Tag Archives: YMCA Calgary Childcare

YMCA Childcare Open Houses

Are you interested in learning more about the new YMCA childcare centres scheduled to open in summer 2016?

Please join us at one of our scheduled open houses for families who have either already registered for one of the new centres or who are wanting more information about YMCA childcare programs. All open houses will be held at the Shawnessy YMCA Child Development Centre (333 Shawville Boulevard SE).

New Centres – both centres are located in the Quarry Park Community (SE Calgary)

Remington YMCA Child Development Centre – located in the Remington YMCA

Quarry Park Child Development Centre – stand alone centre

A casual event, the open house will provide families with the opportunity to tour a YMCA Child Development Centre, meet staff and learn more about the new centres. It will also showcase our play-based curriculum which supports all children to learn and develop.

Children are welcome to attend although activities for children younger than 19 months will be limited due to the nature of the Shawnessy YMCA Child Development Centre.

Register soon as space is limited. Contact Shannon Boisvert, Administrator, to register

T 403-531-1662    E sboisver@calgary.ymca.ca

Location:  Shawnessy YMCA Child Development Centre, 333 Shawville Boulevard SE


Thursday, February 25        6:30 – 8:00pm

Wednesday, March 2          6:30 – 8:00pm

Saturday, March 12             9:30 – 11:00am

All open houses will be held at the:

Shawnessy YMCA Child Development Centre

333 Shawville Boulevard SE

For more information visit our website or call us at 403-351-6689

Summer Spaces in YMCA Childcare and Child Minding

finger paint_98948276

Summer sees a change to operations within YMCA Calgary Childcare Centres and Child Minding Areas. And, this change might be just what you are looking for to enhance your child’s summer experience.

Childcare and Child Minding each offer unique experiences – read on to learn more and to see if you would like to explore available options further.

YMCA Childcare and Child Minding – where kids play and learn!

Childcare: Licensed childcare for children aged 19 months – 6 years

Temporary openings are available for 1/2 or full days over the summer months. This option is available due to turnover within the centre as older children leave in preparation for kindergarten and new children have not yet started. All days may not have availability.

This may be an option for families who need a few days or a week of care for their child over the summer. It may also be a fit for a child attending a 1/2 day of camp and then requiring childcare for the balance of the day.

As always, full-time permanent spaces in our centres will be filled from our existing waitlists.

Availability is limited and inquiries should be directed to each centre’s Childcare Director:

Eau Claire – Margaret Ferriss    T 403-781-1666

Saddletowne- Merle Clarke       T 403-537-2722

Shawnessy – Trudy Halvorsen    T 403-254-3211

Child Minding: Short term care for your child aged 6 weeks – 10 years

This is the place for kids to be while their parent/guardian is using the facility. Equipped with toys, games and caring adults who love to spend time talking and playing with children you can feel confident that your child is well cared for while you are furthering your own health and wellness goals.

During the summer all of our areas see a decrease in usage which can open up opportunities for casual bookings. Member children 6 weeks – 35 months are FREE while a minimal charge applies to both older member children and non-members.

Visit or contact the Child Minding Area at your branch today:

Crowfoot YMCA        T 403-241-4618

Eau Claire YMCA      T 403-781-1669

Saddletowne YMCA   T 403-537-2724

Shawnessy YMCA      T 403-254-3217

Caring and Respect Shine Within YMCA Child Development Centres

Young children are naturals when it comes to giving hugs and expressing their fondness for the special people in their lives. They are also very willing, and able, to contribute to the happiness and well-being of others through their kind actions.

Children aged 19 months – 6 years attending licensed YMCA Child Development Centres learn about and practice our four core values – respect, caring, honesty and responsibility. Caregivers provide opportunities for children to practice demonstrating these qualities as well as identify and celebrate situations in which children have done so.

The holiday season easily lends itself to providing ways for all of us to demonstrate the core values of respect and caring. Our childcare centre staff, volunteers and children support this by –

  • hosting family events so families can connect with one another
  • having children and caregivers work together to create seasonal room and centre decorations
  • having children prepare thoughtful cards and gifts for others
  • supporting families in need through branch and centre initiatives such as Adopt-a-Family
  • honouring cultural differences within program activities
  • recognizing the many ways that people celebrate the season

For ideas on how to further develop core values within your child here are some examples of how children in our centres demonstrate respect, caring, honesty and responsibility.


  • Taking turns
  • Listening when someone else is talking
  • Using words to solve a problem rather than physical actions


  • Inviting another child to play
  • Comforting a friend who is upset
  • Helping another child to accomplish a task they are struggling with


  • Telling the truth even when it is hard
  • Letting a caregiver know if a toy has been broken or a piece lost
  • Learning to differentiate between their imagination and reality


  • Cleaning up toys and equipment when they are done playing
  • Storing personal items in their locker
  • Following the safety guidelines that are in place

Wishing you and your family warmth and joy this holiday season.



Battery recharge

When observing young children at play it is sometimes hard to imagine that they ever slow down. Spend early afternoon in one of YMCA Calgary’s three licensed childcare centres and you will see that this just isn’t the case.


Most young children nap, and experts would agree that this is necessary for their development. Newborns require 16-20 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period while school age children require 10-11 hours per day.

An early afternoon nap is the norm for most young children in our Eau Claire, Saddletowne and Shawnessy YMCA Child Development Centres. To support quality sleep, caregivers set up individual cots for each child along with a cozy blanket. Lights are dimmed, blinds are drawn, soft music plays and the centre settles down into a hushed existence.

Some children fall asleep almost instantly while others squirm and fidget for a bit as they transition from activity to rest. Caregivers continue to monitor children throughout nap time and can often be seen rubbing a child’s back if they are having difficulty settling.

As children wake up they are refreshed and ready for the fun and learning to continue.



YMCA Childcare Survey – the results are in!

The 2013 National YMCA Preschool Childcare Survey results are in. YMCA Calgary was one of 40 YMCA associations across Canada who took part in the survey. Our thanks go out to the 64 YMCA Calgary childcare families who responded to the survey.

National YMCA Child Care Survey 2013

We are very proud to announce that YMCA Calgary’s Child Development Centres scored very well in all areas of the survey with an overall satisfaction score of 91% from respondents. Additional scores pertaining to our centre environment, operations and learning outcomes also reflect a high level of satisfaction from our families. We are particularly pleased to note that we received a satisfaction score of 91% for how well we are preparing children for kindergarten.

YMCA Child Care Survey Report Card (Click to enlarge)

We know that parents want their child to be prepared for Kindergarten and that they may have questions about how our play-based curriculum provides both the foundation and the opportunity for children to gain early academic skills of inquiry, literacy, mathematics, and science.  As part of our ongoing commitment for the professional development of our staff team we have a Playing to Learn Champion on staff who has been trained to deliver staff inservices. The next months will see two new trainings offered – Foundations of Literacy and Foundations of Math. Participation in these sessions will provide childcare staff with opportunities to further their skills to support the development of literacy and mathematics skills in young children.

Please join us in celebrating the work of our early childhood educators who utilize engaging and relevant play-based learning experiences to create an optimal environment for young children to belong, grow and thrive.

For more information about our programs please contact the Childcare Director of the location you are interested in – Eau Claire, Saddletowne, Shawnessy


YMCA Canada Playing to Learn Champions

A group of Early Childhood Educators from YMCAs across Canada gathered in Toronto this week to complete their second week of training to become Champions for the YMCA Playing to Learning curriculum.

This national, play based curriculum for children aged 0-6 was developed by the YMCA of Greater Toronto and is supported by the principles of child development as well as what we understand to be the optimal conditions that, when in place, support children to have the richest learning experiences possible.

Playing to Learn - What Children Need

Playing to Learn recognizes that “true play is the way children learn, and true play provides adults with insight into what a child is – at that particular moment in time – capable of learning.”
Edens and Huggins, YMCA Playing to Learn, 2001, foreward

YMCA Canada supports early childhood educators to continually improve the quality of programs and services provided to children by providing extensive support through training, resources and annual, objective assessments of how the curriculum is being implemented in centres.

To meet identified needs of centres for additional training and support for their staff teams, Playing to Learn Champions have been benefiting from an engaging, comprehensive process that is furthering their own understanding of the curriculum as well as giving them the tools necessary for them to be able to deliver the baseline training sessions.

There has been a palpable energy in the sessions with each Champion’s personal experiences shaping their beliefs, understanding and passion for the curriculum. What has been a unifying element, however, has been each participant’s commitment to the Playing to Learn curriculum and the benefits children attending YMCA Childcare centres derive from this comprehensive approach to play and learning.

As part of our week in Toronto, each Champion created a personal vision statement for the Playing to Learn Curriculum.  This photo shows the boxes that we creatively decorated to represent our individual views about the value of play in the learning experiences of children. It is also a tangible reminder of our personal commitment to furthering the Playing to Learn curriculum within our new roles.

Playing to Learn Vision Boxes

My box featured a mini light that symbolized shedding a light on how “together we raise happy, confident children.” I know that when we all work together children benefit from safe environments and supportive adults who foster each child’s potential for life long learning through age appropriate development.

Jana, Play Partner, enjoying a camping experience in the centre

Exploring Flight at Eau Claire YMCA

Family Tree made by Room 3 children at Shawnessy YMCA

To learn more about YMCA Playing to Learn follow this video link or contact us .