YMCA: Please Keep Child Minding Program FREE! (in the Greater Toronto Area)
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A recent "pilot" project at some of the YMCA locations in the GTA, including the Brampton Union St. YMCA, Toronto Central, Oshawa Mary St. YMCA, and Cooper Koo YMCA, has implemented a different fee structure for registered programs and an hourly charge and reduced hours for childminding effective April 2017 that is intended to be rolled-out to all the YMCAs in the Greater Toronto Area.
- in addition to the change of removing the flat rate of $19 for all registered program to $16 cost-per-program, the greatest change that significantly impact families, is the addition of $2.00/hour/child charges for childminding for children between 3-10 years old. A family with 2 kids requiring minding 3x/week will be looking at approximately $48 more per month just in child minding. There are many families at our YMCA with more than 2 children. A family with 3 children will be looking at approximately $72 more monthly, a family with 4 children: $96/month in child-minding fees. (plus more for the little kids!), Etc.
- While there has been a reduction in rates with the introduction for members under 30 and the new 2-person membership, Family membership rates were the only ones that did not experience any reductions.
- the time offered for the childminding has been reduced in the evenings from 2:15h to 1:00-1:30h.
- there is a lack of available areas available for parents to be able to supervise their own children when childminding is going on although they are not allowed to leave the facility while their other children are in registered programs; leaving them with no choice but to watch their children in the hallways and other public areas or pay for childminding.
- Other For-Profit Fitness Facilities offers child care programs with considerably greater flexibility at a much lower rate (ie: Lifetime Fitness - 2 hours free per day per child, LA Fitness - $10/month/child, 4 hours in the morning & 4 hours in the evening, Goodlife Fitness - $7.50/week or $5.00 per visit, hours of care: 9:30am-7:45pm)
WE, the families of the YMCA:
- depend on the child minding services in order to stay active and involved in the community
- believe our children benefit socially and physically participating in the childminding program at the YMCA.
- see charging fees for child minding will make it difficult, perhaps even impossible for many of us to attend the Y, as it will make it completely unaffordable.
- feel families have been unfairly targeted in the policy changes as our rates have not been decreased (unless you have ONE child in ONE registered program only - and only decreased by $3/month) but are experiencing a significant reduction in service
- considers the change in child minding hours to be unconducive for parents and children to maintain an adequate workout routine to stay healthy and completely contrary to the mandates of the YMCA
WE, the undersigned, strongly urge the YMCA GTA Senior Management Team:
- to cancel all changes to the YMCA Childminding programs effective April 1, 2017 in relations to fees-for-service and to reduced hours of care.
- to increase/change the hours of childminding to be concurrent with registered program schedules.
- to consider, if charging for childminding is still deemed necessary, to adopt practices similar to other fitness facilities in the form of 2 hours free/child/day or flat rate charges with a reduction in family membership fees.
- to waive rejoining fees for families that leave or have left during the pilot program at the affected locations upon adoption of these request as there are many families that have already left or indicated their intentions to leave at their annual membership renewal dates.
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