Preschool & Pre-K

The mission of our Early Childhood Learning Center is to provide a loving, supportive, safe, and educational environment for the children in our care.

We offer a program for children ages 2½ – 5 years old, that meets the intellectual, moral, social, emotional, and physical needs of each child. We strive to create an atmosphere of acceptance in which the individual needs of each child are considered and where they can flourish and grow under the guidance of qualified staff. Contact our Childcare Director for registration information.

We commit to developing the character of each child and to promote an environment of honesty, kindness, respect, and responsibility.

Our Teachers Follow the NAEYC Core Beliefs of:

  • Excellence and Innovation: We are imaginative risk takers willing to challenge assumptions while being accountable to our mission and fiscally responsible.
  • Transparency: We act with openness and clarity.
  • Reflection: We consider multiple sources of evidence and diverse perspectives to review past performance, note progress and successes, and engage in continuous quality improvement.
  • Equity & Opportunity: We advocate for policies, practices, and systems that promote full and inclusive participation. We confront biases that create barriers and limit the potential of children, families, and early childhood professionals.
  • Collaborative Relationships: We share leadership and responsibility in our work with others. We commit time and effort to ensure diverse participation and more effective outcomes. We act with integrity, respect, and trust.

We take all aspects of a child’s learning into consideration when planning age-appropriate curriculum: academic, social, and emotional.  Our school uses the Creative Curriculum because we feel that it is the most in line with our mission of developing the whole child. The Creative Curriculum is a hands-on approach to learning where children work in small and large groups to problem-solve, create, and explore. However, we know that all children are individuals and therefore learn differently. We respect this fact and utilize components and standards of multiple curriculums to meet the personal developmental level of each child including STEAM, technology, music, and foreign language. This promotes a steady progressive pace where children achieve success.

In addition to academic learning, our curriculum promotes social and emotional growth – children learn best through experience and play. Setting up imaginative play stations that promote cooperation, kindness, communication, conversation, taking turns, and problem solving, help children learn “to be part of a group” are all part of everyday learning in our center.

Swimming instruction, gym classes, foreign language exposure, and formal music/drama instruction add additional creative outlets for our young students.

Components Include:

by, Dr. Gloria Julius

Lately, everyone seems to be talking about STEAM. It’s a hot topic in the world of education and in the business community, but what does STEAM have to do with your preschooler?

What is STEAM?

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. You may think some of these subjects seem lofty for young children to grasp. In some ways, that’s true. Young children may not be ready to understand multiplication or how computers work. But, they can build a strong foundation for future learning by exploring STEAM preschool skills and concepts through play and discussion, then applying those skills through more play.

For young children:

  • Science encourages investigation and answering questions, often involving experimentation.
  • Technology refers to using simple tools like crayons and rulers, as well as more complex ones like microscopes and computers.
  • Engineering refers to recognizing problems and testing solutions.
  • Arts encourage creativity and allow children to illustrate concepts they are learning.
  • Mathematics deals with numbers, but also patterns, shapes, organizational skills and much more.

Why should young children learn STEAM subjects?

  • They can be learned.Children have the ability to learn foundational concepts in these subjects at a young age. Preschools and other childcare providers should nurture STEAM skills and concepts early on and build on them through ongoing opportunities for play and discussion.
  • They are useful. The skills children learn when engaging with STEAM concepts in preschool are transferable and useful across many aspects of their lives. For example, process skills, which include making observations, hypothesizing and critical thinking, are basic skills for math and science but are also valuable skills for learning any subject.
  • They are in demand. Have you ever thought about what your child’s life might be like in 20 years? In some ways it is hard to imagine what career options children might have as adults. One thing is certain, skills in science, technology, engineering and math will be increasingly important. For early education providers, part of our responsibility to children is preparing them for the realities they’ll face later in life.

What should STEAM look like for young children?

  • An important part is introducing children to the right activities at the right times. We introduce children to new skills and concepts when they are developmentally ready, making learning fun and natural. Science, technology, engineering, art and math are part of daily life. Therefore, it makes sense that children should explore these subjects in an integrated way every day through books, discussions, experiments, art projects, educational games and more. This method is far more effective than limiting instruction of STEAM subjects or any subject to only certain times of the day or week.

$1 Million gift renames childcare center to Marion Mann Roberts Early Childhood Learning Center.

Marion Mann Roberts, a long time friend of the Y and generous donor for many years to our annual Give a Kid the Y campaign, passed away in 2003. The Y was fortunate to be named in her will as a recipient of a $1 million endowment.

In the Fall of 2007 a dedication ceremony was held and the center was renamed in her memory to honor Marion’s wish to provide scholarships for less fortunate children.The interest from this gift will be used each year to fund approximately 29 scholarships for childcare and camp – truly a meaningful legacy for the Y and for those it will help.

Marion supported the Y’s mission throughout the years not only with her time and spirit as a trustee, but also as a friend to all. She always made it a point to ask about the children in the center and was delighted when she received personal correspondence from the kids she helped. Sometimes she would come and relax in the Y lobby and just happily observe the activities. She would get a kick out of hearing the kids’ conversations and watching them come and go.

An ardent horsewoman, Marion enjoyed introducing the Girl Scouts of Rockaway Valley Troop No. 8 to the pleasures of horsemanship. She was equally at home delivering lambs at her farm, or flying a small plane, as she was in visiting the museums around the world.

Options & Registration

The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA offers a variety of Preschool & Pre-K program options to meet the various needs within our community. Check out our options and find the right one for you and your family.

Our Staff

The The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA Preschool & Pre-K teachers are responsible for all planning and programming for the individual needs of their class. Find out more about these individuals.