The YMCA of Okanagan plans to provide child care to essential service workers in Kelowna and Penticton. Learn more

Our charity is responding to COVID-19 including temporarily closing all YMCA recreation facilities during this time. Child care, virtual early years community services and career development services will continue to run. The most recent information can be found at

YMCA Playing to Learn is a unique and forward-thinking approach to the early education of children from infancy through age six. The curriculum is based on our Statement on Play — play is an active, engaging and fundamental part of childhood — and views young children as curious, capable and rich in potential.

Learning through play

Play is essential to the healthy social-emotional, physical, cognitive development of all children, and is a sound basis for future academic success. The curriculum helps build capacity for lifelong learning by creating quality learning experiences through play. The curriculum aligns with the BC Ministry of Education's Early Learning Framework and helps prepare children for primary school education by providing the foundation for:

  • Language and literacy
  • Math, science and technology
  • Music, visual arts and dramatic arts

Exciting playscapes are set up throughout the centre to provide planned play activities based on your child's interests. You child will actively explore and learn to become a self-directed problem solver, developing a passion for learning!

YMCA Child Care centres are unique

YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum is the only successfully implemented national curriculum in Canada’s history. In our centres, play is planned, respected, observed, supported and documented.

  • Our spaces are designed using with natural colours and materials that create a calm environment conducive to learning.
  • Children care for living things like plants and small pets, gaining a sense of responsibility and respect for life and the environment.
  • Instead of following a rigid schedule, children make their own choices based on their interests, joining small groups facilitated by an educator throughout the centre.
  • Parents regularly recieve "learning evidence": written documentations about a learning process your child experienced, independently or as part of a group. As you read through these over time, you’ll see the amazing story of how your child is learning and developing!

The YMCA is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, secure, and connected children, youth, families and communities. We believe all children should have safe and healthy places to learn and play.