Children and youth programs and services


All city-run cultural and recreation facilities are closed, and all city-run programming and activities are cancelled.

Visit our COVID-19 webpage for more details.

While children and youth are home and restless and still need some fun and play in their lives. There are plenty of free activities that parents, guardians, children and youth can participate in to continue to learn, grow and have fun while practicing social distancing - and we're dedicated to helping them along the way.


Small Acts, Big Impacts Challenge

Grand Connections Letter writing program 

Interested in more activities? Visit our Active At Home page

Resources for Parents

Having Good Conversations with Children and Youth about COVID-19


Emergency Child Care

The Region of Waterloo is coordinating a temporary emergency child care program for parents who provide critical services in our community (list of eligible workers) who have exhausted all other care options for their children. Fees will be paid by the Ministry. Care will be offered to children from birth to age 12. Apply for emergency child care online. For more information, please see their frequently asked questions or call 519-514-1474 or email 

On-line Resources and Activities



Emotional and Mental Health
It is important to recognize that these are stressful and uncertain times and children and youth may need extra help to support their emotional and mental health.

Join the WAYVE Self-Care Challenge 

Try out different kinds of self-care and get rewarded for it! Over the next 6 weeks WAYVE will be posting a new theme each Monday at 9 am. All you have to do is make time to practice self-care that relates to that theme three times that week and tell them about it.

Be kind to yourself - reach out if you need to talk.

  • Here 24/7 mental health crisis support offered by KW Counselling by phone at 1.844.437.3247 or online 
  • Front Door child or youth mental health support. Call to make a telephone or video appointment. Please contact them directly at 519-749-2932, and press “1“ to speak to staff. 
  • Kids Help Phone- 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French at 1.800.668.6868. 
  • Good2Talk A free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365.  
  • LGBT Youthline: If you identify as a LGBTQ2+ youth and want to talk with another youth who might get what you are going through you can reach out to YouthLine. Call 1.800.268.9688 or text 647.694.4275. Please note they are only available during certain times. You can also CHAT LIVE with someone who gets it at
  • Big White Wall: An online support environment for people looking for help with depression and anxiety. Free to all Ontarians 
  • BounceBack: A guided self-help program for adults and youth aged 15 and over, using workbooks with online videos and phone coaching support. 
  • Youth Space: anyone from across Canada under 30 years old is welcome to chat with volunteers who want to hear how things are going for you. Open 6 pm to Midnight. Text 778-783-0177 or online
  • You can visit Here4Help at its own website:, or though the CMHA WW Website:

Stay Active

We know that everyone, but particularly young people, benefit emotionally, mentally from being physically active, going outside every day and engaging in some form of personal growth or learning or experience. Trying new thing, especially through play, helps young people grow and develop confidence. 

We know that in these times, it is vital for all of us to engage in this sort of self-care and caregivers can help their young people to do this. 

  • Teach your child or sibling how to cook a favourite family recipe (or try a new one out together) or just learn the basics.
  • Teach them how to check the oil in the car if you have one 
  • Teach them how to do laundry or how to sew on a button. 
  • Teach them how to tie a tie

Share your ideas with us at and we will add them here for others to try


Regular Programming (when facilities re-open)

We offer local children and youth a variety of recreation and leisure, civic engagement and leadership development programs, designed to help them build their skills and discover new abilities in caring, inclusive environments.

Opportunities include:

Recreation and leisure

  1. After-school recreation programs
  2. Holiday camps (winter break, March Break)
  3. Summer camps
  4. Youth Drop-in programs (school year and summer)
  5. Mobile Skateboard Park program 
  6. Arenas (skating and events)
  7. Market programs and events for children
  8. Minor-sports programs
  9. Natural areas programs, parks and trails
  10. Pools (swimming) and splash pads
  11. Outdoor facilities - outdoor ice rinks, basketball courts, bike parks, skateboard parks, cycling, golf courses, tennis courts, sports fields

Leadership development and volunteering

  1. BYLD -Building Youth Leadership Development
  2. Kitchener Youth Crew
  3. Student placements
  4. Volunteer opportunities

Civic engagement

  1. Kitchener Youth Action Council
  2. Youth Forum


  1. Ambush the Arts
  2. KYAC Youth Awards
  3. National Youth Week events
  4. Market events and programs
  5. Special events and festivals


  1. Summer Employment Expo
  2. Current opportunities
  3. Hiring Now - summer camp and youth drop-in opportunities

Tools and resources

  1. Little Black Book for Youth

Accessibility and support

If your child has a disability and requires accommodation to participate in a program, assistance may be available through our inclusion services area. Please contact us for more information.

  1. Leisure Access fee assistance
  2. PAL card (Personal Assistance for Leisure Activities)

Contact Us

Janice Ouellette
Supervisor, Children and Youth Services
City of Kitchener, 200 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
T.: 519-741-2200 ext. 7169
TTY: 1-866-969-9994
F.: 519-741-2723
Email Janice Ouellette
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