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My name is Kari-Ann and I am a single mother of two. 

My four-year-old son, Connor, has always experienced his own unique challenges. Finding long term child care for him was a struggle. We tried multiple care options, but no one seemed to understand how to best work with him. 

When Connor was two and a half, I’d had enough of him getting kicked out of child care. I decided to stay home but this meant I had to postpone school and work to focus all my attention on him.

After hearing a classmate talk about the positive impact the Y had on her single parent family, I decided to reach out to the YMCA of Okanagan. 

Right from the get-go they were extremely helpful. Not only were they enthusiastic about taking Connor in, but they were also able to subsidize the cost based on my income. The Y’s support took a huge weight off my shoulders.

Connor has now been attending YMCA Child Care at KSS since September. He is thriving while I’ve been able to return to my post-secondary education knowing my son is in a safe and loving environment. 

Since Connor has joined this centre, he’s made friends, come out of his bubble and his behavior has changed drastically. Everyone here has embraced him with so much love and support!

In the past, no kids had ever attended Connors birthday parties as no one quite understood his behavior. I’d always invite them, and they would come to my daughters, but just not his. This past year, I sent out the invitations for his fourth birthday hoping we would finally have some other kids at his party for the first time. I maybe expected four kids. I was blown away when every single child from his YMCA child care attended.

Not only has Connor built friendships, but I have also created relationships with the other parents and the staff. It’s a very supportive community which I hadn’t experienced beforehand.

This opportunity has opened doors for me and my children. I can now finish my post secondary education without worrying about Connor. The extra financial support has given me the ability to put both my daughter and my son in child care and finish what I need to finish to better our lives.