ivanhoe Sea Scout Hall was located and formed the base for supporting 15 children, 4 days per week. This was to become the Ivanhoe Branch of the Helping Hand Association for Mentally Retarded Children.
The new site at Hawdon Street, Heidelberg, catered for 60 children and included a kindergarten, an assembly hall, craft room, workshop, office and staff room.
Once again, relocation to a larger facility was necessary in response to a high demand for services, resulting in a decision to purpose-build a new facility in McNamara Street, Macleod.
The new site was officially opened in 1976 and the organisation became known as Ivanhoe Diamond Valley Centre Inc.