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YMCA OF GREATER TORONTO | POLICY FAQ

Child Care Frequently Asked Questions

OUR PROGRAMS

What age groups does the Y provide child care for?

We provide care for children up to age 12.

What types of child care programs does the Y offer?

We offer two key programs: Early Learning and Care and Before & After School Care.

Early Learning and Care is divided into four programs: Infant (ages six weeks to 18 months), Toddler (ages 18 months to 30 months), Nursery School (ages 30 months to 44 months), and Preschool (ages 30 months to 44 months). Nursery School is a half-day program that operates from September to June. Preschool is a full-year program. 

Before & After School Care is divided into two programs: Kindergarten (ages 4 and 5) and School Age (ages 6 to 12).

What is the staff-to-child ratio in Y Child Care programs?

Staff-to-child ratios differ by program. 

Infant program — 1:3

Toddler program — 1:5

Preschool program —1:8

Kindergarten program — 1:13

School Age program (ages 6 to 8) — 1:15

School Age program (ages 9 to 12) — 1:20

What qualifications do staff have?

Most of our educators are Registered Early Childhood Educators, while others hold qualifications such as Ontario Certified Teacher, Social Service Worker, Child and Youth Worker, and Recreation and Leisure services.  All educators are required to have Standard First Aid with CPR-C and provide a valid Police Record Check.

Where in Toronto does the Y offer child care programs?

The Y offers child care programs at over 300 locations across the Greater Toronto Area. Programs currently operate in Dufferin County, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region, City of Toronto, and York Region. Visit our Find a Y locator to find the centre closest to you.

What are the program hours?

Our standard hours of operation are 7:30 am–6 pm. Some locations offer extended hours to accommodate the needs of the community. Visit our Find a Y locator for the hours of operation at the centre closest to you.

Do children receive snacks or meals?

Children in full-day programs receive nutritious lunches and morning and afternoon snacks. Children in Before & After School programs receive nutritious morning and afternoon snacks. All meals and snacks are prepared by a caterer or onsite cook and follow the Government of Canada’s Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Six to 24 Months, Canada’s Food Guide: Healthy Eating Recommendations, and Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. All centres post menus for the current and following week.

What children’s programs does the Y offer other than licensed child care?

The YMCA of Greater Toronto also offers camp and children’s registered programs.

Day camp programs for children ages 4 to 12 are offered during schools’ March and winter breaks. Overnight camp programs for ages 5 to 16 are offered during the summer break. Learn more at our Camps & Outdoor Centres page

Children’s registered programs include Health & Fitness programs, such as swimming, basketball, soccer, karate, and dance, and youth workshops like Canadian Red Cross Babysitting and Red Cross Stay Safe. Learn more at our Children & Youth Programs page

How long has the YMCA offered licensed child care?

The YMCA of Greater Toronto has offered licensed child care programs since 1968 and has grown to become the largest provider of licensed not-for-profit child care in Ontario.

REGISTRATION

How do I register my child in a Y Child Care program?

To register your child for a licensed child care program, complete our Child Care Inquiry Form or contact a YMCA Child Care centre directly. Visit our Find a Y locator to find the contact details of centres closest to you.

How do I find a location near me?

Find the centres closest to you by using our Find a Y locator.

Can I get immediate care, or is there a waitlist?

The YMCA strives to accommodate all registration requests as quickly as possible. There may be times, however, when space is unavailable in the program or at the location you have chosen. In that case, you will be offered a place on our waitlist.

Children are added to waitlists in sequence, based on the date and time your application is received and other factors. To learn more about considerations and exceptions that affect waitlist placement, please refer to our Parent Handbook.

YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Child Care admissions review process aligns with the charity’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategic goals.


Can I join the waitlist at more than one centre?

Yes, you may join the waitlist at more than one centre.

Is there a fee to join a waitlist?

No, placing your child on a waitlist is free of charge.

I don’t need care now but may in the future. Can you save my child’s spot?

Unfortunately, we do not hold child care spaces. If you want to keep an active registration, you must pay 100% of your child care fees whether or not your child attends.

PAYMENT

How much does child care cost at the Y?

Child care fees vary by program and region. No deposit or administration fee is required.

How do I pay fees?

Child care payments can be made by pre-authorized payment/debit authorization or credit card. Families can choose one of the three monthly withdrawal dates for their child care fees to be processed.

If you require payment arrangements outside our current terms and conditions, please contact us at csac@ymcagta.org.

Is there a discount if I register more than one child?

No, discounts are not offered for multiple registrations.

How do I apply for a child care subsidy?

To inquire about a child care subsidy, please contact your local regional subsidy office. A list of regional subsidy offices can be found in our external resources section. The subsidy is determined through an application process and your financial circumstances.

Can my child be registered while waiting for subsidy approval?

Yes, your child can be registered while you wait for subsidy approval. Full rate child care fees will be applied until your subsidy is confirmed.

Can I have another person pay my child care fees?

Yes, child care fees can be paid by someone other than the primary contact on a child’s file.

Am I charged if my child is away due to illness?

Yes. Refunds for child care fees are not available for absences due to illness.

CWELCC

What is the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Agreement?

The CWELCC agreement is a five-year plan the Ontario government signed with the Government of Canada to lower child care fees for eligible families, improve wages for child care staff, and increase access to quality child care programs.

The agreement will help the Y improve the accessibility and affordability of our high-quality, licensed child care for families while ensuring our youngest learners gain from stimulating learning experiences.


What does the CWELCC agreement mean for parents?

All Ontario families with children five years old and younger in participating licensed child care centres, including the YMCA of Greater Toronto, had their fees reduced by 52.75% to a minimum of $12 a day. Child care fees are expected to drop to an average of $10 a day by September 2025.

Who is eligible for the CWELCC program?
  • Children under age 6 in licensed child care (licensed summer break child care programs are eligible)
  • Children who turn six before June 30, 2022; after June 30, children will be eligible until the last day of the month in which they turn six
Who is NOT eligible for the CWELCC program?

Children over age 5

Children registered in day camp or children’s programs


Do I have to enrol in this program to receive a child care rebate?

No, families do not need to proactively enrol. Enrolment in the program will be done by licensed child care operators like the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

BASP

What is the Region of Peel Before & After School Fee Reduction Pilot Program (BASP)?

BASP is a one-year funding agreement between the Region of Peel and child care providers to improve affordability for eligible families. It will lower before and after school program fees for children ages 6 to 12 by 50% and support enrichment program activities for children enrolled in these licensed programs. This pilot project runs from September 4, 2023, to June 28, 2024.

How does BASP impact YMCA families?

Families with children ages 6 to 12 registered in a licensed YMCA Before & After School program in the Region of Peel will have their fees reduced by 50% from September 5, 2023, to June 28, 2024. 

As of July 1, 2024, child care fees will return to the YMCA base rate. 

Who is eligible for the BASP fee reduction?

Children ages 6 to 12 (as of August 31, 2023) enrolled in a licensed YMCA Before & After School program in Peel are eligible for the BASP fee reduction.

Children who turn six between September 1 and December 31, 2023, will continue to receive a fee reduction from the CWELCC program until the month after their sixth birthday. After that, they will be eligible for the BASP fee reduction. 

Who is not eligible for the BASP?
  • Children under age 6. They remain eligible for the CWELCC program until the month after their sixth birthday. 
  • Children who turn six between January 1 and June 28, 2024. They remain eligible for the CWELCC program until June 28, 2024.
  • Children registered in day camp or licensed summer break child care programs. 
  • Children registered in programs outside the Region of Peel.
I am receiving a child care fee subsidy from the Region of Peel. Will I be eligible for the BASP fee reduction?

Yes. Families receiving a child care fee subsidy with the Region of Peel qualify for the BASP fee reduction. The 50% fee reduction will be applied to your approved parental rate provided by the Region of Peel.

Will the BASP fee reduction be applied to the YMCA Winter Break and March Break programs?

Yes, a fee reduction of $12 per day is available for our Licensed Winter Break Child Care and Licensed March Break Child Care programs for school-age children in the Region of Peel. This is the same per-day dollar amount received for our Before & After School program.

What are enrichment programs?

From January 8 to June 28, 2024, our Before & After School programs in the Region of Peel for children ages 6 to 12 will be enriched with new or enhanced extracurricular activities such as music, sports, arts, and STEAM. The activities are optional and based on families’ needs and children’s interests.

CURRENTLY REGISTERED FAMILIES

How can I make a change to my registration?

Your registration details can be changed through our Registration Change Request Form.

How do I cancel a program?

You can withdraw from a program using our Registration Change Request Form. We require at least 10 business days’ notice to withdraw. Payments will be adjusted upon receipt of your withdrawal notification.

What is your policy around inclement weather closures?

Visit our inclement weather procedure page to learn about our latest policies. Please note child care fee refunds are not issued for days missed due to inclement weather.

Where can I find my receipt for tax purposes?

Payment receipts for tax purpose are conveniently saved in your My Y account. Visit our child care and camp receipt page to find instructions for signing into My Y, as well as downloading and reading receipts.