Montclair – The YMCA of Montclair, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, announces the opening of its new Early Learning Center on July 1, 2020. The YMCA of Montclair’s Early Learning Center is conducting a soft opening on June 15 with families from its existing waiting list.
The YMCA of Montclair’s Early Learning Center is located within the Geyer Family YMCA at 159 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair, NJ. The Early Learning Center will serve 44 children during COVID-19 restrictions but has the capacity to serve up to 132 once those restrictions are lifted. The program offers full-day child care for children 3 months to 4 years old.
The Y has offered emergency child care at the Geyer Family YMCA since the end of March and its staff is trained and experienced in all COVID-19 protocols and procedures.
“We are excited to open an Early Learning Center that will support families in Montclair and surrounding communities,” said Buddy Evans, President and CEO of the YMCA of Montclair. “The Y is committed to nurturing children by providing experiences that help youth grow and develop into confident, caring, happy, and healthy individuals.”
“The YMCA Early Learning programs are rooted in the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility and paired with the Creative Curriculum educational framework,” said Justine Biendon, Early Learning Center Director. “The Y creates intentional Learn Through Play experiences designed to develop a child’s potential through creative, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical skills while they grow.”
Children learn best through interaction and exploration because play supports educational activities. The YMCA early learning programs are guided by the Healthy Kids Initiative, an intentional strategy to expose all youth to healthy eating, nutrition, and physical activity while in the Y’s care in order to achieve equitable health outcomes for both young people and their families.
The Y’s early childhood learning programs, which have earned national accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, give kids the chance to explore freely through:
STEM activities that help with math and science comprehension
arts and humanities projects that develop fine motor skills
physical activities and nutritious food to encourage healthy habits
swimming and water safety classes in a guarded environment
enrichment opportunities, including music & movement classes and an introduction to languages like Spanish or American Sign Language
Please note swim and language will be added at a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Y offers a warm and welcoming environment in which every child can thrive. Most importantly, children have a place to grow with the guidance of caring adults while their parents are at work.
Parents who are interested in the program should complete the interest form online. The YMCA offers financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition for child care for those needing help. YMCA membership is not required to enroll. For more information, visit the Y’s website at https://www.montclairymca.org/early-learning-center/.