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Child Care

HANDBOOK
For

PARENTS & GUARDIANS

YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario
www.ymcaswo.ca

YMCAs across
Southwestern Ontario

Welcome YMCA Families:
Thank you for choosing to become part of the YMCA family. In choosing YMCA Child Care, you
have chosen one of the finest child care services available anywhere. We have been proud to
provide quality child care services in Chatham, Goderich and Sarnia for over 50 years. In 1960
we opened our first Licensed Child Care Centre at our King Street location in Chatham and
in Sarnia; we opened up our first Full Day Centre in September 1987. In 1990 we added our
before-and-after school programs in both Chatham and Sarnia. In 2011, we opened our first
before-and-after school program in Goderich.
Everyone benefits from high quality, universal, inclusive early learning and child care
services. The YMCA is delighted to work with you to give your child a fulfilling and enriching
experience. This handbook provides an overview of some important items about our centres
and our approach to the care of your child. 
We believe children who have experience with early decision-making, build a solid foundation
to become confident individuals. These early experiences are the perfect start for their journey
into the future.
We welcome families to take an active role and partner with the YMCA in providing the best
care for your child.
Start your day worry-free, knowing your child is safe and well cared for at one of our Child Care
Centres. This is our commitment to building strong kids, strong families strong communities.
We hope this handbook answers your questions and gives you the information necessary
to feel comfortable and confident in placing your child in our care. We look forward to
establishing lasting and meaningful relationships with your family.
If you have questions about anything or want to discuss your child’s progress, we are happy to
arrange a time to meet one-on-one. For further information about the YMCA and the services
we offer, please contact our Child Care Administrative Assistant at: 519-336-9622 ext 242 or
email at ccadmin@ymcaswo.ca or visit our website at www.ymcaswo.ca.
Yours truly,
Kathi Lomas-McGee
Senior VP - Operations
YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Table of Contents
About YMCA Child Care Services

Page 2

Our Staff, Play To Learn Approach

Page 4

Emergencies, Arrivals, Departures, Pickup

Page 6

Traffic, Driving, Fees and Income Tax Statements

Page 8

Clothing, Behaviour Management

Page 9

Child Safety

Page 11

Nutrition, Health Policies

Page 12

Medicine, Absences, Special Consideration

Page 14

Checklist

Page 16

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 1

About the YMCA Child Care Services
Our Program Philosophy

The YMCA provides a vital service to families by making it easier for parents to be employed or educated.
Parents have peace of mind knowing that their children are in a safe, nurturing environment that fosters
independence and has a positive attitude toward learning. YMCA Child Care activities and experiences
promote growth of the child in the cognitive, social, emotional and physical areas. The YMCA Child Care
philosophy incorporates key development areas: wellness, international understanding, physical activity
and family development. Curriculum is planned in response to the needs of the children in care, and takes
a holistic approach to child care programming. Program areas are integrated in a variety of ways and levels
that form core child-centred activities.
Our Quality Statement

The YMCA provides high quality child care programs so that parents feel comfortable leaving their children,
and their children look forward to coming to the YMCA. Parent evaluations, current research and over twenty
years of experience in delivering child care programs helped us to define our quality checklist:
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• Children are happy and involved.

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• Staff has a caring attitude.

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• Centre, equipment and toys are accessible, clean and safe.

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• Small groups of children are participating in stimulating activities with teachers.

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• Food is nutritionally balanced.

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• Parent / teacher communication is good and parents feel welcome at the centre.

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• Sufficient play materials are available.

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• Outdoor activities are taking place in well maintained play areas.

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• Staff are good role models and has appropriate training.

·

• Parents have regular feedback about their child in scheduled or spontaneous meetings with staff.

Our Vision

Because we want our communities to be enriched with healthy children and families, the YMCAs across
Southwestern Ontario are dedicated to providing quality child care.
The YMCA is committed to enhancing the social, emotional and physical well-being of all children in a safe
and nurturing environment.
“We build Strong Kids, Strong Families, and Strong Communities.”

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Our Program Values
Parents have the ability to pursue work or education with peace of mind; children have a right to a secure, safe and
developmental program.
Families can access the additional supports and services our YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario provides. Parent
participation is important to the YMCA. Our core values are purposefully integrated into all areas/aspects of our
programs: Respect, Caring, Honesty, Responsibility and Inclusiveness.
Our Child Care Centres
The YMCA Child Care Department is a division of the YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario. We provide leadership to
the community through effective planning, management, and delivery of high quality child care services. The YMCAs
across Southwestern Ontario operate 6 Child Care Centres and 17 School Age Programs throughout Sarnia-Lambton,
Chatham-Kent and Goderich-Huron counties. These centres and programs provide high quality early learning for
children from 2 months through 12 years of age. New children are accepted to the centres and programs based on the
availability of space in your child’s age-group and the date of your application.
Hours of Operation
All of our centres and programs operate Monday to Friday. Our child care programs are open year-round except for
statutory/civic holidays and annual Educator Professional Development. Before your child is enrolled in our centre, we
will schedule a meeting with your Centre Supervisor to discuss your child’s needs and the hours of care you require. It
is important that you bring your child to the centre at a regular time each day and advise us in advance if you need to
revise your child’s attendance schedule.
YMCA Learning and Career Centre Child Care
Jerry McCaw Family Centre
YMCA ESSO Learning and Careers Centre
Old Lady of Fatima Child Care Centre
Our Little Place Child Care Centre
St. Anne Child Care Centre
St. Joseph Child Care Centre

Address
1015 Finch Dr. Sarnia, ON
660 Oakdale Ave. Sarnia, ON
545 Baldoon Rd. Chatham, ON
30 Cecile Ave. Chatham, ON
1000 The Rapids Pkwy. Sarnia, ON
535 Birchbank Dr. Sarnia, ON

Hours of Operation
6:30am – 6:30pm
9:00am – 2:30pm
8:00am – 4:30pm
7:00am – 6:00pm
7:00am – 6:00pm
6:30am – 6:00pm

Contracts for Care
The YMCA makes every effort to accommodate all children requiring care. Requests for full time care (Monday
through Friday full day or before and after school) will be granted first. Requests for scheduled part-time care (4 days
per week or less) will be given priority over casual care. Casual care requests will be filled as space permits. After the
contract has been finalized, the YMCA commits to providing two weeks notice of any change in space or schedule.
YMCA Contracts for Care are prepared upon confirmation of availability, as well as on an annual basis to maintain an
active status. Contracts for Care and Pre-Authorized Payment forms are completed in full and approved by the Child
Care Administrative Assistant, prior to the commencement of care.
YMCA Child Care programs strive to serve our families with the highest quality of care, and carefully plan to ensure
staffing requirements. Contracts for Care allow centres to foresee availability, scheduled attendance, as well as
meeting budgetary requirements.
Child Care Fee Assistance
Child Care Subsidy is a program offered by the County of Lambton, Municipality of Chatham-Kent and County of Huron
that helps families with the cost of licensed Child Care from birth-12 years of age. Canadian citizens, landed immigrants,
refugees with a valid work permit or school authorization are eligible to apply for Child Care subsidy.

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The Expert Team Who Care for Your Child/ren
Each centre/program has a Centre Supervisor, responsible for the daily operation of the centre/program and a
designate that covers when the Centre Supervisor is not available.
We strive to have all of our educators at the Child Care Centres to be trained Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) who hold
a diploma or degree in ECE and are also members of the College of ECE. All educators hold current CPR and First Aid
certification. All YMCA School Age Program educators have training and experience working with school age children.
Their educational background may include: ECE, Bachelor of Education, Child and Youth Worker, Kinesiology, Recreation
and Leadership, Psychology or Sociology. Staff are trained extensively with YMCA Canada National Play to Learn.
Each Child Care Centre has its own dietary planner who prepares nutritious, home-cooked snacks and lunches. Our
dietary planners hold food safety certificates and all kitchens are inspected regularly by local Health Departments.
Early Childhood Education Students
Each of our Child Care Centres provides field placement opportunities for college students who are studying for
their Early Childhood Education diploma and/or their Resource Educator/Special Needs certificates. These students
contribute significantly to our programs and to the education of your children.
The students are supervised and mentored by our educators, and gain practical experience while bringing new ideas
to the centre. Please join us in welcoming them to our centre.
You are the Expert on Your Child!
Our goal is to provide your child with the best possible care. We do this by working closely with you to help guide your
child through all the stages of childhood development and growth.
We encourage you to talk to your child’s educator about our daily routines and to share any concerns or suggestions
you might have.
Although many decisions about the children’s day are made by the Centre Supervisor and educators, general policies
are made by YMCA management. Your Centre Supervisor works closely with management and is available to meet
with you about any concerns you may have. If the Centre Supervisor is unable to address your concerns, he/she
can bring concerns forward to the General Manager of Child Care or the Senior VP of Operations. We welcome your
feedback at all times.
Service Feedback – Survey
We are continually striving to improve our services by seeking innovative ideas. Periodically throughout the year, we
may ask you for input on how we can provide you with better services. Watch for our surveys and please take a few
moments to fill them out. Visit www.ymcaswo.ca to access our Child Care surveys. Your input is valuable to us. One
final note, we welcome and encourage families to donate recycled objects. Before you throw it out, check with us as
we may find a use for it.
Want to get involved?
Become a member of one of our Parent Advisory Committees!

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Playing to Learn
We are offer a professionally developed curriculum, unique to the YMCA called Playing To Learn. We believe YMCA
Playing to Learn is the best approach to ensure a child’s continued enthusiasm and capacity for life-long learning. True
play is the way all children learn; it can be said that it is their occupation.
YMCA Playing to Learn offers a child led programming model that allows children to become fully engaged in their
activities. The curriculum, assisted by educators who become play partners, clearly allows for a child’s interest to
remain connected to the events of the day. The YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum is the foundation of play-based
learning and is integrated into the Ministry of Education’s full-day kindergarten.

Our programs, environments and curriculum are planned to:
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• recognize and accept each child’s individuality and developmental level

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• establish feelings of trust, honesty and security

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• enhance feelings of mutual respect, acceptance, and caring among children and adults

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• encourage positive social interactions through small group experience

·

• allow children to select, plan and organize their own activities as much as possible

·

• encourage safe and appropriate play/discovery experiences

Documentation
Our educators carefully observe your child’s progress through documentation. In addition, you can speak to your
child’s educator at any time about your child’s progress. You can chat informally when you come into the centre to
pick up or drop off your child, or we can schedule a discussion at your convenience. Please speak with your Centre
Supervisor to arrange a meeting. Documentation, displayed throughout the centre, is the basis for communicating
with parents and highlights the developmental milestones of each child. Individual journals are also used to keep you
informed about your child’s day.
What will your child be doing?
All the things your child wants to do. There will be time to play with blocks, opportunities to count and compare, to
create and learn, read and sing. Your child will experience the world, explore and investigate.

How will your child be learning?
We have known for a long time that a child’s play provides the building blocks for language and literacy, mathematics,
science, technology, and the arts.

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Emergencies, Arrivals, Departures, Pickup
Getting Started
At each of our YMCA Child Care Centres, children are engaged in a quality early learning experience. You can help us by:
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Keeping us informed about changes in your families’ needs 
Asking questions about your child’s learning and care
Telling us how we are doing, so we can improve the services we provide
Letting us know when you need other resources to help your child 
If you are applying for financial assistance, ensure all your paperwork has been approved
by the County in advance.

Emergencies
It is very important that the centre is able to contact you or your designated alternate in an emergency. Please notify
us immediately of any changes in your home address, employment address, and phone numbers. If necessary, please
arrange for an alternate adult contact we can phone in case you are not available in an emergency.
Arrival
When you arrive, please sign in your child. At this time it is a good opportunity for you to discuss with the educator
about any special events in your child’s day. To help build trust we ask that you hand your child to an educator rather
than the educator taking your child from your arms. To help your child start his/her day, establish a drop off routine
that will be successful for all.
Departure
Most parents have a usual time for picking up their children. If you need to pick up your child earlier or later than
usual, please advise the educator in advance. When you pick up your child, please make sure the supervising educator
acknowledges your departure and you sign your child out for the day.
When You Cannot Pick Up Your Child
If you are unable to pick up your child, please make the necessary arrangements to have your child picked up by an
emergency/alternative contact. For your child’s safety, we will not release them to anyone who is not listed on the
Child Information Sheet or without your permission.
When arranging for someone to pick up your child, please notify us . We will require the name and relationship of the
emergency/alternative contact as well as appropriate time of pick up. Emergency/alternative contacts will be required
to provide photo identification.
If an unauthorized person arrives to pick up your child, they will be asked to wait until a parent or guardian can be
reached.
No one will be allowed to leave with your child until you have given permission. No child will be allowed to enter or
leave the centre without an adult. To request special circumstances, please talk to the Centre Supervisor.

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Late Pick Up of Children
We ask you commit to picking up your child on time. If a child is not picked up by the centre’s closing time, the YMCA
will take the following precautions:
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• T he YMCA will call the parent/caregiver. If there is no answer the YMCA will call the emergency numbers
provided by the parent/caregiver.

·

• If no response is received from the emergency caregiver by 7:00pm, for safety reasons, the YMCA must
contact the police and Children’s Aid Society.

YMCA Child Care hours of operation are aimed at being convenient for parents. Repeated late pickups of children
may result in the removal of child/family from the YMCA Child Care program.

Traffic, Driving, Fees & Income Tax Statements
Field Trips
Local field trips are fun for the children, and enhance their learning experience. In all instances, you have the final
say on whether or not your child participates in a field trip. Field trips may include walks to libraries, community
parks, and local stores. These excursions are often a starting point to encourage children to explore their outside
environment. Future program planning in the centre is based on the children’s experiences during the field trip. You
will be notified in advance of any trips and will be asked to complete a separate consent form allowing your child to
participate in the excursion. If for some reason you do not wish your child to participate on the field trip we will ask
you to find alternate arrangements for your child during the time of the trip. The children may also go on walks which
will be noted on the daily program plan.
Traffic Safety and Parking
Traffic safety is a major concern to all families. Some of our centres experience extreme traffic congestion at drop
off and pick up times. There is no stopping or parking in the driveways, as doing so poses a danger to the children.
Please watch for and obey the traffic signs around the centre. Please park in designated parking spots. If no positions
are available please be patient. It is important that you turn off your ignition as an idling vehicle is unsafe and causes
breathing difficulties for those around.
Driving Under the Influence
Our educators care about children’s safety. For this reason we follow specific procedures should a parent/guardian or
authorized person for pick up, arrive at the centre who is under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal substance and
is planning on driving home. The educator will call you a cab, and contact your emergency/alternative contact to pick
up the child. If the parents denies any of the help offered and drives off with the child the police will be called.

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Insurance for Assistive Devices
Centres cannot be held responsible for lost or broken assistive devices such as hearing aids, contact lenses or glasses
along with accessibility equipment. We ask that you have adequate replacement insurance for these items should they
become misplaced or broken.
Contracts for Care
Child care services are provided under the following terms of service:
• Parents are required to complete and submit a registration package for each child attending the
program before care commences.
• All child care fees are due in advance of care and are subject to a pre-authorized debit (PAD)
agreement on a valid bank account or credit card.
• Non-payment of fees for two consecutive payment dates will result in withdrawal of child care services.
• Payments returned by the bank for any reason are subject to a $25.00 service charge.
• Days of care in addition to the contract or submitted schedule will be invoiced and payable on the
next payment date.
• There is no refund for absenteeism or sick days. The YMCA does not charge for days when the centre
is closed.
• Full time care (5 full days per week) will be allowed 20 vacation days per year without charge if two
week written notice is provided to the YMCA. No vacation days are provided for part time care or
before or after school care.
• If child care fees are subsidized by the municipality or county, the parent remains responsible for
all amounts not covered by subsidy. The parent is responsible for re-applying for subsidy before it
expires. If subsidy expires and the YMCA has not received a new subsidy approval, the parent will be
charged the full fee until that approval letter is received. Refunds will be retroactive to the subsidy
approval date.
• One month written notice to the YMCA is required in the event of any change in payment or personal
information provided in the registration package.
• The parent or guardian is responsible for the child until he/she arrives at the Child Care Centre and
after he/she leaves the Child Care Centre.
• If child care needs change, the parent is required to discuss the situation with the Child Care
supervisor.
• Failure to comply with all policies listed in this Child Care Handbook may result in termination of the
contract for care.
• Contracts for Care can be terminated for reasons other than non-payment of fees by either party upon
2 weeks written notice. Refunds will be given for prepaid care in excess of the 2 week notice period.
Receipts
Child care fees are generally tax deductible by the parent or guardian of the dependant child. Annual receipts
of child care fees paid to the YMCA will be issued each February/March.

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Clothing, Behaviour Management
A Happy Start
To help your child become comfortable in their new environment, we recommend whenever possible that children be
introduced to care over the course of a few days - gradually working into a full-day schedule. Take a few minutes at the
beginning or end of the day to let us know about any special or unusual events at home that may be affecting your
child. We will inform you about any highlights or upsets in your child’s day. If pick up or drop off times are too busy,
you are welcome to call your child’s classroom during the day to arrange a time to talk. You can also communicate with
the Centre Supervisor by e-mail. Take part in your child’s activities at the centre throughout the year. There are many
areas where you can help. For example, you can accompany the group on outings or get involved in special events.
If you have a particular talent or interest, you are invited to share them with the children. Please contact your Centre
Supervisor to let us know how you would like to be involved and we can let you know what is required from us.
Fun Can Be Messy
Every child has a hook and cubby for their clothing. Please ensure your child’s clothing is clearly labeled to avoid
disappearance and confusion. Each child should bring a change of clothing, as even the oldest children can get wet
during water play or cover themselves in paint and goop. Although all paints and markers are washable, we suggest
children wear comfortable, washable clothing you wouldn’t worry about being spoiled.
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Footwear should have non-slip soles and be suitable for running and climbing
Children who spend part of the day sleeping can bring in a comfort item
We suggest that children leave a pair of shoes and an extra pair of mittens at the centre in the winter 
Please remove drawstrings from clothing or tuck them securely into coats. Children are at risk of
strangulation from loose strings or scarves. Glove or mitten clips are safer than strings
• Clothing should have easy closures to encourage children to be independent

Keep an extra set of clothing at the centre for your child. This extra set should change seasonally and include the
items shown below. We are careful about looking after each child’s personal property, however we cannot be held
responsible for loss or damage to property left at the centre. Please leave all sentimentally important toys and
belongings at home.
Clothing to Have at the Centre













Pants
Underwear
Socks
Rubber Soled Shoes
Extra shirts
Sweater/Sweatshirt
Comfort Item
Mittens for winter
Winter boots
Hats (Summer and Winter)
Snow pants
Winter coat
Spring/Fall Coat

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Please label all of your
child’s belongings.

Pg. 9

Behaviour Management
The Play to Learn approach encourages children to play, learn and socialize. They learn to work together to build ideas
and solve problems. We guide and assist each child to feel competent in their abilities and also help them to learn
social skills that enhance their self-esteem so they feel competent and secure.
In our program, children are taught to resolve conflicts in a positive way. Children are redirected in a respectful way if
conflicts arise. Discussion with the child about the conflict and possible solutions is also promoted. Our educators are
monitored regularly to ensure that children are always treated respectfully in a supportive way. We do not physically
discipline children or practice time out.
We encourage children to express their ideas and feelings, and also help guide their behaviour through our acceptable
child guidance principles:
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Redirection
Logical and Natural Consequences
Limit Setting
Modeling
Providing Choices
Anticipating Trouble
Ignoring
Reflection Time

Stepping Stones, Supporting Your Child
Our Child Care Centres want to serve all children however, sometimes programs cannot meet a child’s needs. The
YMCA Child Care Services reserves the right to withdraw children who are not suited to a child care environment, in
the best interests of the child and for the safety of other children. If required, it is the responsibility of the family to
work with Centre Supervisor and outside agencies to find support or alternative care.
Documentation
If there are causes of concern with your child’s behaviour, the educator directly involved with your child will record the
behaviour.
Parental Notification
We will inform you of any concern we are having as soon as possible. We will share any actions or guidance practice
we have facilitated. We will talk with you about any reasons that may be causing your child’s behaviour and ask for
your help to manage the behaviour.

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Child Safety
Developing a Support Plan for Your Child
To help a child behave in a way that is safe for everyone, we will take the following steps:
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• A meeting will be called to talk about a concern.
• A plan will be developed to help your child. It will have clear, measurable goals and timelines. It will
also describe the role you and the educator will play in helping your child.
• The Centre, in co-operation with your family, will make every effort to provide care for your child.

In extreme circumstances, when a support plan has been put into action and a child continues to pose a clear and
present danger to the safety of anyone at the Centre, the child may be immediately withdrawn from the program. After
a temporary withdrawal, a meeting between parents and educator will be held before the child returns to the Centre.
The meeting will establish responsibility for making a long-term plan of action and monitoring behaviour.
Outside Community Agencies
Each YMCA Child Care Centre has several partnerships with outside community agencies, such as Pathways or
Chatham-Kent Children’s Services who will help us support children as they transition through this stage of their life.
Outdoor Play Safety
Educator-to-child ratios, as outlined in the Day Nurseries Act, are maintained on the playground at all times and cannot
be reduced for any reason. All educators are aware of the number of children in their group at any given time and
attendance is recorded.
Educators position themselves to ensure all areas of the playground are visible.
Daily playground activities are recorded on the Daily Program Plan, and you are invited to have a look to see
what’s on the day’s schedule. Activities are planned to enhance the child’s creative, motor and social skills, and
to encourage children to engage in constructive play. Our outdoor play schedules reflect the seasonal weather
conditions and time of year. Educators complete daily inspections of the playground area and equipment for
potential hazards and litter.
Outdoor Play Safety
Children are required to be outdoors for a minimum of two hours per day, weather permitting. If your child is not
well enough to participate in outdoor play, they should remain at home until they are feeling better. While we are
concerned for your child’s well-being, we are not able to keep your child indoors with an educator and meet the
required educator-to-child ratio. If there are severe weather conditions such as storms, low temperatures of -20°C, wind
chill or smog advisories, children are kept indoors. From May to September we pay close attention to daily ultra violet
radiation (U.V.) ratings. In high U.V. periods, we limit the amount of time children spend outdoors between 10 a.m. and
3 p.m. It is our practice to apply sunscreen with a protection factor of SPF50. If you wish, you may provide your child
with a sunscreen of your choice. Please make sure to write your child’s name on the bottle. We require all children to
wear a hat and safe footwear while outside.

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Nutrition, Health Policies
Nutrition
Each Centre has its own dietary planner who prepares nourishing lunches and snacks. A nutritional lunch based on
Canada’s Food Guide is provided for the children at mid-day. Snacks are served in the morning and afternoon with
more frequent snacks provided for the infant and toddler groups and children who leave late in the day. The menu is
posted in the centre and provides a good overview of your child’s daily nourishment.
Meal and snack times provide opportunities for children to socialize while establishing sound eating habits and
appreciation of a variety of foods.
We recommend you provide your child with a good breakfast before coming to the centre.
Allergies
We do not serve nuts on our menus and we strive to eliminate peanuts from our centres. However, if a child has
allergies, a special diet or is unable to eat certain foods due to cultural practices, please notify the Supervisor so
arrangements can be made. Please tell us about any dietary concerns on your child’s health declaration. Although
we cannot change the entire environment of the centre because of allergies, every effort possible will be made to
minimize contact.
**Please note that our Centres strive to be nut free**
Please help us protect the children
Food allergies are a serious concern for some children. No outside food is permitted in our Child Care Centres. We
strive to keep our centres peanut/nut safe zones. Please help us ensure your child’s complete safety by not bringing
food, chewing gum or cough candies to the centre.
Health Policy
The YMCA is required by legislation to ensure that your child’s health records, emergency contacts and information are
up to date at all times. Please assist us by ensuring that your Child Care Supervisor has up to date information.
We know that health is a complex issue in a child care environment. In establishing our health policy, we considered
the following factors:
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• The inability of a child who is too ill to cope with the day’s program
• The need to protect our children from communicable disease
• Parents’ need for a guideline to assist them in deciding whether to bring a child that is
“not quite well” to the centre
• The responsibility and commitment of parents

When Your Child is Sick
If a child appears to be ill, the child may be separated from the other children, and educator will notify the Centre
Supervisor and parents immediately. Obvious symptoms that indicate a child is ill are:
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A fever over 38° C
Unexplained pain
Fever, runny nose and eyes, coughing and sore throat
Sore throat, difficulty swallowing
Rash
Headache, stiff neck
Stomach ache, diarrhea or vomiting
Severe, itchy body or scalp
Known or suspected contagious illness, e.g., chicken pox, mumps, and measles

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Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to keep ill children at home to prevent the spread of illness at the centre.
Children be symptom free from symptoms for 24 hours before returning to the centre. Please ensure you have back-up
plans to accommodate any such spontaneous needs.
There are other times when a child is not showing signs of a definite illness but yet not able to handle the stress of the
day. In these instances, it will be the decision of the Centre Supervisor as to whether the child should be sent home.
Communicable Diseases
Children suspected of having a communicable disease such as mumps or measles, should not be in the centre. Parents
of children who develop symptoms during the day will be asked to pick up their child from the centre immediately.
Children can return to the centre only with confirmation that they are no longer contagious.
Immunization
The Medical Officer of Health requires every child attending a licensed child care facility to have up-to-date
immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and haemophilus influenza
Type B (HIB).
Immunization Exemptions
Exemptions from immunization are limited to the following:
Statement of Medical Exemption. There may be circumstances when a child cannot be immunized due to medical
problems such as allergies, cancer or immune system illness. The Statement of Medical Exemption form can be
obtained from your local Health Department. A qualified physician must sign the statement.

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 13

Medicine, Absences, Special Considerations
Belief Affidavit
Where a parent objects to the immunization on the grounds that the immunization conflicts with the sincerely held
convictions of the parents’ religion or conscience, this must be put in writing to the Centre Supervisor. The Statement
of Conscience of Religious Belief form can be obtained by the parent from your local Health Unit.
Giving Medicine
Parents are encouraged to give their child medication at home whenever possible. Educators can only give
prescription medications to your child with your written authorization.
Non-prescription medication can only be administered with a doctor’s note giving clear written authorization. If
your child is on such medication, you will be asked to complete and sign an authorization form at the centre and
discuss the timing and amounts of the medicine to be given. Medications must be in the original container with the
prescription label intact. You must also provide a measuring spoon or cup.
Absences
Please notify the Child Care Centre by 9:00 a.m. if your child is sick or is to be absent for any length of time. This will
help us when planning snacks and lunches. If your child is not attending the centre due to illness, please advise the
Centre Supervisor of the illness and the expected return date. This information will help educator to identify symptoms
in other children with whom your child has come in contact.
**Please note there are no refunds for missed days due to illness or absenteeism**
Special Considerations: Accidents and Emergencies
In an emergency, the safety and care of the children is our primary concern. Emergency and fire procedures are posted
in the centre. Please read these procedures and be familiar with them.
If your child is involved in a minor accident while in our care, our educator will immediately administer First Aid. We
will inform you at pick up time and you may be asked to sign an accident report.
Depending on the extent of the injury, you may be asked to pick up your child to seek appropriate medical attention.
If we can’t reach you or your designated alternate adult by phone, we will assume the responsibility and seek medical
assistance for your child. An accident report is completed for every accident or injury. This form describes the nature of
the accident and any resulting injury. You will be asked to sign the form as acknowledgement of our having promptly
informed you about the incident.
A child needing emergency medical care will be taken to the closest hospital. You will be notified at once. If you have a
special requirement about hospital treatment of your child, please let us know in writing.

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 14

Child Abuse Protocol: Children’s Aid Society
Anyone who suspects that a child has been abused or is at risk for abuse (physical, sexual or emotional) and/or neglect
has a legislated duty to report this directly to their local Children’s Aid Society (CAS).
Our Child Care Centres provide services to children and their families and, therefore, also have roles and
responsibilities with respect to child abuse and neglect. The Child and Family Services Act requires that everyone who
has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is in need of protection, shall immediately report the suspicion and the
information on which it is based to the CAS. Further action will then be determined by CAS.
Fire Drills and Evacuation
Fire drills are held monthly and fire plan are posted in each room. In the event that the children and educator need
to leave their centre due to a safety concern, each centre has a designated close-by emergency evacuation site. Your
Centre Supervisor will provide you with the location.
Temporary Emergency Shelter
(Shelter In Place)
In the unlikely event the centre requires temporary emergency shelter, the educator and children will be moved to a
designated location. In the event of a longer relocation, the YMCA will establish a plan and all families will be notified
by phone.
Seasonal Weather and Bad Weather
While we realize that centre closure at any time other than the normal closing time causes inconvenience, there could
be times when such an action is necessary. In this event each Child Care Centre will follow the direction of the YMCA
CEO in regard to cancellation of services. Families are encouraged to stay informed by listening to the major radio
stations for updates on school closures and to find out if any of our Child Care Centres will be closed due to severe
weather.

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 15

Checklist for Parents
Talk to Us

Ensure you understand contracts for care, payment systems and sick day policies.

Complete all required forms beginning care (registration, medical, contract, pre-authorized payment, etc.)

Schedule a meeting with your centre Supervisor to discuss your child’s early learning needs and the hours
of care you require.
Spend a little time with your child’s educator in the morning when you arrive to share any information
that will help your child have a great day.

Financially assisted parents are to ensure the YMCA has received confirmation of subsidy.

Getting Off to a Good Start
Label all of your child’s clothing, comfort item, diapers, including diaper cream, bottles etc.
Remove drawstrings from clothing or tuck them securely into coats.
Keep an extra set of clothing at the centre for your child
Bring your child to the centre at a regular time each day and advise us if you need to start at a
different time
Complete emergency/alternative contact information sheets
Have a back-up plan when your child is ill
Do not bring food, such as birthday cakes, chewing gum, or cough candies to the centre to help us ensure
your child’s complete safety. Outside food is not permitted in our centres to ensure a safe environment for
all of our children
Leave important toys or belongings at home
Let Us Know
If there are any routines or articles that will help your child through transition times (i.e. sleep, lunch,
outside time)
Tell us about your child’s toilet training needs
If you need to pick up your child earlier or later than usual, please advise the educator in advance
When you can’t pick up your child, tell the centre Supervisor and document any special arrangements
If your child is sick or will be absent for any length of time. Please call the centre by 9 a.m. Advise the
centre Supervisor of the illness and the expected return date
If you move, change jobs or change any of your telephone numbers (home, work, or cell phone)
If your child has any food or other allergies
Any changes/updates with regards to your child’s health records, emergency contacts, allergies.

NOTES
Educator’s Name: __________________________________________________________
Classroom Name: __________________________________________________________
Start Date: _______________________________________________________________

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 16

NOTES

YMCA Child Development Handbook

Pg. 17

YMCA Child Care Administration
Kathi Lomas-McGee, VP - Operations
519.524-2125 ext 205
Sarnia-Lambton Administrator
519.336.9622 ext 242
Chatham-Kent Administrator
519.360-9622 ext 113

YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario
www.ymcaswo.ca

Sarnia School Age Programs
JMFC Child Care Centre

519.336.5950 ext 227

1015 Finch Drive Sarnia, ON N7S 6C5
519.336.9622 ext 236

Our Lady of Fatima Child Care Centre

St. Anne Child Care Centre

545 Baldoon Road Chatham, ON N7L 5N9
519.365-9695

1000 The Rapids Pkwy Sarnia, ON N7S 6K5
519.542.8846 ext 22

Our Little Place Child Care Centre

St. Joseph Child Care Centre

30 Cecile Ave Chatham, ON N7M 2C6
519.351.1983

535 Birchbank Drive Corunna, ON N0N 1G0
519.862.5071 ext 221

Chatham School Age Programs

YMCA Learning & Career Centre,
Child Care Centre

Goderich School Age Programs

660 Oakdale Drive, Sarnia ON N7V 2A9

519.351.1931
226-222-9500