Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination: As of September 22, 2021, the Province of Ontario requires that all individuals* entering a gym facility, present proof of being fully vaccinated at every visit. Fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days after second dose. Proof of vaccination must be presented with government-issued ID. Children under 12 years of age are exempt.

Carrie and Rocco Lapadula wanted the very best child care experience for their daughter Pia. The Hamilton couple visited close to a dozen daycares before choosing the Mountain YMCA Child Care Centre on Upper Wentworth Street.

 “We got this overwhelming feeling as soon as we walked through the door that Pia would be well taken care of there,” recalled Rocco, whose daughter was 2 ½ years old at the time and had special needs due to cerebral palsy. Pia, now 5, attended the centre for three years. She `graduated’ in spring and is now in kindergarten.

Pia thoroughly enjoyed her YMCA child care experience, said Rocco. “Though Pia can’t speak, she showed us how much she loved child care by smiling and reaching out to staff when she arrived each morning.”

Pia’s parents also appreciated the integrated programming. Activities including arts, crafts and games were always modified so Pia could participate. This allowed Pia to develop important skills needed for kindergarten including improved fine motor coordination through arts and crafts, and an expanded vocabulary through word games. “She participated in everything we did,” said Kelly Dimic, the centre’s supervisor  who appears with Pia in the photograph.

 Pia also enjoyed a large circle of friends. “She loved being around the other children,” said Kelly. “And all the children loved Pia.”