top of page

YMCA National Child Care Curriculum

Play is not only fun, it is the cornerstone for your child’s future academic success.

The YMCA Playing to Learn Curricula prepares children for school by: 


  • Developing self-regulation skills and confidence

  • Encouraging inquiry, discovery, and imagination

  • Building social and communication skills

  • Encouraging empathy and friendships

  • Promoting numeracy and literacy, essential academic skills  


YMCA early childhood educators help children form positive relationships by building dependable, positive, and nurturing relationships, fostering healthy social connections with other children, and responding to each child’s individual developmental needs through observation and reaction to cues.  

Playing to Learn, ages 0 to 4


YMCA Playing to Learn curricula, applied in our full day child care centres, is a national curricula developed by the YMCA of Greater Toronto. Research has shown that play provides the foundation for the arts (music, visual art, drama), language, literacy, mathematics, science, and technology. YMCA Playing to Learn provides educators with the skills and best practices to provide quality learning experiences.


A comprehensive training system supports our early childhood educators in translating YMCA Playing to Learn into practice. Our staff are skilled in encouraging and enhancing quality learning experiences. Staff observe the children to determine the interests of the group and plan developmentally appropriate activities to extend their learning. Our early childhood educators provide a safe environment for children, preparing spaces that are beneficial to learning. All early childhood educators are active participants in the children’s play experiences, observing and documenting the milestones of each individual child. This ensures our staff provide age-appropriate development and plan developmentally appropriate activities that extend your child’s learning.


Each educator records a daily play experience and completes weekly documentation related to the children. These anecdotes show your child’s daily experience derived from their own expressed interests. This allows parents to get an idea of different experiences that take place throughout the day and provides them with documented support of their child’s development and learning.

Place to Connect, ages 4 to 12

YMCA A Place to Connect is designed for children 5 to 12 years old who attend our Before and After School programs. The curricula is built on many of the principles that guide our YMCA Playing to Learn curricula. Developed by a team of child care experts at the YMCA of Greater Toronto, YMCA A Place to Connect brings a standard, high-quality approach to how we deliver Before and After School care programs across Canada. The curricula is based on research from developmental psychology, human development, neuroscience, education, risk management, diversity and social inclusion, social services and child care. 


Our Before and After School programs are designed to be active, healthy, and fun with an emphasis on letting children make their own choices. Our curricula helps children develop new physical, cognitive, language, emotional, and social skills in a caring and nurturing environment. 


Our goal is to make YMCA Before and After School care programs enriching places for school age children. Research shows that children flourish when they are provided opportunities for choice and leadership. Our programs do just that, with a focus on strengths and the development of skills and relationships. We believe YMCA A Place to Connect is the best approach to ensure a child’s continued enthusiasm and capacity for lifelong learning. The curricula weaves our mission, vision and values into programming, and strives to develop responsible, respectful, caring, honest, healthy and inclusive citizens.  

bottom of page