YMCA Early Years Program Descriptions

ConnectPlayDiscover

Please note that programs marked with an * require pre-registration.

  

Baby and Me (Babies up to 1 year) 

Foster attachment and learning through the discovery of music, language and rhyming as well as various toys and activities. You can also connect with other parents and our educators to seek parenting information, resources, referrals and support.

Baby and Me Breastfeeding 

Drop in Monday mornings 10:00-11:00 at 161 Roger Street, Waterloo

Are you looking for somewhere to hang out and meet other breastfeeding moms? Are you expecting a baby soon and want to learn more about breastfeeding from experienced, trained peer volunteers? Come and visit the new Baby & Me Breastfeeding drop in. Breastfeeding Buddies will be available to answer breastfeeding questions, provide support and share community resources. For more information please contact Michelle Buckner Breastfeeding Buddies  Program Coordinator at 519 772-1016.

Baby and Me Discovery (6 months and older)

Meet and connect with other parents and caring adults of older babies and follow your baby's lead as they explore, play, learn and discover using all of their senses. 

Baby Connections* (6 - 12 months)

The Baby Connections program was developed as a resource to help parents/caregivers introduce early literacy skill development to their infants who are 6-12 months. Join us to gain confidence in playing with and promoting literacy and learning with your baby and receive a free Baby Connections Resource Kit. This program requires pre-registration. Please note that registration for this program is taken through the Baby Connections website at www.babyconnections.ca

Drop In - Stay, Play & Explore 

Come any time.  Join other children and families in play and exploration.  An Early Learning professional is available to provide support and information around early learning topics, community resources, programs and referrals.

Dad and Me 

Dads and other men caring for children are an important part of the play experience. Meet other men who are caring for children and connect with your child as you learn, play and explore together.

Explore With Us!  

Infant Massage*

Building a strong attachment with your infant is one of the building blocks to social development.  This 3 session program is a great way to build this attachment while learning techniques for stimulating, relaxing and providing relief for your infant. This program requires pre-registration and is designed for babies under one year. Upcoming sessions are offered at our Roger Street and Elmira Family Centre sites.

Make the Connection* (Birth - 1 year)

Make the Connection Birth to 1 year incorporate hands-on parent-baby activities, videotaping and discussions to help parents reflect on key components of secure attachment. This secure beginning sets in motion a positive course for a child's social and emotional well-being, learning in school and contribution to society. This program is co-delivered with Family and Children Services. This program requires pre-registration.

Make the Connection* (1 - 2 years)

Make the Connection 1-2 years incorporate hands-on parent-baby activities, videotaping and discussions to help parents reflect on key components of secure attachment. This secure beginning sets in motion a positive course for a child's social and emotional well-being, learning in school and contribution to society. This program is co-delivered with Family and Children Services. This program requires pre-registration.

Me Breastfeed?*

Upcoming Dates and Locations

The Me Breastfeed? workshop is a free breastfeeding class for prenatal families that is facilitated by trained Breastfeeding Buddy Volunteers. Peer facilitators are moms with lived breastfeeding experience and have taken the World Health Organization Peer Breastfeeding Course. During this workshop expectant moms and their partners and or support person, will learn about the first 7 days after birth, breastfeeding positions, how to overcome breastfeeding challenges, and the value of breastfeeding for the whole family.  Call 519-772-1016 for more information on the Me Breastfeed Program.

This program requires pre-registration. To register for this program, please call 519-741-8585. Registration is ongoing.

Music and Movement 

Imagination and creativity are developed and explored through rhymes, songs, finger plays, and gross motor activities. Support your child's language development and experience the benefits of physical activity. 

Parenting My Baby* (Newborn - 12 months)

Having a new baby is a time of change, discovery and often many questions. We invite you and your baby to come out and meet other families with babies for discussion around a variety of topics. An Early Years Professional will offer up to date information/resources and support. This program requires pre-registration. Registration is ongoing. For upcoming dates and topics, please call 519-741-8585.

Preparing for Parenthood Program*

The Preparing for Parenthood program offers free prenatal information and support on a variety of topics whether you are planning a pregnancy or are already expecting.  Partners and support people are welcome.  For a full list of topics and to register visit earlyyearsinfo.ca.  Registration is ongoing. 

Ready Set Move 

Encouraging physical activity supports your family in making healthy lifestyle choices. This program encourages you and your child to be active together through a variety of fun physical activities, songs and games. This program is geared to children 2-6 however siblings are welcome.

Sleep and Your New Baby*

Region of Waterloo Public Health and the Waterloo Region Ontario Early Years Centres are inviting you and your baby to a free session to help you get to know more about your baby's sleep patterns and how to respond. This program is for parents of newborns from birth to 12 weeks of age. Check out the link for dates, times and registration details. http://www.earlyyearsinfo.ca/sleep-and-your-new-baby-registration.html

Stork's Secrets (Mothers with babies newborn - 2 years)

This peer support program is offered in partnership with Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre and is geared to pregnant and postpartum mothers with an infant under age 2 and adjusting to the changes and challenges of parenthood.

Participants will have the chance to:

  • Discussing coping strategies to help get through difficult days
  • Meet other mothers who are experiencing the same feelings
  • Develop friendships
  • Learn about other community programs
  • Strengthen connections with their infants

For more information or to register, please call Wanda Kampijan at 519-571-1626 ext. 25.

Wee Hands Baby Sign Language Programs*

Ages Newborn to Walking

WeeHands, powered by Morneau Shepell, offers both free introduction to sign language classes and fee based 4 week classes. For more information about upcoming programs, dates and to register visit http://www.weehands.com/profile.php?id=299