At the YMCA, we understand that the first six years of a child’s life are the most influential to their development. How children are engaged in those first six years sets the stage for their lifelong learning, behaviour, health, and continued development. YMCA Northumberland takes on this challenge by providing services through their Ontario Early Years’ Centres; providing play-based learning opportunities and offering kindergarten readiness program that nurtures children’s’ development and preparation for school.
Our Centres offer fun programs for parents and their children to enjoy together, encouraging new parents to stay active and build social support networks, meet others, and learn about other community programs that they can access for help.
YMCA Northumberland operates six Ontario Early Years Centres in Northumberland County, as well as a Mobile Outreach Program visiting rural playgroups. These programs are free to all parents and caregivers. At the Centres, parents who have children aged up to six years can come for free and engage with other families, get help with parenting, and be connected to other community resources.
We understand the pressure of parenting and we offer free parenting support programs on topics such as:
-Healthy Child Development, helping your child to talk, play and read
-Infant massage workshops
-Opportunities to talk with public health nurses and ask questions
Visiting the Ontario Early Years’ Centres makes it easier for parents and families to fit socialization into their routine. Throughout the day there are activities to engage parents and children such as story time, music and movement, time dedicated for dads, and water baby boot camps.
We also encourage parents to utilize our YMCA Play Centre services, which provide a safe-child minding service for children for a small fee while parents use our facilities in Cobourg and Brighton. It is important that parents take time for themselves and model balanced life habits for their own well-being.
Navigating parenthood can be a daunting undertaking. Partnerships and support systems are often welcomed and vital in raising a child. We want families in Northumberland to be able to trust and rely on the YMCA as a resource for their children’s growth and development.