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Children's Programs

It is our goal to provide safe & stimulating programs for all children.

COVID-19 Impacts on Recreation & Culture Services
The information on this webpage may not be accurate at this time. Please visit for up-to-date information re impacted Recreation & Culture services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We provide safe, age-appropriate classes for preschool children and children aged 6–16 years. Fulfilling your child’s need to laugh, play, make friends & discover things is our motivation. The programs are taught by knowledgeable, friendly staff in a safe and developmentally appropriate environment.

Frequently Asked Questions: Preschool Programs
Do I have to stay with my child in the program? 

Preschool programs have been divided into 2 sections. Parent Participation, where parents stay in the class and benefit from interaction with their children.

Independent programs are drop off (No parental participation required). All children registered must have complete independent toileting skills. A safe departure practice is in place. Parents/guardians are required to sign children out of the program space when they are picked up.

Can I bring a sibling to the program? 

Infants content to be in a snugli are welcome in the preschool room areas. Extra caution should be taken in our gymnasium programs. We DO NOT allow strollers in the program area. The Holly Centre and East Bayfield Preschool rooms are adjacent to child care rooms for added convenience.

If my child is below the age requirement can I still enroll him/her in the program? 

You must first gain permission in order to allow an age over-ride. Permission is granted on the basis that the child turns the required age within the program time. Inquiries should be directed to Recreation Information 739-4287 (automated phone line) or Please include participants name, home phone number and barcode of the course.

Do you rent space for preschool birthday parties? 

Yes. We call them Preschool Play days . Dates are based on availability at both the Holly and East Bayfield Community Centres. Inquiries should be directed the centre where you wish to have the rental.

Can I register once the program has started? 

We will accept registrations within 2 weeks of the program start date, unless the course is deemed instructional based and would not be eligible for late enrolment . Program rates are pro-rated where possible, however please note insufficient enrolment levels may result in program cancelation. 

Can I transfer to another class once programs have started? 

Yes. Within 2 weeks if there is availability in your new choice of class. To arrange a transfer please contact the centre where the program is taking place.

What happens if my course is cancelled? 

At times courses have to be cancelled due to low registration. The City of Barrie makes every attempt to run a class; however, there are times when we must cancel. All participants are called using the contact information provided at the time of registration.

If the program is offered more than once a week, may I attend a different day if I miss my scheduled class? 

NO. Due to strict insurance regulations, the department will only allow participants in their registered classes.

May a visiting grandparent or other family member accompany myself and my child to view a program? 

In most cases this is no problem. Please check with the Instructor beforehand.

Classes available for children ages 6–16 cover a variety of areas including the arts, personal safety, social awareness, computers and general interest. All children’s programs are offered at an introductory level and are geared toward providing a safe and fun environment for learning new skills or developing an area of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions: Programs for ages 6–16
What supplies does my child need to bring to an Art class? 

The majority of supplies are provided for art classes offered by the City of Barrie. If supplies are required to participate a list will be provided at the first class.

Please check the bottom your receipt for specific course requirements.

Does my child need their own guitar/fiddle to Intro to Guitar and/or Fiddlin’ Around? 

Yes – please make arrangements for your child to have their own instrument. We do recommend that you rent an instrument initially to gauge your child’s interest. Music Pro has instrument rentals available.

Also, it is advised to wait until close to the course start date to make instrument arrangements as there are times when we have to cancel classes due to low registration.

What does my child need to bring to a Red Cross Babysitting Class? 

Participants in the Red Cross Babysitting Class must bring a pen, paper, a doll, and a full lunch.

My child does not meet the age criteria for a class, can we have permission to take it anyway? 

Although age is not always indicative of a child’s ability level, our courses are designed to be age appropriate. This includes consideration of cognitive and physical development, as well as socialization. Age overrides are considered on a case by case basis and can be directed to Recreation Information

In cases where age overrides are granted, the instructor will ultimately assess whether the course is a good fit for the student and may discuss other course options or withdrawal from course with the parent/guardian.

Why are courses cancelled? How will I be notified?  

At times courses have to be cancelled due to low registration. The City of Barrie makes every attempt to run a class; however, there are times when we must cancel. All participants are called using the contact information provided at the time of registration.

What should I do if there is bad weather? 

In the event of bad weather please call our inclement weather hotline 705-739-4215 for a list of classes that have been cancelled or view online Cancellations Page.  If your class is not listed on the hotline it is running as scheduled.

Can we remain in the room with our child?  

Children’s programs are independent activities – parents/guardians, siblings and friends are required to be outside of the program space.

It is advised that parents/guardians remain near to the program space for classes less than 1 hour.

Some program spaces have a window or door where you can sneak a peek. We ask that this be done only on occasion as not to distract the participants.

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