Child, Youth & Family

The goal of YMCA child and youth membership is the total development of the child. YMCA membership programs provide high quality experiences that enable children and youth members to develop skills, clarify values and learn self responsibility, charity and leadership. Membership entitles children to participate in unlimited open access programs and one swim lesson. YMCA programs are offered all year round including the summer months. The Y's program schedule is designed to allow families the opportunity to participate in programs with family convenience in mind. The YMCA offers skill development and a variety of programs to children members. For a complete list of Child and Youth Programs available to you including day, time and availability, please visit the branch nearest you. Click here for a full list of program descriptions.

To ensure safety and appropriate supervision of children while at the YMCA, children under the age of 10 must be either attending a Y program or be under the direct supervision of a parent or an adult guardian. Children are not permitted in the Fitness Centre or in the gym during fitness classes. Return to Top

Family Programs

Our YMCA offers opportunities for families to participate in a safe, friendly environment. Our membership program schedule and babysitting service is designed to provide families with opportunities to participate together, or for everyone to do their own "Y" thing at the same time. Our Membership sales hosts would be pleased to help you coordinate your family's program schedule.

Family Swims

Parents with their children can enjoy designated "Family Swims" at each Membership Branch. Personal flotation devices are available.

Family Time at the Y

At the YMCA of Niagara, we strive to build strong families and include activities where families can participate together. Sunday afternoons at the St. Catharines Walker Family Branch (2:00 - 5:00 pm) and at the Niagara Centre or Niagara Falls YMCA (1:00 - 4:30 pm), children are welcome to use the track with their parents, provided that they are supervised within arm's reach of their parent or guardian at all times and can keep within the lanes. Children are also invited to shoot some hoops or play catch in the gym with Mom & Dad for some fun and sportsmanship.

Preschool Parent Participating Programs

These programs offer parents the opportunity to play, learn and grow with their children. Offered at each Membership Branch, these programs are available during the day, on weekends, and in the evenings. For specific class days, times, and program information, contact one of our Membership Branches.

Special Family Events

These special events offer something for all ages- crafts, face painting, games, refreshments and more.

Family Changerooms

These locker/change rooms are offered at each YMCA of Niagara Branch, and provide privacy for adults an opposite sex child (under six years), while also giving consideration to other members using the general change room. During peak times such as during swimming lessons, the lockers 1-20 at the St. Catharines Branch in the General Change Room may be used as "overflow" to accommodate parents with opposite sex children. We ask that all members co-operate in making the change room experience comfortable for everyone.

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Asset Building the YMCA Way

The YMCA is committed to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. Research has identified 40 "developmental assets" which are the essential building blocks that all young people need to be healthy, caring, competent adults. The YMCA of Niagara is incorporating the "Asset Building" approach into all our children's programs to help children make wise decisions, choose positive paths and grow up competent, caring and responsible. 

Child Minding

The Walker Family YMCA's Child Minding service allows YMCA adult members the opportunity to participate at the YMCA with the assurance that their children are being cared for in a safe and secure environment. For member convenience, hours are scheduled during peak times and may change based on the time of year and usage. Please consult the program schedules for availability.

Fee for Service 
Hourly - $3.25 
Member Monthly Pass - $42.00 per child 
20 30-minute Punch Card - $31.00

There is a 5 minute grace period after each hour. An additional hour will be charged after the grace period. 

Parents are required to remain in the building at all times.

General Information

  •        Babysitting services may vary from YMCA branch to branch.
  •        Special schedules or program offerings will be made available for Christmas, March Break and school holidays.
  •        Babysitting is offered on a first come, first serve basis; pre-registration is not required.
  •        Babysitting service is not available for paid caregivers.

For safety reasons we ask:

  •        Children be signed in and out
  •        Food not be brought into the Child Minding room
  •        Parents provide disposable diapers and bottled juice or water
  •        All personal articles are labelled with the child's name
  •        In order to protect the health and wellbeing of other members, children who are ill will not be accepted.

What to Bring

Help us give the best care for your child. Parents should provide disposable diapers, wipes and a bottle or 'sippy-cup' with juice or water. A change of clothes for children who are in training is recommended. Please ensure that all personal articles are labeled with your child's full name. We recommend parents do not bring personal toys. The YMCA will provide a selection of toys, for a variety of ages, to be used while visiting. 

Birthday Parties

Parties are for kids ages 3-12 and include an energetic YMCA staff to help out throughout the afternoon!

Parties are 3 hours in length and consist of an hour in the gym for the inflatable bouncer, an hour of swimming (YMCA of Niagara Swim Admission Standards apply) and an hour in the party room for your birthday celebration. Please note that you are responsible for bringing your own food, decorations, and party favours for the birthday celebration.  Party hosts may arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled party time to decorate for the birthday celebration.

Parties are available on various Saturdays or Sundays from 1:00-4:00pm.

Booking information

Please contact the YMCA welcome desk at 905-934-9622 to book your party. Cost of the party includes up to 20 children and unlimited number of adults [minimum 1 adult is required, more may be required to meet swim admission requirements].  Birthday child does not have to be a current YMCA of Niagara member.

Full payment is required at time of booking.  Cancellations must be made in person a minimum of 15 business days before the scheduled date of the party. Cancellations made less than 15 business days before the scheduled date of the party will be refunded less an administration fee of 35%. Cancellations will not be refunded within 7 business days before the scheduled date of the party. All refunds will be mailed within 14 business days of submission.

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