YMCA plans to expand area child-care facilities

July 9, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – The YMCA of the Greater Toronto Area has announced that they will be moving forward with a significant expansion to their existing licensed child-care spaces as part of their ongoing work to help provide programs for children across their coverage area.

“This is a big milestone of moving towards 20,000 licensed spaces for this September,” explained Linda Cottes, Senior Vice President of Child and Family Development for the YMCA GTA. “It started with the introduction of full day kindergarten, and working with the various school boards including Upper Grand District School Board and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board.”

The YMCA is a charity that focuses on community support and development by providing individuals in the community with the opportunity for personal growth, community involvement and leadership. They are known largely for their Child and Family programs where they provide toddlers and school age kids with child care and education.

“We have a strong background in the longstanding support and belief of the importance of high-quality early learning that is supported through parents and children,” said Ms. Cottes. “We began a journey with the school boards to expand on the before and after school early learning programs, as well as look at opportunities to expand and add infant and toddler programs throughout the GTA.”

While programs have been offered over the last four years through Credit Meadows Elementary School, over the last two years the YMCA has successfully opened another eight program locations in Orangeville and the surrounding area for children aged 4-12.

“One of the biggest issues with child care is accessibility,” said Ms. Cottes. “With the full day kindergarten initiative, the Ministry of Education has backed the idea that child care is important and it needs to be more available. For us, this is about accessibility and choice.”

She added that parents are more likely to pick programs that are closer to home, rather than closer to where they work, so putting programs in schools where the children are attending made the most sense.

“We are so delighted to be in a place of creating more spaces,” she said. “It’s very clear that high-quality early childhood experiences are important for children and families and that our YMCA as a charity was very pleased with the outcome.”

The new Orangeville location will be at the town’s newest elementary school, Spencer Avenue Elementary.

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