Early Learning Academy
The human brain develops most between birth to age five, making the preschool years a crucial part of a child's education. Our Early Learning Academy focuses on nurturing your child's development by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance.
We use Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment Tool in both our child care and preschool, giving parents the option for full day, full year care OR half day preschool. Our curriculum is research based and focuses on science, social studies and “first hand” experiences as a segue to learning. Children develop confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills necessary for Kindergarten. Download a copy of our Child Care Guide for more information.
The Early Learning Academy offers a Lending Library to provide children and families with a quality reading program that aligns with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Our Lending Library uses Usborne Books and More and allows children to choose a book weekly to take home and read with their parents. A literacy activity is also provided. Research shows that children who are read to consistently by their parents often begin reading earlier than their peers.
Click here to read what parents have to say about our Early Learning Academy.
For information on school age child care, visit our before and after school-based program for students in Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, Leland, Hinckley-Big Rock and Newark School Districts.
Upcoming ELA Events:
Our Early Learning Academy is located at our Central Branch (just west of the Yorkville Target) and is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 6:0 0pm.
We offer a full day / full year ages 0-3 years licensed program for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos where our highly trained and qualified teachers provide individualized care, create environments that support and encourage exploration, ensure children's health and safety and develop partnerships with families. Download a copy of our Child Care Guide for more information.
INFANTS (6 weeks - 15 months; 1:4 Ratio)
In the infant classroom, our primary emphasis is meeting the infant’s daily needs and providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment. Children are provided experiences that foster and develop their cognitive, social/emotional, and motor skills while encouraging their independence. Infants are engaged in developmentally appropriate toys, books, stories and finger plays throughout the day. They are learning through routines and attachments to their caregivers. Infant daily nap and meal schedule are based on the infant’s individual needs.
TODDLERS (16-24 months; 1:5 Ratio)
In the toddler classroom, children are introduced to a more structured and regular routine. Children are provided an environment that encourages exploration and curiosity through child-initiated and teacher-guided activities. Toddlers have opportunities to make choices in art, sensory, exploration, problem-solving, music, books, self-help skills, and interactive play. The toddler classroom provides a rest time as part of the daily schedule.
TWOS (1:8 Ratio)
In the two’s classroom, the children discover a stimulating environment arranged into various interest and learning centers. Our goal for our two-year-olds include: developing valuable self-help skills such as potty training, personal hygiene, dressing self and putting toys away. We also focus on building cognitive skills, such as counting, sorting, recognizing letters, colors and shapes. Another important skill we work on is interacting with others. We have many opportunities for sharing, listening and taking turns. The two’s classroom provides a rest time as part of the daily schedule.
We offer full day or half day licensed programs for children ages three to five years. Our preschool program offers quality care in a safe and supportive environment that fosters the emotional, physical, social and cognitive growth of each child. In addition, your child will develop skills to build character values, self-esteem, friendships, and kindergarten readiness skills. Download a copy of our Child Care Guide for more information.
FULL DAY or HALF DAY PRESCHOOL PROGRAM (ages 3-5)
The three to five year old classrooms focus on the growth and development of the whole child: physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Activities and classroom centers are oriented to the child’s interest and developmental levels. Our three to five year olds are able to make choices in a variety of areas including: art and sensory activities, dramatic play, stories and books, music and movement, fine and large motor development and much more.
Center Hours: Monday - Friday 6:30am - 6:00pm
HALF DAY PRESCHOOL - 3's
Snack will be provided
- Tuesday / Thursday
9 - 11:30 am
HALF DAY PRESCHOOL - PRE-K
Snack will be provided
- Monday / Wednesday / Friday
9 - 11:30 am OR 12:15 - 2:45 pm
NEW! Monday thru Friday
9 - 11:30 am
A YMCA Youth Membership is included in all of our Preschool options.
Our Preschool Curriculum includes the following areas: Language Development, Creative Experience, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, iPad Technology, Music/Movement, Science and Discovery, Dramatic and Sensory Play.
Preschool events include: School Pictures, Holiday Parties, Recreational swimming, End-of-Year Pre-K ceremony, Spring Recital, Local Field Trips, and more. Additional YMCA Benefits include: Indoor gymnasium, music and dance rooms, after school enrichment programs, USDA-approved lunches and snacks, 17-acre outdoor pavilion, indoor pool, two secure and safe outdoor play areas, "Let's Move Initiative," and a gymnastic center.In need of financial assistance? The Y is able to offer help through the generosity of our donors. Call or stop-in for details.
In need of financial assistance? The Y is able to offer help through the generosity of our donors. Call or stop-in for details.
Click here for information on our before and after school-based program for students in Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, Hinckley-Big Rock, and Newark School Districts.
Ms. Tes is our Early Learning Academy cook and has been preparing each and every breakfast, snack and lunch for our kids since she joined our team in March 2013. There are no canned veggies in her kitchen and her famous, Fresh Pasta Salad is a favorite in all our classrooms (and among the staff;). A few other favorites to come from Tes' kitchen are Chicken and Rice Casserole, Yogurt Parfait with fresh fruit and granola, and everyone's favorite...Ground Beef Tacos. According to Tes, one of the highlights of her job is all the hugs she receives from our ELA kids.
The Early Learning Academy is a nut-free facility and food substitutions are made for any child with food allergies and all meals are approved by a registered dietician and meet USDA guidelines.
What some of our Early Learning Academy parents are saying…
"I wanted to thank you and all of the teachers Lukas has had over the last four years. We picked the Y based upon meeting you and learning about the program you put together and we couldn't have been happier with the choice. He has come so far from being the shy little boy that didn't want to leave my side and I have everyone there to thank. At kindergarten registration, they complimented the preschool program that prepared him so well and said they were going to have a hard time challenging him in class. Everyone has done a wonderful teaching and taking care of him and I just can't thank you all enough! - Robyn L.
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you and your staff have done for Skye over the past few years. I have been so happy with the level of care that the YMCA staff has provided to Skye. I’ve never had to worry that she would be well cared for and I can definitely tell that the teachers care deeply for Skye and she for them.” - Miranda K.
"We feel so lucky to be part of the Y's Early Learning Academy family! Our boys love their teachers and all the learning and playing that goes on throughout the day. Plus, the added benefit of being able to enroll them in enrichment classes like swim lessons, gymnastics, or sports makes their day at school even more fulfilling." - James M.
"Thank you so much for taking such good care of Abby this year. Finding a daycare we could trust to care for our first born was not an easy decision, but you impressed us from the very beginning. It means a lot to us to know that Abby is in good hands." - Jillian S.
Thank you all so much for taking such good care of Maddy! Going back to work was hard, but knowing I was leaving Maddy in your caring hands made it so much easier. I really appreciate the love and caring you gave to Maddy this year and all of the fun projects and experiences she had with you! I appreciate the photos and keepsakes from her time in the Infant room.
"Odi and I cannot thank you enough to tell you how blessed we have been these past months to have had all your love, guidance, patience, and care. Odi knows all that he does thanks to you ladies."