Pre-school facilities for children are available through government-licensed daycares and day homes. Some schools in the three school districts offer free pre-kindergarten classes: NJ Macpherson (YK1), Mildred Hall (YK1), Range Lake North (YK1), JH Sissons (YK1), St. Joseph (YCS), Weledeh and Allain St-Cyr (CSFTNO). Median daycare costs in Yellowknife range from $875 a month for a preschooler to $940 a month for an infant, while licensed day homes usually cost less.
Centre For Northern Families offers licensed full time, part time, drop in and respite care to children aged 12 months to 5 years old.
Yellowknife Day Care Association currently has space for 44 children, but is planning an expansion in the near future that will double its capacity.
Yellowknife Playschool Association is a non-profit organization for children three to five years of age.
You can find a full list of child care facilities and licensed day homes, plus inspection reports, at the Department of Education, Culture and Employment’s Childcare Inspections page.
Centre For Northern Families is home to the Healthy Baby & Toddler Club, an emergency shelter for adult women, a daycare, a walk-in clinic, and a variety of temporary programs and services.
Yellowknife Family Services is a volunteer-created collection of Prenatal (pregnancy and childbirth) and Postnatal (baby up to one-year old) services, programs and resources available in Yellowknife.
Yellowknife Catholic Schools Family Services offers a collection of faith-based family resources.
The Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority provides a variety of services to Yellowknife residents, including mental health services for children and youth.
The Alison McAteer House is a secure and anonymous place operated by the YWCA for women to receive support while they are fleeing violence.
Champions For Children Yellowknife raises funds to assist children up to the age of 18 with sport registration fees, equipment and travel to sport camps.
The Learning Disabilities Association of the NWT provides workshops, classes, education and resources for persons with learning disabilities.
Foster Family Coalition of the NWT provides support, guidance and training to pre and post foster and adoptive families.
Moms, Boobs and Babies is a local blog dedicated to providing advice, support and resources for young families in town, with an emphasis on breastfeeding challenges — but a wide range of other topics..
Special Olympics NWT is the territorial sport governing body responsible for the delivery of sport for people with intellectual disabilities in the NWT. Athletes participate in swimming, bowling, speed skating, rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating as well as mini-sessions (3 – 5 weeks) in track and field, golf and snowshoeing. There are also youth programs for those aged 2 – 11 – Active Start and Fundamentals.
Stanton Territorial Health Authority Child Development Team offers diagnostic assessment services for children from birth to 16 years of age, for families who are concerned about their child’s development.
NWT Council for Persons with Disabilities – Early Childhood Intervention Program offers free support to preschool children with disabilities or developmental delays, and their families.
Yellowknife Association for Community Living is a non-profit organization that support families, children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities so they are included and contribute to community life.
YWCA is the local branch of the national organization dedicated to providing services to women, children and families.
The City of Yellowknife issues a seasonal Recreation Guide, available online and in print versions at City Hall, Multiplex, Ruth Inch Memorial Pool, Fieldhouse and Yellowknife Public Library. It provides listings and registration information for the many creative and active programs, day camps, courses and events like the annual Bike Rodeo, a event for children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 held every June at the Multiplex, available at City facilities such as the library and the swimming pool, as well as information about the Child Tax Credit. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is a great place to spend a family afternoon, and often offers special events and programming for children. It even offers a dedicated area where kids can dress up and play. The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre frequently presents family-friendly programming, and hosts workshops relating to performance arts.
There are plenty of family-oriented events throughout the year. The world-famous Snowking Festival, which takes place in a castle entirely built of snow and ice on Yellowknife Bay, started life as a way to entertain Old Town children, and now boasts a month-long calendar of events that bring families down to the bay every March. The Long John Jamboree takes place at the end of March and offers range of late-winter events that children can enjoy. The annual Folk on the Rocks music festival has a special children’s music stage, and many activities — from face-painting to music lessons — for kids of all ages. Old Town Ramble and Ride is a weekend of activities and events in which the artist studios and galleries of Yellowknife’s most bohemian neighbourhood hold workshops and open houses.
There are also several organizations that offer regular children’s classes in various activities. Bella Dance Academy, The Yellowknife Skating Club, The Yellowknife Gymnastics Club and more. The local family blog Moms, Boobs and Babies offers a round-up of many of these, with an emphasis on those oriented towards younger children.
Twenty Years Of Playing in the Snow