The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of high-quality early learning and child care on child development, family outcomes, women’s participation in the workforce, and the whole Canadian economy. However, the pandemic has also exacerbated long-standing challenges faced by licensed non-profit child care agencies, and families in accessing high-quality child care.

The YMCA believes that building back better following COVID-19 includes a robust licensed early learning and child care sector, and accessible high-quality care that is affordable and inclusive for families that need it.

The Way Forward

The YMCA applauds the Government of Canada for recognizing the essential role of child care on the economy, the she-covery, and positive outcomes for children and their families. Addressing barriers and building a pan-Canadian system that meets the needs of children, their families, and high-quality early learning and child care agencies will require collaboration between all levels of government, and stakeholders including families, educators, and agencies like the YMCA.

With over 50 years of experience providing high-quality licensed child care in Canada, we have identified four pillars and 17 recommendations to achieve a pan-Canadian licensed child care system:

  • A well-recognized Early Childhood Educator profession
  • Expansion of high-quality non-profit child care, and lower costs for families
  • All children have the support they need to achieve their best start
  • Evaluation for continuous improvement and accountability

Read more about our national policy positioning, and our recommendations for building a pan-Canadian child care system here.

Our Impact

As Canada’s leading not-for-profit provider of play-based licensed child care, the YMCA has more than 88,300 licensed infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age spaces from coast to coast. YMCA Child Care programs are guided by the YMCA Playing to Learn™ curriculum for preschool children (up to age 6) and the YMCA A Place to Connect™ curriculum for school age children (ages 5-12) in both before- and after school care programs. Each YMCA Playing to Learn™ and YMCA A Place to Connect™ classroom is evaluated and assessed and our educators are qualified professionals who receive extensive in-house training, mentorship, and coaching.

Other Policy Areas

Employment Housing Healthy Living