Foundations of Learning - YMCA of Three Rivers Waterloo Region

Foundations of Learning

Language and Literacy

Children need to be provided with many meaningful opportunities to talk and respond to language.  Children learn to recognize language not only as communication directed toward them, but, also between others.  It is never too early to introduce books knowing that children who are read to find it easier to learn to read and write.   A child’s scribble is a form of communication comparable to the babble of early talk.  Children’s early attempts at writing should be met with the same enthusiasm as their earliest talk.

At YMCA Child Care- Literacy Opportunities

Social-dramatic play provides the ideal conditions for language learning.  Reading aloud in small groups invites participation and enables the educator to teach children the concepts of print.  Picture making is considered to be a vital component of early writing. 

Foundation of Mathematics

The concept of number develops through many opportunities to count and compare.  Making use of these opportunities encourages young children to expand their mathematical reasoning and learn the language needed to describe what they understand. 

At YMCA Child Care- Numeracy Opportunities

Free play with a wide variety of materials and toys is essential.

Foundation of Science and Technology

Children use intuition rather than logic, yet essentially use all of the mental activities used by mature scientists in the process of inquiry.  Inquiry is born of play and at any age, exploring materials, ideas and relationships refine the capacity to think. Technology is an integral part of the everyday life of children.  The methods of technology involve inventing or modifying structures, systems, or processes using exploration and experimentation.

 At YMCA Child Care-Science and Technology

Block play integrates learning of mathematics, technology and science as children explore.

Foundation of the Arts

Visual Art

The visual arts in the early years involve picture making, printmaking, sculpting and two-dimensional artwork.  Producing these works of art gives children an understanding of the elements of design.

Dramatic Play

Dramatic play is a fundamental activity for all children.  It provides a means for children to learn those lessons that “no one could teach them”. The child’s make-believe play is a reworking of bits and pieces of experience to understand people and their actions.


Experiencing music through listening and participating provides a powerful means of expressing feelings, developing humour and supports the learning of language.  The child becomes aware of, and appreciates the richness of unfamiliar cultures and traditions. 

Personal and Social Development

A positive social environment that reflects the values of the YMCA provides a cohesive, respectful atmosphere that sets the tone for relationships.  Allowing children to form attachments explore their own identity, value diversity and develop problem solving skills.

Physical Development

Gross motor and outdoor play affords many opportunities for large muscle and upper/lower body development; the freedom to run, jump and move about vigorously, a safe place to let off steam and excess energy; a way to connect with nature; a link to the cultural folklore of childhood through games and songs; quiet places for reflection and relaxation. Surrounding children with a wide variety of materials that are readily accessible and easy to use will expand their experiences.