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The experienced professionals at the Hamilton Area YMCA answer some common questions.

With so many different options for childcare in our community, many parents can become overwhelmed. Fortunately, the Hamilton Area YMCA has provided quality childcare programs for children from pre-school through sixth grade for over a generation. Their staff put together a list of things to consider when choosing the right childcare program for your family.

Is the program licensed?

This is a must! By selecting a licensed program for both pre-school and before/after school care, you are ensuring that the program has met high standards for health safety and quality programming. You can rest assured that the staff-to-child ratio is appropriate, the staff has the requisite training and experience, and proper safety measures are in place.

What is the program philosophy?

Every childcare program has its own philosophy and goals. For example, Y’s Owls preschool focuses on developing your child’s individual potential. Our before/after school program is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing environment that compliments the classroom experience. Youth Sports Club gives parents peace of mind that their middle school-aged children are being taken care of, while also developing healthy lifestyle habits, gaining self-confidence, and building positive relationships with their peers. Make sure the program philosophy matches your family’s goals.

What curriculum is used?

A well-planned curriculum will shape your child’s experience. Y’s Owls uses the Creative Curriculum which is focused on learning through play. Teachers work with individual children to help them develop their skills in several key areas. In our before/after school program, children enjoy programs like Healthy U, art, STEM and also have access to homework support, indoor and outdoor physical activity and participation in service learning projects. Additionally, children are provided a healthy snack. Youth Sports Club draws on the experience of seasoned sports staff to encourage co-ed team participation in a variety of sports such as Soccer, Basketball, Golf and Flag Football.

How experienced is the staff?

Our staff have over 100 years of combined experience and continuing education. We strive to be a partner you can trust. Our caring responsible staff hold CPR, first aid, and child abuse prevention certifications, and is committed to understanding and meeting the individual needs of our families.

How does the organization communicate?

You and your childcare provider need to work as a team in the development of your child. That’s why parent participation and visitation in Y’s Owls Preschool is encouraged, regular parent-teacher conferences are held, and there are many events throughout the year that include the family. In our before/after school and Youth Sports Club programs, parents are kept up to date through regular newsletters, social media and email communication.

Will your child enjoy the program?

You want a program your child will look forward to. Our Y’s Owls Preschoolers can’t wait to play with their friends, take their weekly swimming lessons, and show off their skills on our interactive StarBoard. Our before/after school students look forward to homework help, arts and crafts, and sports and games, and YSC participants will experience the benefits of being part of a team, while building confidence when trying their hand at a variety of sports. They know the staff in our program has an exciting morning or afternoon planned for them when they arrive.

For more information about the Hamilton Area YMCA’s Y’s Owls Preschool, Youth Sports Club, and before/after school programs, visit our website at www.hamiltonymca.org.