Our History

NYAD (Community) Inc. is a registered, charitable, non-profit organization developed in 1979, an International Year of the Child project.

The concept for NYAD, a not your average daycare, was initiated as an Early Childhood Education course project by Carol Smith and Jane Robson. Its development was undertaken by Carol and Jane with Mara Holdenried and Gail Baker to meet the needs of children and their families in Scarborough Village Public School.

In the years that followed, NYAD's reputation grew within the Scarborough community and over time, NYAD was requested to open centres in other Scarborough schools.

1979 - NYAD Scarborough Village
1986 - NYAD SCAS, NYAD Laurier
1989 - NYAD Donwood, NYAD Guildwood
1994 - NYAD Corvette
2000 - NYAD Cedarbrook
2001 - NYAD Midland
2007 - NYAD Laurier – closed
2007 - NYAD Cedarbrook – closed
2013 - NYAD Cedar Drive
2013 - NYAD Mason Road

Our Mission

Not Your Average Daycare (NYAD) is a not for profit organization committed to the delivery of a child and family-centered quality child care service.

NYAD offers early education and care programs for young children that honour and respect their right to care that is culturally sensitive, bias-free, non-judgmental, developmentally appropriate and safe from harm. Our programs also incorporate and celebrate the natural environment.

NYAD recognizes the importance of qualified, experienced, child care staff. We promote orientation, professional development, networking and ongoing training for staff that will enhance the NYAD child care programs.



Cornerstones of the Program

The programs at NYAD are varied and incorporate unlimited opportunities for the children and the staff to learn.

In NYAD we strive to offer the child, infant, toddler, preschool and school age, a wide range of basic activities to choose from throughout the day e.g. paint, water/sand, playdough, creative materials, blocks, dramatic play props, books etc. These do not remain stagnant, but are changed/expanded to provide exciting new experiences for the child. These basics, in addition to staff initiated activities, provide the child with opportunities for wonder, discovery and experience.


No two people visualize a snowman, a tree, a house, or a dinosaur walking, exactly the same. Each one of us interprets the world in her/his own way. Therefore a child's art is her/his own statement, not a copy of the teacher's or classmates. Techniques and skills can be learned but creativity cannot. It is there from birth, ready to flourish, or to be destroyed by rigid expectations and restrictions.

Creativity and learning thrive within NYAD while there are rules to be followed and limits to be respected for the safety and well being of all those in the centre.

Drawing and Painting

Through art, a child clarifies his understanding of the physical and social world and is able to give tangible form to his feelings and responses while developing visual and sensory skills, originality, independence and self- confidence.
• The process of painting is more important than the product.

Collage and Sculpture

The messiest creative experience is often the most engrossing. A child needs freedom to create what s/he wants without anyone asking, “What is it?”
  • encourages organization
  • awareness of colour and texture
  • promotes motor development
  • gives manipulative satisfaction
  • serves as a channel for exploration, assertion and expression
Children’s art is displayed throughout the centre. Periodically artwork is placed in the child’s cubby for parents to take home and proudly display.

Dramatic Play

Play is a child's job, a very serious activity that allows her/him to try on roles and emotions, experiment with objects in every conceivable manner and use materials in the most creative ways.

Play is the most dynamic childhood learning method. It is the means that children use to reduce the world to manageable proportions and find their place in it.

Dramatic play gives the child the opportunity to:
  • imitate adults
  • develop self-awareness
  • release unacceptable impulses
  • understand relationships
  • develop language
  • relive past experiences
  • develop social skills
  • explore and manipulate adult tools and materials
  • enjoy the world of fantasy

Sand and Water Play

Sand and water tables give the child the means to:
  • develop intellectual concepts
  • soothes explosive feelings
  • develops sensory and math skills
  • stimulates language
  • draws out the inhibited
  • encourages longer attention span
  • encourages co-operation, decision-making
  • develops creative thought

Indoor and Outdoor Gross Motor Activities

Physical activities promote sound bodies and minds through running, hopping, catching, throwing, skipping and balancing. Skills needed in these activities relate to the child’s physical readiness for concentrating and controlling body movements -- hence the ability to read and write.

NYAD children have use of the school gym for part of the daily program.


Throughout the year, NYAD staff and children go for neighbourhood walks and field trips by bus (TTC and School). Walks in the neighbourhood allow the children to become familiar with their community, people and places. Parks, fields, ravines, puddles, playgrounds, fire halls, hospitals, stores, and banks are just a few of the highlights on walks.

Program Descriptions

Infant Program

  • Birth to 18 months of age
  • Personalized daily reports provide ongoing dialogue with parents
  • Trained and experienced staff provide experiences to meet the individual needs of each child
  • Positive and loving interactions support the well being of each infant

Toddler Program

  • 18 months to 30 months
  • Individualized program activities
  • Special attention placed on the developmental stage of each child
  • Trained, caring and creative staff work with parents to support and encourage self-help skills
  • Positive behaviour management strategies used to promote self-esteem

Preschool Program

  • 2-1/2 years to 5 years
  • Child initiated experiences
  • Play-based learning
  • Indoor program includes: sand & water play, drawing, painting, collage & sculpture, dramatic play, computers, block play, books and gross motor play
  • Highly motivated trained staff committed to providing an enriched environment to support the individual child and their developmental needs
  • Daily outdoor program to promote health and well being with an opportunity to explore our natural environments

School Age Program

  • 6 to 12 years of age
  • Before and After school, PA days, March Break, and summer care
  • Program activities reflect the interests of the children
  • Ongoing group projects promote cooperation through teamwork
  • Outdoor program includes a variety of sport activities & facilitates the exploration of natural environments
  • Peer supported and positive behaviour management strategies used to promote self-esteem