Skip to main content

Individualized Learning for Future Success

In every program and every classroom, the Alexandria Area YMCA addresses the specific needs of children based not only on age, but also individual pace of development. We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life and future success.

young boy coloring withy a crayon
Infant Care
6 weeks – 16 months of age

Our goal is to create a strong partnership and incorporate parental care requests in the development of healthy, thriving children.

Staff members build positive individual relationships with at least one adult for every four infants to create a trusting bond, develop new skills and manage emotions.

Toddler Care
16 - 33 months of age

Our goal is to help children gain a strong foundation for learning through interaction and exploration. During the day, we team up with your toddler to build communication skills, master motor skills, and communicate emotions and needs effectively.

Classroom experiences develop self-control, cooperation and communication skills in a nurturing environment that includes at least one adult for every seven toddlers.

Preschool Care
33 months – 5 years

Preschool programming and curriculum is offered throughout our child care day, and kids develop cognitive skills through hands-on activities that create excitement for successful learning. YMCA preschoolers develop a foundation for successful learning that covers literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, technology and healthy habits.

Children get the attention they need as they gear up for structured classroom experiences with at least one adult for every ten preschool learners.

Kindergarten Readieness
4 – 5 years

Preschool programming and curriculum is offered throughout the child care day so students can develop the social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills they need for kindergarten. Pre-kindergarteners develop a passion for learning and experience a true sense of achievement in literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, technology and healthy habits.

Children get the attention they need while they gear up for structured kindergarten classroom experiences, with at least one adult for every ten kindergarten readiness learners.

Short-Term & Drop-In Care

Alexandria Area YMCA Child Care is pleased to offer drop-in and short-term child care to families Monday – Friday, 6:00 am – 6:00 pm. When plans change and you find yourself without child care, the Y is a great place for your children to explore, learn, and grow.

Learn More

gray wave transition

Our Curriculum

Early Learning Success

A fundamental premise of the Early Learning Success Curriculum is that children matter. It's a simple premise, but it's at the heart of what we believe is important in providing quality programming for children.

Whole Day, Whole Child

The YMCA believes that a child's job is to take in new learning through every activity and experience in which they engage. We take pride in providing activities and experiences that address the need of the 'whole child.'


Our curriculum is designed to support and enhance every child's learning in all development domains:

  • Social and emotional development 
  • Approaches to learning 
  • Creativity and the arts 
  • Language and literacy development 
  • Cognitive development, including math, science, and social systems 
  • Physical and motor development

Observing Children

We use observation to measure child development and how well our programming is meeting the needs of each child.

Child-focused observations will:

  • Show the interests of the child
  • Show how a child interacts with others
  • Show teaching practices that positively impact a child’s abilities
  • Provide information to share with families.

Program-focused can answer:

  • Are children productively engaged in activities?
  • Do parents have questions or concerns?
  • Do our schedules and routines reflect the needs of the children?

Planning & Scheduling

Schedules and routines are important for children because they provide consistency, giving children a sense of security, allowing teachers and children to build trust.

Scheduled activities include:

  • Indoor and outdoor gross motor play
  • Quiet activities (painting, reading)
  • Active choices (music, gym time)

Interest Areas

Interest areas encourage children to make decisions where they are in control of their learning. Activities include:

  • Creative art
  • Science
  • Block play
  • Manipulatives and math
  • Dramatic play
  • Reading and writing
  • Music and movement
  • Sensory experiences

Methods of Delivery

Different instructional delivery methods are used to address the many different ways children learn, including:

  • Free exploration
  • One-on-one
  • Small group activities
  • Large group activities
  • Child-Directed activities
  • Leader-Directed activities


Our curriculum supports skill development for STEM education as we believe that all children should be:

  • Problem solvers
  • Innovators
  • Inventors
  • Self-reliant
  • Logical thinkers
  • Technologically literate