Our Learning Fundamentals
- Toys, games, and activities are readily accessible. At the Y, kids are able to choose many of their activities for the day. Essential life skills, like fine-motor skills and teamwork, are developed through hands-on exploration and play! Providing kids the power to choose what they’d like to play with creates autonomy and encourages active engagement.
- YMCA spaces are colorful and kid-friendly. YMCA Early Learning spaces are filled with colorful furniture, rugs, and decorations, creating an inviting space where kids feel comfortable. Tables and chairs are specially sized to fit the age groups we serve, reading nooks are comfy and cozy, and spaces are set up to be easily cleaned on a regular basis. Each Early Learning classroom was designed to have the kids’ best interests at heart!
- Instruction is individualized. The YMCA uses a “Creative Curriculum” as the foundation of our Early Learning programs. This research-based strategy uses individualized instruction to respond to each child’s strengths and needs for the most effective learning and growth. Additionally, a “Creative Curriculum” promotes the development of the whole child by supporting academic learning alongside social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
- YMCA staff are engaged. It’s important that kids create lasting and meaningful relationships with staff in their Early Learning program. At the Y, we’ve found the best way to do that is through engaging one-on-one to create a fun and inviting environment to connect. Our staff are trained to lead their classrooms through positive and impactful interactions.
- YMCA kids develop both their bodies and their minds. Physical activity is incredibly important to develop healthy habits at a young age. In fact, according to “Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures,” evidence shows that kids who are active tend to have fewer behavioral concerns, perform better in school, and have increased attention spans than kids who are inactive. Plus, active games are FUN and a great way to get those wiggles out.