YMCA Childcare FAQ
Start by contacting your preferred centre and speak to the Centre Director. Some age groups have lengthy waiting lists, and by knowing your childcare needs in terms of times of day you require care and the ages of your children, we can do our best to ensure you can access childcare as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may visit any centre at anytime. Call ahead if you wish to be able to speak to a site co-ordinator when you visit. The phone number for each centre is on the main page of this website.
What is the YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum?
The YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum is a national program that is being implemented in all YMCA childcare centres across the country. Based on the most recent research in child brain development, this is a child directed curriculum which means that the activities that are planned by the staff are based on the individual and group interests of the children in each childcare room. The YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum program believes that children learn best when a child’s day is less structured and there is a lot of opportunity for free play and exploration that is supported by qualified early childhood educators. YMCA Early Childhood Educators are very diligent to ensure that children have the opportunity to participate in many experiences and activities that foster the development of fine and gross motor skills, creative arts, literacy, science and pre writing skills. Daily outdoor play is an important part of our program as well.
Assessors from YMCA National visit our centre yearly to ensure we are following best practices.
Are your centres licensed and subsidized?
Yes. All of our centres are licensed, which means that we follow strict government regulations with respect to operations, staffing, programs and safety. All licensed facilities in Saskatchewan are subject to drop in inspections from the Early Learning and Childcare Consultant that is assigned to our region. Being licensed also means that we have access to additional government grant funding to further support children who may have special needs. Government subsidy for low income families can also be accessed if your child attends a licensed centre
How can I find out if I qualify for childcare subsidy?
The toll free number for the Saskatchewan Childcare Subsidy is 1-800-667-7155. You may call and ask to speak to an assessor. The subsidy office will ask you for some information including how many dependent children you have, what the gross monthly family income is, and what the total childcare fees are. There are many variables that may affect whether or not you qualify, the best start is to call the subsidy office, or to make an application. Application forms are available online at http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/childcare or at a licensed childcare centre.
How old does my child have to be before starting at a YMCA of Moose Jaw Childcare centre?
The YMCA provides community childcare to children 18 months to age 12. A child can begin care the month that they turn 18 months, even if their birthday is at the end of the month. Infant care is provided at the Grow “N” Learn Childcare Centre at AE Peacock Collegiate to teen parents who are attending high school.
What qualifications and training does the staff have?
Staff members employed in a YMCA of Moose Jaw childcare centre are trained in Early Childhood Education. Some have degrees, certificates or diplomas in Early Childhood Education, while others are in the process of completing classes with a certificate, diploma or degree as the goal. As well, all employees have completed a criminal record check, child abuse welfare check, First aid and CPR. Additionally, early childhood educators participate in national YMCA Playing to Learn training on an ongoing basis to ensure that our programs are following best practices.
What items do I need to send with my child?
Each child should bring an extra change of clothes, any special items they need in order to fall asleep at nap time (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) and clothing suitable for the weather, such as mittens, hats, boots and ski pants in the winter, and sunscreen, hat and insect repellant in the summer. Parents are asked to bring a good supply of diapers for children not yet potty trained, and for children who are potty training many extra sets of underwear and pants are required. All children require a clean pair of indoor shoes. Please clearly label all belongings.
What items should I leave at home?
The centre is well equipped with toys to keep your child entertained, please leave toys from home at home. Toys may be lost or broken, and centre staff members are not always able to spend time searching for misplaced toys. Toys guns and weapons are not allowed at the childcare centre.
What costs are not included in my childcare fee?
Upon occasion, parents may be asked to contribute a small fee for a special excursion that the children will be participating in, or to provide a bagged lunch for an excursion away from the centre.
Do I get a free YMCA membership? What about swimming lessons?
Every child enrolled in a YMCA of Moose Jaw childcare centre is eligible for a free YMCA child membership. Also, the families of those children receive a 20% discount on the family membership. The membership also allows for a discount of 20% on swimming lessons at the Kinsmen Sportsplex (some block out dates may be in effect, check with the Sportsplex for more details).
How do you manage difficult behavior in children?
The behaviour management techniques that our YMCA educators use with young children will vary depending the child’s age, personality and the circumstances surrounding the behavior. Children may be redirected in their play, or may be asked to join a staff member in a quiet place to calm down. A child will never be punched, slapped, spanked, shaken or bitten by a staff member, even if the parent requests that these techniques be used to manage the child’s behavior. If you have concerns or questions about how to help support your child’s behavior, please speak with our qualified staff members.
When do the children nap? Does my child have to nap?
The children who require naps have rest time from 12:45 – 3:00 each day. Napping requirements are different for each child, and some children require shorter nap times or less frequent naps (one every 2 or 3 days). Children who do not need to nap have the option to have a shorter quiet time, or to stay up and participate in free play and outdoor activities.
Do we need to supply meals and snacks?
All snacks and meals are provided on site. Our meal plan includes a light breakfast, hearty lunch, and afternoon snack. Our menu is designed with the nutritional needs of children in mind, and we aspire to serve nutritious meals that the children will enjoy, offering a wide array of fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads and pastas. Parents of children with special dietary needs are required to provide meals and snacks from home if the child is not able to eat the food that is provided at the centre.
Do you provide transportation to area schools? Do you transport to pre-kindergarten or pre-school?
The Play ‘N’ Learn Centre provides transportation to King George and Sunningdale Schools. The Discover ‘N’ Learn Centre provides transportation to St. Michael’s and Lindale schools and provides supervised walking to Palliser Heights school. The Explore ‘N Learn Centre provides transportation to Westmount and Sacred Heart School and provides staff supervised walking to St. Mary’s and Empire Schools. Transportation is not provided to preschools, but is provided to some prekindergarten programs that are located in schools. Speak to the co-ordinator at the site where you are interested in enrolling for more details. All of the centres are located on the Holy Trinity bus routes that service St. Margarite’s school. As well, children enrolled in the French Immersion program at Palliser Heights School are transported to and from the Explore “N” Learn Centre.
Why do you have pets in your centres?
The program in a YMCA childcare centre is implemented with a living curriculum in mind, which includes live plants and animals. These elements help to create the calm, homelike environments that we strive for. Centres may have living creatures such as fish, guinea pigs or small reptiles that the children help care for. Centre staff members are sensitive to children’s allergies, and if a child’s health has the potential to be negatively affected by certain animals, the animals are moved to a different room or centre.
Is there part-time, casual or drop in care?
Our centres accept children in full time or part time spaces. Part time spaces are available for children who attend mornings only or afternoons only. Due to a high demand for our spaces, drop in and casual care is not available. During the summer months, we may have spaces available that are vacated temporarily by families that do not require summer care. These spaces are available on a monthly basis. For more information, please call Jennifer at 693-0512.
What if my child will be away for a while? Do we lose our spot?
We always appreciate knowing in advance if children will be away. However, if your account remains in good standing, you will not lose your spot if you are away. Full childcare fees apply, even if you will be away.
When are fees due?
Childcare fees are due at the beginning of each month of care.
How can payment be made?
All of our YMCA Childcare Centres accept payment by debit and cash. Sorry – cheques and credit card payments are not accepted.