Preschool & Kindergarten

Success Starts Early

Choosing the right preschool and kindergarten can be the start to a lifelong love of learning! It’s why the Y’s programs promote laughter, as well as language, anti-bias literacy, critical thinking, and the Creative Curriculum. By creating an environment of joy, we set the stage for infinite educational possibilities!
A child playing with blocks

Focus on Development

Kids playing together


Inquiry Form
A teacher giving instructions to a classroom

What to Expect of Y Programs

Meet Your Preschool & Kindergarten Leaders

Say hello to the leaders who bring their own passions and enthusiasm to the classroom every day! 
  • Jenn Stricker

    Jenn Stricker

    Early Learning Manager

Preschool Frequently Asked Question

Whether preschool is a brand-new experience for your family, or you’ve been through the process before, a new school year can bring plenty of questions. We’ve got answers!
  • Signing up your child for preschool is an exciting time! There are many benefits of attending preschool. It provides structure and consistency for children and teaches them social skills, self help skills, and independence. Preschool also supports cognitive development, preparing children for kindergarten. 

    Every child develops at their own pace, so there's no rule of when your child should start preschool. If you're unsure whether or not preschool is currently a good fit for your child, visit your local YMCA preschool and meet with your Youth Development Director for more information.

  • Children typically start preschool around the age of 3 years old. However, some children and programs will start preschool as early as 2 years old. 
  • Visit the Buehler YMCA preschool and meet with your Early Learning Manager! They are more than happy to give you a tour of our space and assist you in the process of signing your child up for preschool!

    Contact your Early Learning Manager, Jenn Stricker, at 847-410-5230 or via email ([email protected]) to set up a time to visit, learn more, or register for preschool at the Y! 

  • Registration for preschool at the YMCA is accepted year round, provided that there are openings in the classroom. 
  • Children are not required to be toilet-trained before starting the preschool program at the Buehler Y. However, diapers and pull-ups must be supplied by the parent. We encourage toilet training and will work with families in helping with the transition in our full-day programming.
  • The Buehler Y preschool operates two options for preschool: half-day (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) or a full-day (7 a.m.-6 p.m.). 

    Note: the full-day preschool option includes breakfast, lunch, and two snacks.

  • Preschool children can be grouped by age: ages 2 to 5.
  • Our YMCA preschools prioritize a safe learning environment. We follow the required Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) regulations for teacher to child ratios:1 teacher per 8 children age 2 and 1 teacher per 10 children ages 3 to 5.
  • The YMCA’s preschool teachers are Teacher Qualified per Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) regulations. Each of our teachers also receives a minimum of 15 hours of continued professional development every year.
  • Our YMCA preschool programs use a redirection and choice providing approach which is designed to support children in the learning process.
  • We strive to provide your child with a constructive and rewarding learning environment! Our YMCA preschool programs implement the Creative Curriculum in all classrooms. We also provide academic assessments and developmental screenings such as Ages and Stages (ASQ). Together, this information supports the teachers in understanding where each child needs more support.
  • Yes, most meals are provided by a food vendor that supports all dietary restrictions. Check with your local preschool for more information on the meals served.
  • Our preschool program's daily schedule is built around a creative curriculum that allows time for children to have free choice and large motor activities, as well as small group learning activities. During group time, children will work on fine motor development, large motor development, and kindergarten readiness activities. 
  • Each afternoon children in our full day programming will have a designated rest time. Each child will have their own cot or mat (provided by the YMCA). Children under 6 years of age who are not enrolled in kindergarten or elementary school who remain 5 or more hours shall have the opportunity to rest or nap. Children 3 years of age and older (until they are enrolled in kindergarten) generally shall not nap for more than 2 hours or rest without sleeping for more than 60 minutes. Children in this age group who do not sleep may be permitted to get up and shall be helped to have a quiet time with equipment or activities that will not disturb the napping children. 

Kindergarten Frequently Asked Question

Is your young learner about to embark on their kindergarten journey? Read on for some common questions — along with answers! — that you might have about enrollment, logistics, and more! 
  • Visit the Buehler YMCA preschool and meet with your Early Learning Manager! They are more than happy to give you a tour of our space and assist you in the process of signing your child up for kindergarten!

    Contact your Early Learning Manager, Jenn Stricker, via email ([email protected]) to set up a time to visit, learn more, or register for kindergarten at the Y!

  • No! You do not need to provide lunch and snacks for your child. The Buehler Y caters through Dee’s Catering to provide breakfast and 2 snacks per day. We are licensed through the Department of Child & Family Services (DCFS), and we do not allow outside food into the facility, unless your child has severe allergies and we have a doctor’s note.

  • Yes! We will provide transportation from the district schools if there are enough students enrolled in our kindergarten program to justify the route. We will know more once registration is underway. Paddock Elementary School and Sanborn Elementary School use district transportation to transport students to the Buehler Y.

  • The Department of Child & Family Services (DCFS) requires that any child under the age of 6 who is in a program for 5 or more hours have a rest or nap time. Our kindergarten students will have 15-20 minutes of rest time, during which they will have individual mats.

  • AM and PM students will participate in small and large group activities. Activities will include student-guided exploration, teacher-guided small groups, group meetings, gross motor development, and meal times.

  • Yes! We offer a Schools Day Out Program for an additional fee. Register at the Buehler Y front desk or online.