Child care supports new Canadian family

YMCA of Okanagan


The promise of bright blue skies, vast green spaces, and a higher education brought Nusrat, Mohammed and their son, Arsalaan to the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia, far away from their home in Bangladesh.

The family moved to Kelowna when Mohammed landed a job working as a research technician, and Nusrat was accepted into the University of British Columbia to become a researcher. With only one income, however, Nusrat and Mohammed struggled to find affordable preschool and child care for their son.

After extensive searching, Nusrat came across the YMCA of Okanagan’s Little Scholars Playing to Learn Child Care Centre and was overjoyed to learn that they offered financial assistance. “If we hadn’t received financial assistance it wouldn’t have been possible to enroll Arsalaan at Little Scholars,” says Nusrat. “We faced financial crisis coming to Canada and the support from the YMCA is helping us get through this time of struggle in our lives.”

Arsalaan learned quickly in his new environment and within three months went from not knowing any English to understanding and speaking the language, and his parents are confident that Arsalaan will be ready for kindergarten, thanks to the support he has received at the Y. “He is happy and learning every day,” says Nusrat. She adds, “We are grateful for our opportunities in Canada and would like to pay back both Canada and Bangladesh with our knowledge and expertise as skilled workers,” says Nusrat. “As researchers, if there is any way for Mohammed and I to give back through projects that benefit both countries our lives here will be even more meaningful.”