One visit to the Bob and Kay Ackles YMCA Nanook House and you can see how special it is. Children are laughing, playing and growing. Passionate staff are investing in the development of kids and supporting and befriending their parents. Parents are meeting other parents, and raising their families together with the encouragement and resources they need.

Lorelei and her two kids—Caleb (4) and Saiyaka (7)—have been a part of the Bob and Kay Ackles YMCA Nanook House for the past six years. “Before coming to Nanook, life was very hard,” says Lorelei. “The simplest things in life become harder once you become a new single mom.”

“When I was homeless, or couldn’t pay my child care fees, the Y was there.” What is provided at Nanook is so much more than child care. It is a second home—one that offers a secure, calm environment where schedules, routines and transitions contribute to the child’s capacity to grow and be successful. “I honestly believe from the bottom of my heart that every single parent should be at this child care,” says Lorelei.

Each year, families at YMCA Nanook House go to family camp at YMCA Camp Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast.

“We go through life not realizing how time flies. Kids grow up fast. At family camp, we’re able to get away and spend quality time together and do stuff we normally wouldn’t be able to do together as a family like kayaking and canoeing. I have great pictures of Caleb paddling in the canoe. It’s really cute.”

“The Y is always there for me. I’ve been able to raise my children with a positive attitude and developed a positive relationship with them because of the support of the people and programs at Nanook House.”