Success Starts Early

Choosing the right preschool can be the start to a lifelong love of learning! It’s why the Y’s preschools 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! 

Preschool is currently offered at four YMCA of Metro Chicago locations: Buehler YMCA, Fry Family YMCA, Indian Boundary YMCA, and Sage YMCA. 

A child coloring

Focus on Development

Children using blocks at their table

Preschool Registration

Inquiry Form
Children finger painting

What to Expect of Y Care

  • 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. 
  • We offer preschool for children ages 2 to 5 at four Y locations: 
  • Visit your local YMCA preschool and meet with your Youth Development Director or Early Learning Program 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!
  • Registration for preschool at the YMCA  is accepted year round, provided that there are openings in the classroom. 
  • Most preschool settings require children to be potty trained. However, at the YMCA, we work hard to accommodate your child’s needs. Check in with your local Y preschool to ask if they have any programs for non-potty trained children. 
  • Our YMCA preschools have programs operating from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check with your local center for their specific hours and current programs. 
  • Preschool children can be grouped by age: ages 2 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 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 per8 children age 2 and 1 teacher per 10 children  ages 3 to 5.
  • 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 creative curriculums 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 an all-organic 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. 
  • The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) requires all children in full day programs to be offered a nap time.