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YMCA Calgary opens two new child development centres in Quarry Park

Our two new child care centres come with big backyards!

Portrait of a little boy holding up a large round magnifying glass to his face, making his eye look humourously large, while playing with friends in a summer park

We’ve been in the child care business for over 20 years and we believe that experiences in the early years have life-long impact.  By adding two new child development centres to our early years offerings, we’re giving young Calgarians more opportunities to have a great start in life.  There are now five YMCA licensed child care centres to choose from.

Our new centres offer quality care, bright spaces and access to multiple opportunities for active, play-based learning and to become school-ready.  Read more about our new centres below.

 

Quarry Park YMCA Child Development Centre – still spaces available.

Located in a stand-alone building right on 18 street in Quarry Park makes for easy and convenient drop-off and pick-up.

Bright, open spaces, a huge outdoor space, and proximity to the Remington YMCA and Calgary Public Library give children plenty of opportunities for active learning in fun and interesting places.

  • 348 licensed spaces for children ages 12 months – 6 years
  • Expansive indoor and outdoor play spaces
  • Bright, age-specific rooms with natural, Canadian-made furniture and toys
  • An Experience Studio (science experiments, baking projects and more!)
  • Use of Remington YMCA and Calgary Public Library (just around the corner!)
  • Follows the national YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum (aligned with primary school benchmarks and helps children become school-ready)
  • Includes daily physical activity outdoors and regular use of our onsite gym
  • Offers recreational swimming at the Remington YMCA and visits to the Calgary Public Library
  • Offers a healthy morning and afternoon snack program as well as a nutritious lunch
  • Free YMCA Child Membership

 

Remington YMCA Child Development Centre – almost full!

Located right in the new Remington YMCA, this childcare offers lots of opportunities for active time in fun, easy-to-access spaces.

  • 63 licensed spaces for children ages 12 months – 6 years
  • Bright, age-specific rooms with natural, Canadian-made furniture and toys
  • Dedicated outdoor play area
  • Indoor group activity spaces including use of YMCA facility space for physical activity
  • Recreation time in the Remington YMCA pool (children 19 months – 6 years of age)
  • Visits to the Calgary Public Library (just down the hall!)
  • Follows the national YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum (aligned with primary school benchmarks and helps children become school-ready)
  • Healthy morning and afternoon snack provided
  • Free YMCA Child Membership

All YMCA child care staff have up-to-date security clearances, as well as First Aid and CPR certification.  In addition, they have post-secondary education in Early Childhood Development, are certified by Alberta Human Services and continue learning through ongoing professional development.

Our licensed child care centres are staffed by professional, qualified and experienced caregivers who apply best practices in healthy child development and play-based learning, making your child’s stay both fun and beneficial.

As a child care registrant, your child will receive a FREE YMCA membership with access to all facilities, great discounts on programs and more.  See our program guide online for a list of independent and parent-attended preschool programs.  And stay tuned! – we’ll be offering some new preschool programs in winter 2017.

Looking for a child care that better meets your needs?  Our other child care centres are located at the following YMCA locations:

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Saddletowne YMCA

Shawnessy YMCA

Learn more or book a tour today!


Remington YMCA Grand Opening

Celebrating the opening of the new Remington YMCA, the new Calgary Public Library and The City of Calgary’s $480 million investment to improve access to recreational opportunities for all Calgarians.

 

On September 10, 2016, The City of Calgary, YMCA Calgary and the Calgary Public Library celebrated the grand opening of Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. The facility is the first of four new recreation facilities to open to the public as part of The City of Calgary’s $480 million investment to improve the availability of recreation opportunities in underserved areas of the city.

 

Construction of the facility began in the summer of 2014 and opened to the public on Canada Day, 2016.  Two more facilities currently under construction, Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility in the northwest and Seton Recreation Facility in the southeast, are scheduled to open in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

 

The City of Calgary oversaw the planning, design and construction of the 94,000 square foot Remington YMCA, representing an investment of $63 million. The finished facility reflects extensive community research and engagement and was designed with the specific needs of the surrounding communities in mind.

 

“The City of Calgary recognizes that the southeast quadrant is growing rapidly and there is a need for additional community amenities here,” says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It’s part of a city-wide strategy to build active, cultural, vibrant and complete communities.”

 

The completed facility features a 25 meter, six lane pool, small leisure pool, hot tubs, steam room, gymnasium, fitness centre, a running/walking track, fitness studios and multi-purpose rooms, childcare and child-minding, food services and a public library.

 

“We’re so pleased to partner with The City of Calgary to make these services available to Calgarians,” says Helene Weir, President and CEO of YMCA Calgary. “It’s part of a shared commitment to give all Calgarians access to quality health and recreation opportunities.”

 

Remington YMCA is a new community hub in Calgary’s southeast, offering a blend of leisure, recreational and community amenities, including a 9,000 square foot, full-service public library serving as the new location of the Glenmore Square Library.

 

“Co-locating with the YMCA means the new library is part of a larger, multi-use facility and is able to offer more room for programming and community events,” says Bill Ptacek, CEO for the Calgary Public Library.

 

YMCA Calgary is proud to partner with the City of Calgary who strives to give all Calgarians access to Health and Recreation opportunities.

 

For more information on this and upcoming city recreation projects, please visit calgary.ca/recreationprojects. For more information on the Remington YMCA, click here.


We’re making a big impact on Calgary youth through food.

Food is Community.

“Food can be a vehicle for social change.

It brings people together in a way that few other activities can.”

 – Anim Steela

 

In 2015, 141,271 Calgarians received emergency food support through the Calgary Food Bank.   While that number itself is staggering, Food Banks Canada reports that 41% of clients who access emergency food services in Alberta are children.

At Kids’ Hub, we are learning just how critical access to healthy food is and how complex our relationships with food can be! Kids’ Hub is a critical hours program that is part of the Integrated School Support Program at Patrick Airlie School  We have witnessed how food and interactions with food affect more than just a child’s hunger; it affects their ability to cope with challenges, relate to others, and build resilience, both emotional and social.

 

YMCA Kids' Hub

Offering a pre-determined healthy after school snack at a pre-determined time is not sufficient to address the need for positive food relationships at Patrick Airlie school.  This year, we are adjusting our approach to include multiple food choices, times food is offered, as well as student involvement in food preparation.  We’ve found that including participants in food planning and preparation has increased their desire to eat good food themselves and to share it with their friends. We are working to create food champions!

Snacks are offered throughout the day at Patrick Airlie to any student who needs it.  However, there can often be a social stigma attached to eating food provided by the school. As a result of this need, we have partnered with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids to enhance the snacks being offered during the school day and to engage participants in creating positive food relationships.

Students are developing food planning skills as they research and learn new recipes.  They participate in the shopping for ingredients and have learned important life skills such as understanding public social cues, label reading, and team work.  Twice a week, all participants are invited to help prepare the school snacks for the following week.  The students love this part of their week.

For more information on Kids’ Hub: http://annualreport2015.ymcacalgary.org/integrated-school-support-program/).


Why Your Kids Will Love Our New Childcare Centres

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Are you looking for a safe and affordable place your kids will love to go? Or are you looking for childcare near Quarry Park in Calgary?

We’re excited to announce the grand opening of both the Quarry Park Child Development Centre and the Remington YMCA Child Development Centre!

“Everything that they do at the centre is really fun, ” said Caryl Broen, General Manager, Early Years.

 

Childcare that Provides a Solid Foundation for Learning

The YMCA takes a 3-pronged approach to childcare. Remington YMCA and Quarry Park’s programs offers kids learning benefits, health benefits, and social benefits.

You probably already know about our pools and fitness facilities. We offer recreation time for children 19 months – 6 years of age at the YMCA pool, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas. But our commitment to your child’s health also includes nutrition.

“We provide nutritious snacks for the children. And those at Quarry Park also get lunch that’s prepared, on site,” said Broen. This is important as more parents want nutrition to be a priority in childcare. Quarry Park also has a learning kitchen. And of course, all dietary restrictions and allergies are considered.

 

 

Learning the ABCs and 123s in a Play-based Environment

We also offer lots of outdoor recreational areas for kids to run, jump and learn. In fact, we call the green space at our Quarry Park facility our “Big Backyard.”

Our commitment to your child’s development means we help them learn in the most effective way possible: encouraging them to play.

“We offer a national childcare curriculum called YMCA Playing to Learn™. And that curriculum is based on research on how children develop and how they learn best. Research indicates that children learn best through play,” said Broen.

YMCA childcare also helps your children develop socially as well. Through the YMCA’s core values (respect, responsibility, caring, honesty, and leadership), we help prepare children to become better future citizens with real interactions and socialization.

“They get lots of opportunity to practice social skills and social behavior. And again they’re doing that alongside their educators and caregivers so that means that they can experience success and they can be guided to learn how to conduct themselves in various situations. So as they develop more and more independence, they have a really good and solid foundation,” said Broen.

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Free Membership for all Kids in our Childcare Centres

All children registered in YMCA Child Development Centres receive a complimentary YMCA Calgary Child Membership. This membership provides access to YMCA facilities and registered program discounts.

The Quarry Park Child Development Centre is located at 10702 – 18 Street S.E. Transportation for kindergarten children is available from this centre to Douglasdale School.

The Remington YMCA Child Development Centre is located at 108 Quarry Park Road S.E. Transportation for kindergarten children is available from this centre to Douglasdale School.

Both childcare centres in Calgary are now open and we hope to see you soon! Secure a space for your child now.

 


Fall Programs at Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Written by: Sydney Taylor, Fitness Director, Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

 

“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change.

It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice.

It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change.

It takes 1 day to decide that you are good enough.”

-Unknown Author

Leading an active lifestyle is easy, but what no one tells you is that it’s hard to get there. From personal experience, it is easy to fall off the fitness bandwagon and feel so much further behind then your peers, regardless of the studio or class you go to. One of my favourite quotes is above; it reminds me daily that improvements are happening, even if I am the only one to notice. Don’t give up, keep pushing yourself and always remember that all of your hard work will pay off, it just might take a bit of time to be recognized. Find people who support you and help you towards your goals. Join a class with like-minded people, all on their own fitness journey, who will help keep you motivated. Enjoy your workouts or at the very least, the feeling when you are done. Take pride in finishing a class, of lifting more weight than last time, of running longer or faster than previous. The little things you do on a day-to-day basis are what get you to your end goal.

two-women-yoga_103718063

At the Gray Family YMCA, we are here to provide you with encouragement, with classes to help you reach whatever fitness goal you have, and with the knowledge to do it safely. Whether you are an avid yogi or a triathlete, we have classes catered to helping you improve.

Here are some of the exiting classes we’re offering this fall:

  • Level 2 Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Fusion
  • Bollywood
  • Boxer’s Workout
  • Aqua Bootcamp
  • Thai Chi
  • Indoor Bootcamp
  • TRX/Kettlebell
  • Active Older Adults classes

 

You can find a full list of all fall programs we’re offering at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA and at all our five other locations across town by checking out our fall program guides.

These classes can easily be signed up for, regardless of whether you are a member of the YMCA. With summer coming to an end and the chilly fall days fast approaching, the YMCA is kicking up our registered programs to bring your training indoors! Classes start September 12th!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Eau Claire YMCA!


YMCA Strong Kids Campaign in the Community

 

If you have ever been to the Gray Family YMCA you know it’s more than just a place to work out.  You will see running groups meeting in the lobby before a run by the river, camp kids playing in the halls and members catching up over coffee in the cafe.

The YMCA is more than just a gym; it is a partner in the community.  The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign aims to provide every child in the community with access to YMCA facilities and programs regardless of their financial situation.  Together we can provide kids with the opportunity to reach their full potential and live healthier, happier lives.

 

EC Superheroes

The Gray Family YMCA Strong Kids Volunteer Committee has been reaching out to surrounding Community Associations, service groups and schools to spread the word about the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and how it can help kids in their community.  Thank you to the Eau Claire Community Association who jumped at the chance to get involved and their recognition of the Gray Family YMCA as a key partner in their community.  We welcome you to join the Eau Claire Community Association and the YMCA as we continue to work together to make every community a great place for kids to be active and grow into productive adults.
To learn more about the Gray Family YMCA Strong Kids Volunteer Committee please contact:

Randy Greene, Strong Kid Committee Chair
Email: rjgreen@nivenfisher.com
For more information on the Eau Claire Community Association please visit: eauclaireca.com

 


How Parenting Changed Everything

Once upon a time, I was busy.  I worked full time, participated in not one, not two, but three team sports.  I walked the dog, I cooked, I cleaned, I did the laundry and grocery shopped, I prepped meals for days in advance, I did it all! I was Superwoman and conquering the world.  And then it happened, I had a kid.

Once my daughter came along, the entire world as I knew it changed.  At the beginning it’s all about the physical world around you.  You’re no longer working and are suddenly up two, three, four times a night to feed this screaming little “bundle of joy”.  You’re tired, you eat anything that’s easy to grab with one hand, and you watch horrible daytime TV without even realizing you’re doing it.  What you may not see immediately is that your emotional world has completely shifted as well.  You’ve put this new tiny person before yourself.  Baby always eats first, sometimes two and three feedings go by before you even have time to drink your cold decaffeinated coffee.  The fur-baby that was rapidly demoted to dog waits to go outside as patiently as she can, and when you stop long enough to notice what smells, you realize you haven’t had a shower in three days.  Myself, I’d stopped working out regularly, ate fast, prepackaged and processed foods, and didn’t sleep nearly enough to get as much cleaning, laundry, etc… done in a day as I could.

Of course it gets better, but the theme stays the same unless you acknowledge and change it.  The kid(s) is always going to be number one now, but part of making sure that you’re being the best parent you can be is to take care of yourself.  That looks different in each of our individual lives.  I chose to return to work on a part-time basis and I’m lucky that this was an option with my employer.  Of course there are days where I’d do anything to be in a quiet office with a Starbucks, but overall I feel like I have found my balance.

My balance looks like this: I’m a full time parent with a little bit of help.  We don’t have family living close by for assistance, so YMCA Child Minding sees my daughter twice a week.  This allows me to get in two solid gym workouts a week, all my other workouts happen at home – that’s my “me” time.  She participates in activities twice a week, and I try to schedule those on days where I’m already at the YMCA to give us some free time other days.  We camp, hike, and bike as a family so she sees an active family lifestyle every day.  Although she’s still pretty small (just two), I let her cook with me.  I feel like this teaches her that we cook healthy meals together at home.  I work three to four evenings when my husband gets home from work which allows me to still have time to be me instead of Mommy.  I’m able to utilize my education and to socialize with adults and not have the conversation turn into whatever the heck Curious George got himself into that morning.  I also let perfection go, I no longer live in a pristine house – it’s messy (not dirty!) and cluttered with toys.  Now my home is filled with love and laughter, so that’s a trade off I accept happily.

What do you miss? What is it that you slowly gave up but didn’t even realize until now?  What are you going to take time to do for you and only you?

Whatever your situation is, I’m here to tell you that you need, and I mean NEED to take that time for yourself.  Life is really busy if you let it be, and finding balance is an absolute essential to having your life be a happy one.


Fall Fitness Etiquette

As the summer winds down, a fair number of us we will be heading back into our favorite fitness classes.  It’s going to be much busier than it has been all summer, and all of these people are going to be at different fitness levels.  Pack your patience with your shoes and post-workout snack!  We will have participants that have kept it up all summer, returning participants that enjoyed a summer off, and new participants that want to be the best version of themselves.   As our classes begin to thrive, please take a moment to reacquaint yourself with five Fitness Class Etiquette Tips to make the experience smooth for everyone.

1. Arrive on Time – joining a class late* can be both distracting and unsafe.  Please respect your fellow attendees as well as your instructor and arrive to classes a bit early or right on time.  This will also allow you a proper warm-up, reducing your chance of injury.  *If lateness is unavoidable, please go to the back of the class.

2. Choose Proper Footwear – closed toed shoes (running shoes, cross-trainers etc…) will provide a non-slip grip on the floor and any equipment utilized in your class.  Ensure that your footwear is clean of all dirt and debris.  If you wouldn’t wear it in your house, please don’t wear it in our workout areas.

3.  Make your Workout Your Own – The instructor is there to guide you through YOUR workout; listen to your body and modify as you see fit.  If you are going to modify your workout significantly from the instructor’s planned program, please move to the back of the room as to not distract others from the instructor’s guidance.

4. Socializing – should be done either before or after the class.  Talking throughout the class can be viewed as disrespect to not only the other participants, but to the instructor as well.  If you can talk, you’re not working hard enough!

5. Stay for the Whole Class – Flexibility is a large part of your overall wellness!  Be sure to take the time to stretch out the muscles you’re worked.  Not only will it reduce soreness in the day(s) after, but it will reduce risk for injury down the road.

 


CAMP RIVEREDGE UPDATE – August 23, 2016

Due to high winds, all Camp Riveredge participants will be bussed to the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA.  All pick-up/drop-off locations, times and procedures will remain the same.

Camp Riveredge participants that are dropped off at Camp Riveredge by parents/guardians, will be bussed to the Eau Claire location and will return to Camp Riveredge by bus.

Your camper can look forward to more camp fun at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA location (located 101 3 Street SW) where there is lots to keep them engaged and active all day.


Pool Closure

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA Pool Closure

The 25 Meter pool at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA is closed until further notice due to mechanical issues.
 
Saturday lessons on August 20th will be taking place in the training pool and there will be no public swim during these lessons from 9:00am-11:00am.
 
We will reopen for open swim at 11:00am in the training pool with reduced capacity in our training pool only.
 
We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience
 
Thank you
 

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