Contributed by Michelle Whitney
My daughter, Emilia, started kindergarten this September. It was a bitter sweet moment. She has been a cherished part of the Eau Claire daycare and we both miss the daycare that was her second home. Both of us started our day warmly greeted by staff and made to feel like we were welcomed and belonged.
Various stations would greet the children; some days it was a dress up, circus, restaurant or a veterinary clinic. Other days the children would get their bathing suits on for swimming lessons and pool play time. Children participate in outdoor activities either on a field trip or on the outdoor play structure. My daughter loved field trip days – she travelled to the zoo, Home Depot, pet stores, the library and even a farm! Tanya, her teacher, loves the park and Emilia would regale me with the great adventures they had.
Below freezing days would see the children upstairs in the YMCA gym participating in games and performing tumbling activities. Plus 15 adventures ensured everyone stayed warm but had the opportunity to get moving.
I loved the open door policy – I would travel upstairs and have lunch with my daughter and her friends and teachers. Communal meals and snacks were such an important part of socializing.
The daycare follows the YMCA Playing to Learn philosophy which, as an educator, I find to be an effective way to engage and educate children. Children would express an interest in an activity and the rest of the week would be centred on that activity. For example, the children were interested in babies. Tanya brought in baby food for the children to taste test, which proved to be quite funny. The children studied a baby’s actions to determine it’s needs, learned about human development and about safety. This activity also taught the children about empathy.
My daughter was very well prepared for kindergarten. Children thrive on structure and stable environments. She takes pride in knowing that it is appropriate to put your hand up if you would like a turn speaking in a group. She understands the importance of ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ voices. She can write her name, knows her alphabet and can count to twenty. Fine and gross motor skills were practiced at the YMCA through a range of play-based activities. She was allowed to freely express her imagination and felt safe in taking risks. Through physical activity she has become agile and confident.
I would highly recommend the Eau Claire YMCA centre to any parent. In fact, I was responsible for referring a parent whose child starts next month. The staff are well trained and professional but are also warm and empathetic. They do not hesitate to smother my daughter with hugs when they see her come back for a visit. I was confident that if she scraped her knee she would be gently snuggled and her hair stroked until she felt better. After all, as a parent this is all we want for our child – to know that they are loved.
YMCA Calgary operates licensed Child Development Centres in our Eau Claire, Saddletowne and Shawnessy locations. We are preparing to expand our impact with new centres in YMCA facilities in Quarry Park, Rocky Ridge, and Seton. These amazing new spaces will help us support young children to belong, grow and thrive!
This Winter, make sure to reserve a spot in one of our wide variety of recreational Programs and Winter Break Day Camps!
You can always rely on YMCA Calgary programs to help promote healthy lifestyles and build spirit, mind and body for children, youth, adults and families.
Registration for Winter Programs begins on November 24 for YMCA members and on December 15 for non-members.
Winter Day Camps – Need something for your child to do during Winter break? Winter Day Camp registration has begun! Sign-up your child for a week of fun at your YMCA location.
The Lead a Friend to Health promotion is back and for all the right reasons. From the goodness of your heart… help others start a healthy lifestyle!
From November 1-30, referring members receive a special thank you gift from YMCA Calgary when friends join. When your friends sign-up, you receive YCredits!
Use your Y Credits towards:
- Experiencing the Plus Locker Room
- Registering for a new program you haven’t tried
- Trying 5 different programs with a Flex Pass
- Discovering new heights with Indoor climbing programs
- Enjoying worry-free workouts using YMCA Babysitting Services
Helping others start a healthy lifestyle is a wonderful way to build healthy communities together. Share your YMCA experience and encourage friends, colleagues and family to join.
Promotion runs November 1-30. Visit Member Services at your YMCA Location to get started.
We are very excited to launch YMCA Calgary’s online annual impact survey! Because everyone’s opinion is very important to us, both members and the general public can participate.
Your feedback on your experience at the YMCA will help identify ways that we can better meet the needs and expectations of all the people who are connected with us.
If you are a YMCA Calgary member or participant, or a parent or guardian or a member or participant, or feel you have a connection to YMCA Calgary: we’d love to hear from you.
The fun part of launching this survey is the associated contest. All survey participants also have chances to winsome cool YMCA prizes!
Spend 5 to 20 minutes to provide feedback and get the link to enter the contest. Thanks for sharing your YMCA experience with us. GOOD LUCK!
Anytime during the year, you are also welcome to fill out an online comment card to let us know how we are doing. Thank you for being a part of our YMCA community!
Join us at the Camp Chief Hector YMCA for an inspiring yoga focused weekend. This Yoga Retreat will accommodate students new to yoga as well as those with a background in yoga. Our goal for the weekend is to be in this wonderful mountain location, spending time experiencing our body, breath and mind. Our instructors will help you develop a balanced practice that will serve you well in all aspects of your life. They will provide adjustments in your poses if you wish. There will also be time to explore the incredible site. Shared accommodations and meals are included.
Yoga Retreat | Fall 2014
- November 21 at 5pm – November 23 at 2pm
- Cost $290
- Phone our city registration office to register at 403-269-6156 or 1-866-430-9622.
To read more about the instructors and to see the weekend’s schedule, click here.
Members and non-members can enjoy the benefits of massage offered at the Eau Claire YMCA by a great team of Registered Massage Therapists. If you’re interested in booking an appointment please call Men’s Plus (403)-781-1660 for men’s bookings and the front desk (403) 269-6701 for women’s bookings.
25 minutes | $45
40 minutes | $65
55 minutes | $80
85 minutes | $110
25 minutes | $50
40 minutes | $70
55 minutes | $90
85 minutes | $120
*RMT Receipts are provided
*Prices are subject to change
Camp Chief Hector is hosting two final Flood Respite Weekends before the end of the year. If you were affected by the 2013 flood, don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
We’re welcoming all families affected by the floods to spend a weekend at Camp Chief Hector YMCA. These weekends are a gift and are provided at no cost to flood-affected families. Funding is generously provided by the Government of Alberta and are designated to encourage building strong relationships within your community.
For more information about the schedule and what to expect, click here.
Call 403-269-6156 to register.
In November during Peace Week, YMCA Calgary will hold an event to recognize Calgary individuals and groups who work to advance peace. Their selfless acts of kindness, courage and understanding help to build a better community and a more compassionate world.
Join us to celebrate and honour their outstanding contributions at the YMCA Peace Medals Awards Luncheon:
Wednesday, November 19
Eau Claire Market, 2nd Floor
11:45am – 1:15pm
$25 until Nov 13 | $35 after Nov 13
To purchase tickets call 403-269-6701 or visit any YMCA location.
As a healthy part of their development, children have a natural drive to be independent and to do things on their own. As children grow and have opportunities to develop their skills, they learn to do more and more independently.
YMCA childcare staff support children in their quest for independence by regularly providing opportunities for them to take personal responsibility. While it can be faster and less messy for adults to do things for children we want to help children develop competencies they can take pride in.
When children practice self-help skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves, they are utilizing their gross and small motor skills, gaining confidence in their abilities and developing self-confidence. These early successes lead to them being more willing to try new things while recognizing that practice leads to skill development.
Ways to encourage self- help skills at home;
Meal times – Encourage your child to serve themselves, pour liquids into a cup and eat without direct assistance during meals
Dressing and grooming – Allow extra time for your child to dress/undress themselves and to perform personal grooming tasks
Hygiene and toileting- Encourage children as they learn to use the toilet, climb on and off the toilet seat, pull clothing up and down, and wash their hands
Daily chores- Involve your child in age appropriate household chores. Studies show that early involvement leads to greater independence in early adulthood.
Celebrate your child’s success!
Submitted by Margaret Ferriss, Eau Claire YMCA Childcare Director
Camp Chief Hector invites you to an evening of story-sharing and information about Sac Dene 2015.
Sac Dene is a six-week canoe trip and a two-week counseling experience for 17 year old co-ed youth. Focusing on leadership development, the Sac Dene group travels north to paddle the Mackenzie River, visiting communities along the way. Sac Dene participants, as part of the Leaders-in-Training program, return to Camp Chief Hector YMCA to become part of the counseling team for the final two weeks of the summer.
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Center
1320 5 Ave NW, Calgary
Oct 22 | 7:00-8:00pm
RSVP required. Please click here for more information.
*Attendance is not mandatory for Summer 2015 applicants but the night is a great way to learn about the fun adventures coming next summer.