For Policy Makers
Contact YMCA of the USA’s Government Relations and Policy Office for more information: 800-932-9622
The YMCA’s Public Policy Priorities
The Y is for Youth Development
Every day, Ys nurture the potential of children and teens. Collectively the Y is the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of child care, with nearly 10,000 child care sites across the country. We advocate for increased funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, making it possible for parents from low-income families to gain access to safe, affordable and high-quality child care. The Y supports a variety of policy efforts to make child care sites, youth programs, camping and sports programs safer. One such piece of legislation is the Child Protection Improvement Act, which provides low-cost access to federal background checks of staff and volunteers who are working in any way with children and youth at the Y.
The Y is for Healthy Living
Improving the nation’s health and well-being is a core area of focus for the Y. We advocate for increased funding for chronic disease prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the National Diabetes Prevention Program and the Healthy Communities Program. We also advocate for local and national efforts to reverse the effects of childhood obesity on the nation’s youth—such as the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign.
The YMCA’s Healthier Communities Initiatives, supported by the CDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others, focuses on collaborative engagement with community leaders, how environments influence health and well-being and the role policy plays in sustaining change. These initiatives empower local communities with proven strategies and models to create and sustain positive, lasting change for healthy living.
The Y is for Social Responsibility
As a leading non-profit, the Y advocates for important accommodations for the non-profit sector that allow us to give back and provide support to our neighbors. The heart of the Y is formed by millions of people committed to building a meaningful future for their community. We support policies such as tax incentives that promote charitable giving and reasonable reforms that promote good governance, accountability and transparency. The Y is also committed to enriching and providing volunteer opportunities for our youth and the thousands of adult volunteers who provide Y programs and activities.