The demand for quality early learning and child care programs far outweighs the supply. This gap has negative impacts on both the development of children, and the affordability of life for young Canadian families. An estimated 776,000 children currently live in communities with a severe lack of available child care services*.

The YMCA believes that a Canada that builds belonging is one where families can afford and have access to high-quality child care for their children regardless of their circumstances. 

The Way Forward

In order to ensure we are doing our best to support young families, we have outlined the following federal policy goals that we believe will create a landscape where licensed, quality child care is both affordable and accessible.

  • Leverage the Multilateral Early Learning Child Care Framework to set national standards on the quality, accessibility, and affordability of child care in the country, and support these standards with stable, predictable funding.
  • Expand funding programs to include supports for affordable, quality child care for middle-income families.
  • Develop a national action plan that addresses the shortage of qualified Early-Childhood Educators across Canada. 

Our Impact

As Canada’s leading not-for-profit provider of play-based licensed child care, we nurture the development of more than 95,000 children every year from coast to coast. YMCA Child Care programs are guided by the YMCA Playing to Learn™ curriculum for pre-school children (up to age 6) and the YMCA A Place to Connect™ curriculum for school age children (ages 5-12) in both before and after school care programs. Each YMCA Playing to Learn™ and YMCA A Place to Connect™ classroom is evaluated and assessed regularly and all of our educators are qualified professionals who receive extensive in-house training, mentorship, and coaching.


*MacDonald, Child care deserts in Canada, 2018

Other Policy Areas

Employment Housing Healthy Living