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Frequently Asked Questions 

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A Note From Your Child Care Leadership Team 

Your YMCA believes in creating safe and welcoming spaces for all. We believe there is no place for racism and intolerance, and we're committed to listening, learning and making the changes needed to make this a reality. Learn more.

A UNIFIED MESSAGE FROM THE YMCAs OF CAMBRIDGE &  KW,  GUELPH AND STRATFORD-PERTH

Hello Families!

Today, we all heard some more details about what to expect regarding children and school this September. As you can expect, there are a lot of moving pieces to this announcement, and we’re working to keep the health, safety and well-being your family and our communities central in this next phase our re-open plan. At this time, we are awaiting local public health guidelines and further information from our local school boards regarding what this announcement means for families, like yours, who rely on our child care services (including before and after school care).

We will continue updating this page with more information as it becomes available. Please also look out for email updates and on Weemarkable to keep everyone up to date. If you have immediate questions or concerns, please reach out to your Centre Supervisor, and we’ll work to get you the answers you need.

As always, we appreciate your patience as we navigate through this announcement alongside you. Rest assured, getting you accurate information is a primary concern for us, and we’ll work hard to keep you up to date. And, most importantly, know that every decision we make is done in order to both best meet your needs and keep your child(ren) safe. 

Stay healthy,

Kim, Cyndy, Terri and Jaime on behalf of the YMCA Child Care Team

We're here for good.

YMCA Child Care. We’re here for good. 

A UNIFIED MESSAGE FROM THE YMCAs OF CAMBRIDGE &  KW,  GUELPH AND STRATFORD-PERTH

  • All child care centres across our regions re-opened July 10 
  • We may be able to increase our cohort sizes beginning July 27 – please reach out to your centre Supervisor to confirm a space 
  • Physical distancing practices supported by both the setup of spaces and delivery of programs   
  • Commitment to adhere to all local public health guidelines, including personal protective equipment   
  • Prescreening, daily screening, and reporting will follow public health guidelines

Updated: July 21, 2020

We’re working in partnership with regional and provincial public health units to make the changes needed to keep your children safe. Here’s what we know so far:  

When will YMCA Child Care centres be opening? All centres across our system (save W. T. Townsend) were re-opened by Monday, July 13, 2020. Beginning Monday, July 27, 2020, we may be able to increase our cohort sizes. Please contact your centre Supervisor to determine if there is space for your family.

What new safety measures will be in place? The biggest and most obvious changes you’ll see on this front are the daily screenings, which will happen both at drop off and midday. Other new safety measures include:   

  • smaller class sizes (no more than 10 individuals in any room including both children and educators until July 24 | may be able to increase cohort size to 15 children plus educators in any room as of July 27)
  • no visitors in our rooms (meaning drop off and pick up happen at the screening station)   
  • no interaction/mixing of children or educator groups   
  • individually prepared, wrapped and served meals and snacks 
  • changes in programming to facilitate physical distancing 
  • changes in physical layout of rooms to facilitate physical distancing (e.g. placement of tables and cots) 
  • removal of plush and other hard to clean toys 
  • increased handwashing and sanitization throughout the day 

Our centres will have all undergone a thorough deep cleaning prior to opening, and we’ve increased the number of times our spaces will be cleaned daily. This includes sanitizing frequently touched surfaces at least twice a day. All toys will be disinfected after each use.  

With all these changes, what will my child’s day look like? While things will look and feel different for your children, our educators are committed to providing high quality care and programming. We’ll still have plenty of outdoor time, as well as educational crafts and activities.  

Will educators be required to wear masks and/or PPE? In following the recommendations of public health, when unable to physically distance, educators will be required to wear PPE, including a mask and a lab coat or blanket to create a barrier between the child and educator. All PPE are immediately removed and laundered after each contact. Screeners and cleaners will also be wearing full PPE at all times.

Will children be required to wear PPE?  According to public health guidelines, children will not be wearing PPE.  

Will educators be able to physically comfort my child? Educators will be able to console and comfort children, however because they will not be physical distancing they will be required to wear PPE.

How are you determining eligibility?  

Child Care Centre Supervisors will be placing children into care based on the following criteria:  

  1. Children who previously accessed YMCA Child Care and were eligible for Emergency Child Care 

  1. Children of YMCA staff who are being asked to return to work  

  1. Random allocation of spaces in preferred YMCA Child Care Centre, prioritizing full time care where appropriate.  

  1. Random allocation of spaces in YMCA Child Care across our communities 

If a family’s child care needs change, they need to connect directly with their site supervisor. 

How long will you hold our spaces? Is there a charge for this?  While we await further direction from the ministry, we'll continue to hold your spaces at no charge. As soon as we have more details regarding this, we'll let you know. 

What is happening with School Age summer programming?  

In GUELPH: For School Age programs that happen in facilities that are not tied to schools, programming will be offered following Phase II guidelines (i.e. reduced ratios, physical distancing etc.). For School Age programs that happen in school buildings, we only have access until August 14, and currently have no other options available until September. If you're looking for day camp options for children between the ages of 4 - 12, the Guelph Y still has some spaces available and you can indicate your interest online.  

In STRATFORD-PERTH: At this time, there is no licensed School Age programming available in Stratford-Perth. If families require school-aged summer care, are youth department is offering Day Camp, you can register by clicking Stratford-Perth Day Camps. 

In WATERLOO REGION: For School Age programs that happen in facilities that are not tied to schools, programming will be offered following Phase II guidelines (i.e. reduced ratios, physical distancing etc.). For School Age programs that happen in school buildings, we only have access until August 14. Families can express a need for School Age child care from July 13-August 14. If families need care after August 14, we still have space available in our summer day camps, you can register by clicking Waterloo Region Day Camps. 

How does our decision for summer care (i.e. no care, part-time care, etc.) impact our fall care needs?  We're still working with the ministry to achieve Phase II re-open. We know that the ministry is looking ahead to the fall and what that means for all children (including school age children), and like you, we're eager to learn more. Our priority is to share fall plans for both child care and before/after school care with our families as soon as we have more information from the ministry.  

What is happening with School Age programming in the fall?

We’re monitoring provincial and federal announcements regarding what the return to school may look like in our regions. We also remain in close communication with our local public and Catholic school boards regarding what additional physical spaces we might need to accommodate public health guidelines and support our families child care needs. We will continue to monitor this unfolding situation closely, and update all families as more information becomes available.

What happens with our credit from March? To our knowledge, all families have been refunded, and there should be no credits remaining. If you have any specific questions/concerns about this, please reach out to your centre supervisor. 

How are waitlists working moving forward?  

Working within the mandated restricted class sizes, our priority is to first place all families who are currently registered in one of our centres prior to the COVID-19 and who have expressed a need for child care. After following our eligibility criteria, if/when a centre is full, we will create a waitlist for that centre – your centre Supervisor will contact all families this impacts.  

For those families who were waitlisted for care in one of our centres prior to the COVID-19 closure, those waitlists remain the same. To check your waitlist status, families in Stratford-Perth should check OneHSN, families in Waterloo Region should consult OneList, and families in Guelph and Wellington County can contact the centre where they are waitlisted.  

What will programming look like for my child? (I.e. questions around physical distancing, social interaction, sharing, playing together, singing)   

While we will be working towards physical distancing in our spaces, our programming will look/feel similar to what your child experienced prior to the COVID-19 closure. We’ll continue following our Playing to Learn curriculum, and we’ll offer adapted sensory and craft activities (instead of a communal centre, each child will have their own craft or sensory box). Because of daily screenings, all children in the centres will be assumed healthy. Within cohorts, children will still have a level of interaction, however, there will be no interaction between cohort groups.

Are child care fees impacted due to changes (i.e. in ratios)? 


In Phase II child care offerings families will be charged the same rates as what they were paying prior to the COVID-19 closure. Note: any fee change notices received prior to COVID-19 closures will still come into effect.  

What will meal times look like? We will still be providing nutritious meals and snacks at our child care centres. The only real differences will be that children will no longer serve themselves, instead they will be served by their educators. Also, we’ll be enforcing physical distancing and good hand hygiene practices will be practiced at meal times.

Where We’re at Currently 

Welcome Back Parents

Welcome Back Friends 
(Show this to your children)

COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures

Keeping You Safe at Child Care 
(Show this to your children)

Wondering what screening questions we will be asking you as your child returns to care? Take a look at this one-pager we've made to help you.

Our friend Macy (aged 7) filmed this to show you what you can expect to see when you get dropped off at child care. (Caregivers – this is a child-centric view to help your children get ready to come back to child care.)

We’ve been working hard to make the necessary changes to maintain your child(ren)’s well-being while at child care. Join us on a tour of one of our centres to see what this looks like.

Come along with our friend Macy (aged 7) as she gives us a tour of what you can expect to see when you come back to child care. (Caregivers – this is a child-centric view to help your children get ready to come back to child care.)

What you can Expect to see

Child Care Screening Tool

Wondering what changes we’ve made to keep your child(ren) safe? Or what you’ll experience when you come back?

View the Resource (PDF)

Back to Child Care

Looking for a way to talk to your child about the changes to child care? Download this comic-inspired story to get every one ready for their first day back.

View the Resource (PDF)