Read about what our members, families, youth and parents have to say about our Club.

The $25/day program has impacted my family deeply. A week before the wildfire hit our city, I had just been given the news that I was expecting twins! In no way was I ever prepared to hear that news. My first thought – how am I going to afford childcare for two babies??? During my entire maternity leave, this continued to weigh on my mind. It is extremely hard to find reliable, quality AND afforable child care. Many families decide that it’s more beneficial financially to have the mother stay at home to care for the kids. This was not an option for my family. We had 3 kids existing already. Two were in a before and after school care program and the third (from my husband’s previous marriage) came with an obligation of paying approximately $3000/month in child support and speech therapy. Now we would be adding two more little bodies into the mix.

My net monthly income is just under $4000. I would essentially be going back to work to offset the amount of support we were paying for my step-son. The thought made me upset because it wasn’t really worth going back to work to pocket not even $1000/month working fulltime. There’s the stress of insufficient sleep, waking up my cranky kids in the morning, rushing to drop them off to daycare, make it to work on time and juggle my older kid’s school and extracurricular activities. At the same time, I didn’t have any other option because we didn’t have the means for me to stay at home and care for my kids beyond maternity leave.

Fast forward to the last month of my maternity leave. I received a call from my employer confirming that I was in fact planing on returning back to work. I was informed there was a position for me and an offer letter would be sent out. A few days go by and HR apologizes for the wait but was still working on the new offer letter. A couple weeks before my return to work date, I was vacationing with my family in Mexico when I received an e-mail from HR requesting that I meet in person the following Tuesday (6 days prior to starting back to work). At this point, I had a nanny lined up for $2000/month which was a steal of a deal but still pushed the limits of our budget. Upon meeting with HR, I was informed that I was being laid off. My heart sunk and stress set back in, in full force. Once I delivered the news to my nanny, she decided to take another job because she couldn’t afford to wait around for me to find new employment, which was completely understandable, but now I was back to square one.

I was relieved to find out that my EI was eligible to be extended for a couple of months, which was enough time for me to find gainful employment again. The only issue now was finding adequate care for my twins. My friend (who also happens to be my immediate neighbour) was working in Anzac at the time and mentioned that the WIllow Lake Tiny Tots facility was receiving the daycare grant and advised that I give them a call. With luck, they did run the $25/day program and they had space available to enroll my girls! My friend offered to bring the girls to and from daycare every day for me since she worked in the same area and she knew our family’s unfortunate circumstances. This provided such a huge weight off my mind, although I felt like a part-time mother. I was missing out on picking my girls up from daycare and seeing the joy on their little faces when they noticed me.

Shortly after my girls started daycare, it was announced that 3 faciltiies within Fort McMurray were becoming eligible for the $25/day program in June. That June we were fortunate enough to find placement within the Tiny Toes facility. It brings such peace of mind knowing that my kids are getting the quality care they deserve. The program provides lots of learning through play activities and their little minds are constantly growing. The staff is amazing and so attentive to the children. It’s nice to finally have that balance of proper and affordable care so that I have the opporunity to go back to work and provide a second set of benefits for my family. Without this wonderful $25/day program, I would be paying up to $2950/month to place my twins in a registered/licensed/accredited daycare facility. That amount is scary and it’s no wonder why so many women have to put their careers on hold. Unless you are in the trades inustry, you aren’t pocketing much after paying for childcare. 

I can’t express how grateful my family is for this program. Not only has it provided financial relief, but it has also impacted my health and emotional stress. This is definitely a program that needs to stay in place. Our kids deserve to be cared for properly and no one should have to settle for lower quality of care because of their financial situation.


Grateful Parent with children in Tiny Toes Daycare

The Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club provides a supportive, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for all children.  The programming that The Boys and Girls Club provides is empowering and supports children finding their inner voice and self-confidence.  The staff are empathetic and provide a safe place for all children to flourish and grow at their own pace.  Program leaders are well versed in their field and excited to bring new and leading-edge programming to the children.  Special needs children have a place where they are seen as leaders and encouraged to grow and strive to meet their goals. 


As a parent, it is heartwarming to know that I am dropping my special needs child off to a program where she will be treated with the utmost respect and welcomed with open arms.  It is wonderful to observe an environment for my child to have a place to be herself and never have to worry about being judged.  The program facilitators treat my daughter as an equal and make her feel like she is among friends. 

Grateful Parent to a child in the Active Teens Special Needs Program

When I was making arrangements to head back to school, I was nervous about finding childcare for my two children. The Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club was the first place I researched, and I did not need to search any further. Both of my children could go to the same place (ZAP program and Tiny Toes Daycare), and both of their needs were addressed. I drop my children off now (two years later), and I am not concerned about their safety or well-being for the remainder of the day.

The ladies that work at the FMBGC are kind and attentive to my children. Both age groups are consistently playing outside, doing a wide range of activities, not to mention developing relationships and social skills. In a city where we do not have any family, the FMBGC has become family to us. They are an invaluable resource to families in this community, and my family looks forward to including them in our future.

Grateful Parent with children in Tiny Toes Daycare & ZAP Out of School Care

Our life changed drastically with the ELCC 25 dollar a day daycare program!!

Firstly, financially as I work two jobs and neither me nor my husband work for the oils fields which means we don’t make as much as the average household. 

We have so much to be thankful for when it comes to this program!!

It has made my son a much more adventurous eater as the foods they provide are so healthy and things I wouldn’t think to make him. 

I have noticed significant changes with the daycare like the app feature now available for parents and the different activities the children do as well as the upgrades to the facility.

The best part for our family though is that if this program were to continue my husband and I could afford to add a new addition to our family which we would have to wait a considerable amount of time if the price were to go back up as we could never afford to have two in childcare at once with the non funded pricing.

Overall this experience has been life changing for us. I will never forget the day we received the letter. I literally cried with happiness. This has been a blessing and I hope that we can be blessed again with this amazing program.

As a parent, it is heartwarming to know that I am dropping my special needs child off to a program where she will be treated with the utmost respect and welcomed with open arms.  It is wonderful to observe an environment for my child to have a place to be herself and never have to worry about being judged.  The program facilitators treat my daughter as an equal and make her feel like she is among friends. 

Grateful Parent to a child in the Active Teens Special Needs Program

The Boys and Girls Club have been coming into my class each week to allow students to participate in Boccia, and I would like to share the benefits that the Club is providing to my students.

Through Boccia, all students of various cognitive and physical needs are able to participate in a team-based physical activity, which is often not the case for my students. Students who are wheelchair-bound or students with moderate to severe cognitive delays often have challenges in physical education games, and cannot participate to the fullest extent. 

Through this opportunity, all students can play, learn, and compete with each other, while having fun and enjoying the game. In addition, Boccia is also teaching various social skills to my students, including sportsmanship behaviour, communication with each other, the other team, and the facilitators, respect, and compassion.                

Each week, my students grow and develop due to Boccia, and I am very thankful that the Boys and Girls Club provide this great opportunity.

Composite High School Teacher

I appreciate the ZAP program, it is wonderful for my son Jayden who joined the club in November 2014. I saw his confidence level grow rapidly. He loves to join ZAP after school, and has been actively involved in the program’s activities. I am always grateful for the ZAP staff, activities and the wonderful care that children receive. I am especially thankful for the assistance he gets with his homework. As an only parent, there is no way that I could bring him home after work and get all his homework done. The ZAP program at the Boys and Girls Club of Fort McMurray has been impressive in loving and caring while dedicating to raise leaders of tomorrow.

The ZAP Program is the best place to go after school. The staff members are always passionate about children. They know what to do when children face challenges or are emotional. The ZAP class room is always clean and I have noted positive relationships among the children and the staff since my son joined the club. Since joining the ZAP program, my son has been successful in improving many aspects of life such as confidence, listening skills, writing and following rules.

I must say the ZAP program is a wonderful place for my son to be, while I am at work. I have seen my son develop interpersonal skills because friendship at ZAP has no boundaries. I am also grateful that the summer camp at the club has always been available for my child. I could never have a better choice than at the boys and girls club.

Parent of child in ZAP Out of School Care

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