YMCA Canada

YMCA Canada

June 24, 2014 06:30 ET

YMCA of Greater Toronto Expands Licensed Child Care Services in Six Regions

Child Care Spaces Will Increase by Nearly 10 Per Cent by September 2014, With New Programs and Sites Providing a High Quality Learning Experience for Children and One-Stop-Drop Convenience for Working Parents

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 24, 2014) - The YMCA of Greater Toronto is expanding the charity's licensed child care spaces by September 2014 to approximately 20,000 in more than 280 locations in six regions - Dufferin, Durham, Halton, Toronto, Peel and York. New programs and services will be introduced to meet the diverse needs of children age 0-12, including before-and-after-school programs, preschool, and infant and toddler care.

The timely expansion meets an urgent need for parents seeking child care placements or quality full day learning experiences before the fall 2014 school year begins.

"June is an important time for parents to arrange child care for their kids in the fall," said Linda Cottes, Senior Vice President, Child and Family Development, YMCA of Greater Toronto. "We are partnering with local school boards to ensure parents have before-and-after-school programs available to support Full Day Kindergarten. We are also rapidly converting sites to add highly demanded infant and toddler spaces."

With the Ontario government's introduction of Full Day Kindergarten in 2010, children who would have traditionally been enrolled in care programs are now entering the school system. Meanwhile, many child care service providers had to reapply for new licenses and make adjustments to convert the rooms vacated by school age children to accommodate younger ones. This significantly impacted the child care space shortage in the Greater Toronto Area.

As a charitable service provider focused on building strong connections with the community, the YMCA is proactively converting spaces freed up by Full Day Kindergarten to help ease the infant and toddler space pressure parents face. Since 2010, the YMCA has almost doubled its child care programs and increased its kindergarten-aged spaces by 661 per cent to help fill the shortage created by the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten.

"The YMCA fully embraces the Full Day Kindergarten vision because we know early learning is one of the best investments for developing young children," said Cottes. "However, the current Day Nurseries Act, introduced in 1946, is outdated and the full day kindergarten implementation has just highlighted the need to modernize the current act."

The child care programs use the innovative and unique YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum®, which has been used at YMCA child care centres for a decade, to ensure a seamless transition to the full-day learning program. Now recognized as a leading curriculum in the industry, all services are supervised by certified early childhood educators.

Parents who are interested in learning more about the YMCA's child care services in their community can contact the charity at 1-866-317-6251 or visit www.ymcagta.org/childcare.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

For well over a century we've provided leadership and worked with partners solving complex social problems to create real, measurable outcomes that have strengthened the social health and fabric of communities. As a charity, the YMCA offers a variety of programs responding to the needs of the community, including education and training, employment and immigrant services, family and youth services, health and fitness programs, child care and camps. Serving the population of the GTA, Durham, Peel, York, Halton Regions and Dufferin County, last year the YMCA connected with more than 511,000 people across 375 locations. www.ymcagta.org

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