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4 benefits of being a Before & After School Educator at the YMCA

27 July 2023 - by Tia Chung

Life as a Child Care Educator is a rewarding and fulfilling careerIt’s a privilege to inspire and make a difference in the lives of children every dayfrom helping children start theiday off right to supporting them after a tough day at schoolSpecifically, working in Before & After School Child Care at the YMCA of Greater Toronto has many benefits. Here are four reasons why Y Educators love working in Before & After School Child Care. 

1. Create work-life balance with an AM/PM schedule

With the Before & After School program, Educators work two shifts a day (also known as a split-shift), with the morning shift typically from 7 am to 9 am, and the afternoon shift from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Two educators prepare toys on a table for Before & After School child care.

Life can be demanding. Fitting in important tasks at midday can be difficult when you have a typical shift. Working a split shift allows you to tackle your top to-dos in the middle of the day, so you have better work-life balance 

A collage of three photos. The first photo is a close-up of an individual using the YMCA's Shine On mobile app. The second photo is an individual using a treadmill at a YMCA gym and holding a YMCA water bottle. The third photo is an individual using the row machine at a YMCA gym.

Kayla Roberts, a Before & After School Supervisor (RECE) at Ajax Westney Heights YMCA Child Care Centre, describes the benefits of split shifts as endless. In the middle of the day, she uses the time to refresh and does errands like cooking, grocery shopping, and laundry. Some Educators use their free Y gym membership on their break. 

Other Educators use that time to complete the Apprenticeship Program to receive their Registered Early Childhood Educator credentials, which the Y strongly encourages and supports Educators to obtain. 

The program's schedule [is] perfectly designed for working individuals, making it easy and well-planned. Additionally, the YMCA provided ample support to ensure my courses went smoothly. For instance, I completed most of my placements at YMCA childcare and programs, which was a great bonus.

- Gwen Dela Paz, a Before & After School Educator at St. Anthony de Padua’s Child Care Centre

2. Pick from over 200+ locations 

Commuting long distances to work can be costly and stressful. Another benefit of working with the YMCA of Greater Toronto is the 200+ locations with Before & After School Child Care across the GTA. Knowing that you could have the option to work at a location that is close to you is convenient and makes it easier to manage your work-life balance.  

There are locations in Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Halton, and Dufferin. As far east as Newcastle YMCA Child Care Centre in Durham region, to as far north as the Palgrave YMCA Child Care Centre in Peel region. 

An exterior and interior view of the Mississauga YMCA located on Burnhamthorpe road in Ontario, Canada.Mississauga YMCA at 325 Burnhamthorpe Road West in Ontario, Canada.

Erica DAlessandro, a Before & After School Educator at Humberview Child Care Centresays the many locations make the “travel distance from home to work easy and convenient.”  

3. You get to work with an older age group

In Before & After School Child Carethe age group is anywhere from ages 4-12 years old. Interacting with an older age group gives you more mentorship opportunities. Many Before & After School Educators have described their experience with this age group as positively impacting children’s lives 

An educator interacts with three children who do arts and crafts in the Before & After School program.

Tanya Bucco, a Before & After School Educator at St. Nicholas Child Care Centre, says: “Working with school-aged children is very entertaining, the children have so much to learn and talk about.”

While interacting with all children is rewarding, the school-age group’s boundless energy makes it easier to bounce topics and find moments to mentor them to become their best selves. You’re guaranteed to learn from them, too! 

David Bishop, a Before & After School Supervisor at St. Isaac Jogues Child Care Centre, emphasizes that they are coaches, mentors, and role models to this age group.

Every day is a fresh start. Morning or Afternoon. It's important for children to know that so they don't have to carry the weight of all that's troubling them about what could happen later or tomorrow. We get to be a part of that.

- David Bishop, Before & After School Supervisor at St. Isaac Jogues Child Care Centre

4. You’re guaranteed minimum of 30 hours per week with access to full-time benefits 

As a Before & After School Educator, you’re guaranteed to work six hours a day or 30 hours per weekA new addition in 2023 is access to full-time benefits that include a free Y gym membership, discounts on programs and services, a comprehensive benefits packagean annual salary increase based on performance, enhanced vacation, ongoing professional development and training opportunitiesthe potential for career growth, as well as work-life balance and family-friendly policies. 

An educator holds a split plastic blue toy egg to teach two children about dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs.

When I reflect on my time as an Educator in a Before After School program, I remember it as one of the best times in my career. You are provided with the amazing opportunity of providing a safe and engaging environment for the children in your program. I personally enjoyed working the split shift, which gave me about a four-hour break in the middle of the day to go to appointments, grocery shopping, etc. This encompassed with the great benefits that the YMCA provides (extended health care, dental) and a gym membership allowed me to have a full-time position with the YMCA that provided schedule flexibility.

Alicia Obrien, Supervisor at Milton St. Peter YMCA Child Care Centre

So why not start and become a Before & After School Child Care EducatorBe the Spark! Make a difference in children’s lives at one of our 200+ locations that offer Before & After School child careApply now to join our team. 


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