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Pandas and Chipmunks…and Adopting a Room at the Local YWCA

A caring staff and a welcoming environment is a great place for children to learn and grow. The Child Development Centre at the YWCA is a 62 space licenced facility offering care for children 18 months to six years of age.

“The YWCA Child Development Centre is a nurturing environment for children to learn and grow,” said Manager Shumi Zaman. “We have a dedicated and trained group of staff members who give children a healthy start in life with great care, nutrition, physical activity, music, and much more.”

Located at the YWCA, the day care operates Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 5:50pm. For the majority of the day the children are separated into groups by age. The Pandas are the youngest ranging in age from 18 months to two-and-a-half-years. The Bunnies are up to three-and-a-half years old, the Koalas are up to four-and-a-half and the oldest age group is known as the Chipmunks.

Each group is cared for by two certified Early Childhood Education professionals who are also fully trained in CPR and First Aid.

“Each day is busy with fun activities geared to the specific age group,” explained Zaman.

Arts and crafts, story times, nap times, a music program and other fun activities are a great mix of learning and growing opportunities.  The children at the centre have the added benefit of being connected to the YWCA and the opportunity to use the gymnasium facilities.

“We have lots of gross motor activities throughout the day which get us up and moving and our hearts pumping,” said Zaman.

The staff is continually developing ways to enhance learning both indoors and outdoors. They gratefully accept donations that help them provide natural materials for exploring and enriched multicultural programming.

A trained cook allows for the centre to offer nutritious lunch and snack times throughout the day with all food prepared on site.

In addition to the opportunity to socialize and learn through their daily routine, the children also have the benefit of professional resources for their individual needs. Through the Saskatoon Health Region, the YWCA accesses speech pathologists and psychologists who can monitor the children and provide assistance.

“Early intervention can get children off to a good start,” said Zaman.

The Child Development Centre is funded through the Ministry of Education, Early Years Branch and offers subsidies to clients. A long waiting list speaks to the popularity of the program.

“It’s a warm, comforting environment where children can learn and grow.”

The Child Development Centre is eligible for the YWCA Adopt A Room charitable program. By supporting Adopt A Room, you are supporting healthy starts for many children in our community. For more information about adopting a room such as the Pandas or Chipmunks, and making a donation, visit the YWCA Saskatoon website or call Joy-Ann Allin at (306) 244-7034 ext. 132.

By Terri Eger

Photo by Amanda Andre