Research has shown that Early Learning programs, such as child development centers, help children’s earliest teachers—their parents—better prepare the children for school success.
YMCA Early Learning programs strengthen families and boost youth development by offering infants, toddlers, young children, and their families’ early learning readiness experiences and comprehensive child development programs. Early Learning programming at the Y addresses the holistic development of young children by supporting brain development, early literacy, healthy habits development, and strong parenting skills.
The philosophy behind our curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.
In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all of their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking). In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors and they notice relationships between things.
In time, they learn to use one object to stand for another. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols—the stick and the block—are similar in shape to the objects they represent. Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to “read” pictures which are symbols of real people, places and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the pre-school years as children play.
Disclaimer: the licensing status was checked when this listing was created. We do our best to keep information up-to-date, but cannot guarantee that it is. You should verify the license/permit/registration status before enrolling in any child care program.