A YMCA Child Care staff member shares a smile with a group of children. YMCA Child Care helps to child development.

With our dedication to offering high-quality, research-based programs that are fun and enriching for your child, there are many reasons why YMCA Child Care is different.

Our expertise and commitment to quality

YMCA Child Care programs are developed by a core group of early childhood education experts at the YMCA of Greater Toronto in collaboration with other YMCA child care experts across Canada. We ensure we are always reflecting on current research and standards, including provincial frameworks. Our programs meet provincial licensing requirements and we annually evaluate our programs to ensure our own YMCA program standards are met.

Our scale

As Canada’s largest child care provider, we are entrusted with the care of thousands of children every day at more than 1,500 locations across the country. No other organization in Canada or the U.S. is delivering a national curriculum in child care programs at the scale we are.

We’re a charity

As a charity, all YMCA Child Care programs are non-profit and reflect our values of caring, respect, honesty, responsibility and inclusiveness. Our staff embody these values in their relationship with every child.

We embrace the power of play

Research has shown that play is the natural way children learn and this serves as the foundation for all YMCA Child Care programs. When children play, they are having fun, exploring their interests and therefore spend longer on a task. Most importantly, they are trying new things, using their imagination, problem solving and developing new skills. Our programs and centres are designed to allow children to participate in independent or small group play while YMCA educators support their learning.

Our Early Learning and Care Curriculum for Children 0-6 years

An integral part of all licensed YMCA Early Learning and Care, our YMCA Playing to Learn™ curriculum prepares children ages 0-6 for school and life-long achievement. The curriculum aligns with all provincial early learning frameworks adopted to date and is based on research and evidence that shows play is the most effective way that children learn and gain new skills.

Our YMCA Before and After School Care Curriculum

Our YMCA A Place to Connect™ curriculum brings a high-quality approach to how we deliver Before and After School Care programs for children 5-12 years old. This curriculum will be implemented nationally beginning in 2016 and the YMCA will become the only organization in Canada with a curriculum for before and after school programs.

We’re driven by the child’s interests, not teacher-led

In both our YMCA Playing to Learn and YMCA A Place to Connect curriculums, there are no pre-determined lesson plans. What happens in each program is driven by what children are showing an interest in at any given time and staff will work with the children to grow their interest and learning about the topic. Materials, props and activities are introduced to enhance these experiences providing opportunities for learning and development.

Accountability of YMCA educators

Warm, caring and dedicated, our staff have a passion for nurturing each child’s potential. They are qualified professionals and lifelong learners themselves, supported through ongoing in-house training. Our staff are held accountable for the implementation of our curriculum, our standards for communicating with parents and adherence to YMCA policies and procedures, including child protection policies. All staff are required to submit criminal records checks.

Learn more about YMCA Child Care

Girl writing in YMCA Early Learning and Care program

YMCA Early Learning and Care

Our early learning and care programs provide families with high-quality child care for children ages 0-6. Our licensed programs are based on our YMCA Playing to Learn™ curriculum, where our staff support learning through a child’s natural desire to play.

Three boys examining art materials in a YMCA before and after school program

YMCA Before and After School Care

For school aged children 6-12 years, our before and after school programs guarantee every school day starts and ends on a healthy note! Instead of sitting in front of a screen or being alone, our programs let kids be active, make new friends and explore their interests.