YMCA of Eastern Ontario

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Family Day, Board Recruitment & More YMCA News

Dear Friends of the YMCA:

It has been some time since I’ve written to you to fill you in on Y news and there are some highlights that I’d like to share.

YMCA Board Recruitment

Recruitment for upcoming positions on our volunteer board of directors is underway!

We have seen, over the past three years, how the pandemic has put a spotlight on several societal issues, including mental health, food insecurity and lack of social connection. As we re-evaluate strategic direction and adapt following Covid, we believe this to be an extraordinary moment-in-time where new ideas can have a big impact.

We are seeking individuals from all walks-of-life to add their experiences, knowledge and perspectives to our board to help the Y continue to serve our communities. Diverse perspectives will strengthen our understanding the variety of needs that exist and help to identify where we may offer support.

I have attached a link to our board information package and would be very happy to speak with you about the Y in-person or virtually. Please feel free also to share this with your networks and those who may be inspired to help guide the Y into the future.

Family Fun Day

I hope you will join us on Monday, February 20 for free family activities from 10 am to 1 pm at Kingston and Brockville YMCAs. Our Y team is thrilled to be able to offer some terrific activities to you and your family to share time together. Please see the attachments below to see what our staff have cooked up for you! Activities are open to everyone, so please share with friends and family. My family and I love having this extra day to spend together and are hoping to join in the fun following a trip to Ottawa to cheer Declan on in his swim meet and a video chat with my eldest son Holden and his fiancée who are backpacking through Vietnam. I hope to see you on Monday at the Y!

Membership Promotions: Personal Trainer Discount Sneak Peek

In February, we are offering 50 per cent off the first month of membership for new members so if you have friends or family who have been thinking about joining the Y, this might be the right time for them!

Next month, we will be offering a 20 per cent reduction to personal trainer sessions. The maximum purchase is 20 sessions and sessions must be used within a 12-month period after purchase. This is an opportunity for you to work with a personal trainer if you haven’t done so before or to add to your current sessions.

Provincial Government Pre-Budget Consultations

You may have been tuned in to news about the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement (CWELCC or $10-a-day childcare) – particularly if you’re a parent or guardian. Your Y has been active on this front, advocating for improvements to the system. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to members of provincial government during pre-budget consultations about what we believe is needed to meet the needs of Ontario families. (To provide a bit of background, there are licensed spaces available to provide more childcare but there are shortages of staff to operate them. This leaves families on waitlists and sometimes out of the workforce because when parents can’t access affordable, high-quality care, they have to stay home.)

The YMCA is calling on the government to address this workforce shortage as follows:

  1. Invest in childcare workforce compensation to be on par with municipalities and school boards
  2. Invest in an early childhood education workforce public recruitment campaign
  3. Recruit new immigrants to the early childhood education sector, including recognizing home-country credentials
  4. Improve the consistency of childcare funding
  5. Exempt charities like the YMCA from Bill 124 so operators can raise compensation at a time when it is needed most

We want to help the government deliver on the CWELCC commitments and with the right investments in Budget 2023 we get closer to the thriving childcare system our province needs.

During my presentation, I was also able to discuss three other areas that I consider to be critical. These are:

  1. To provide opportunities for young people by funding charitable and non-profit aquatics organizations to provide free certifications/training for lifeguards and swimming instructors.
  2. To establish a community health fund to enable charities and non-profits to deliver free or low-cost programs where needed, understanding the link between mental health and social connection and physical activity.
  3. To create an inflation support fund for capital projects led by charitable/non-profit organization as well as building in inflationary pressure to funding agreements.

We at the YMCA are committed to building a strong, resilient Ontario and I was honoured to contribute to government’s understanding of the needs of our communities.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.

Warm regards,

Rob Adams
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario