Childcare Centre FAQ

Are your centres licensed and subsidized?

Yes. All of our centres are licensed, which means that we follow strict government regulations with respect to operations, staffing, programs and safety. All licensed facilities in Saskatchewan are subject to drop in inspections from the Early Learning and Childcare Consultant that is assigned to our region.

Being licensed also means that we have access to additional government grant funding to further support children who may have diverse needs. Government subsidy for low income families can also be accessed if your child attends a licensed centre.

The Department of Learning Child Day Care Branch currently regulates and monitors licensed childcare by means of a childcare consultant. In the Saskatoon area, the consultant can be reached by calling 306.933-6071.

Licensed care centres must meet the standards of the Saskatchewan Government Child Care Act and Child Care Regulations (2014) before they receive a license. They are inspected at least once a year and have occasional unannounced drop-in visits to make sure that they are meeting the standards. These standards include the number of children for each staff, group size, minimum play space per child, nutrition, health, safety, and outdoor play.

In addition to the above requirements, staff members employed in a child care centre are required to have current CPR and First Aid training, pass a criminal record check and have a minimum level of early childhood development training, obtained through college or university classes.

All of our centres have a parent handbook to inform parents of centre procedures, activities, policies, and parent responsibilities.

Licensed childcare centres are obliged to follow ratios with respect to the maximum number of children that can be with one staff member.

  • One staff:3 infants
  • One staff:5 toddlers
  • One staff:10 pre-school age
  • One staff:15 school age
Do I qualify for childcare subsidy?

The toll free number for the Saskatchewan Childcare Subsidy is 1-800-667-7155. You may call and ask to speak to an assessor. The subsidy office will ask you for some information including how many dependent children you have, what the gross monthly family income is, and what the total childcare fees are. There are many variables that may affect whether or not you qualify, the best start is to call the subsidy office, or to complete and send in an application. Application forms are available online at http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/childcare or at a licensed childcare centre.

How old does my child have to be?
The YMCA provides community childcare to children 18 months to age 6 in our Downtown and Sutherland centres. A child can begin care the month that they turn 18 months, even if their birthday is at the end of the month. Our Martensville centre also provides community childcare for infants.
What qualifications do the staff have?
Staff members employed in a YMCA of Saskatoon Child Development Centre are trained in Early Childhood Education. Some have degrees, certificates or diplomas in Early Childhood Education, while others are in the process of completing classes with a certificate, diploma or degree as the goal. As well, all employees have completed a criminal record check, child abuse welfare check, First aid and CPR. Additionally, early childhood educators participate in national YMCA Playing to Learn training on an ongoing basis to ensure that our programs are following best practices.
What items do I need to send with my child?
Each child should bring an extra change of clothes, any special items they need in order to fall asleep at nap time (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) and clothing suitable for the weather, such as mittens, hats, boots and ski pants in the winter, and sunscreen, hat and insect repellant in the summer. Parents are asked to bring a good supply of diapers for children not yet potty trained, and for children who are potty training many extra sets of underwear and pants are required. All children require a clean pair of indoor shoes when the weather is snowy or inclement. Please clearly label all belongings with your child’s name.
What items should I leave at home?
The centre is well equipped with toys to keep your child entertained, please leave toys from home at home. Toys may be lost or broken, and centre staff members are not always able to spend time searching for misplaced toys. Toy guns and weapons are not permitted at the Centre.
When do the children nap?
The children who require naps have rest time from 12 – 2:00 each day. Napping requirements are different for each child, and some children require shorter nap times or less frequent naps (one every 2 or 3 days). Children who do not need to nap have the option to have a shorter quiet time, and then participate in quiet free play activities.
Do parents need to supply meals and snacks?
All snacks and meals are provided on site. Our meal plan includes a light breakfast, hearty lunch, and afternoon snack. Our menu is designed with the nutritional needs of children in mind, and we aspire to serve nutritious meals that the children will enjoy, offering a wide array of fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads and pastas. Parents of children with special dietary needs are required to provide meals and snacks from home if the child is not able to eat the food that is provided at the centre.
Why do you have pets in your centres?
The program in a YMCA childcare centre is implemented with a living curriculum in mind, which includes live plants and animals. These elements help to create the calm, homelike environments that we strive for. Centres may have living creatures such as fish, guinea pigs or small reptiles that the children help care for. Centre staff members are sensitive to children’s allergies, and if a child’s health has the potential to be negatively affected by certain animals, the animals are moved to a different room or centre.
Is there part-time, casual or drop in care?
Our centres accept children in full time spaces. Due to a high demand for our spaces, drop in and casual care is not available. During the summer months, we may have spaces available that are vacated temporarily by families that do not require summer care. These spaces may be available on a monthly basis.
What if my child will be away for a while?
We always appreciate knowing in advance if children will be away. However, if your account remains in good standing, you will not lose your spot if you are away. Full childcare fees apply, even if you will be away.
When are fees due?
Childcare fees are due at the beginning of each month of care.
How can payment be made?
All of our YMCA Childcare Centres accept payment through preauthorized bank withdrawal or preauthorized charge to Visa or Mastercard.
Do I get a free YMCA membership or swimming lessons?
Every child enrolled in a YMCA Saskatoon Child Development Centre is eligible for a free YMCA child membership.
How do you manage difficult behavior in children?
The behaviour management techniques that our YMCA educators use with young children will vary depending the child’s age, personality and the circumstances surrounding the behavior. Children may be redirected in their play, or may be asked to join a staff member in a quiet place to calm down. If you have concerns or questions about how to help support your child’s behavior, please speak with our qualified staff members.

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