Our Early Childhood Center builds strong kids, families, and communities through our comprehensive program. Our robust curriculum and flexible schedules are structured to meet your family’s needs and provide a safe space for your family to grow and play together.

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year for our Early Childhood Center, which includes our UPK program. Please see below for more information and check back often for updates. We will post information as it becomes available.

Tour our program with the below videos! 

Universal Pre-K

About the Program

The West Side YMCA presents NYC’s free Universal Pre-Kindergarten, a quality program five days a week! Children will be in contact with highly qualified, certified teachers and personnel. Our curriculum places a high priority on creating an environment in the classroom that encourages children to experiment, explore, and pursue their own interests.

How to Apply

Registration is now open!

Contact us by e-mail or phone to register. You can also stop by our offices at 5 West 63rd Street and pick up a paper application. To register online for West Side YMCA's Pre-K program as your first choice, enter code 03MATG. 

For more information, please contact Bridget Sieling at bsieling@ymcanyc.org.

Families with children born in 2017 should apply through the DOE myschools website: https://www.myschools.nyc

Early Childhood Center

About our Early Childhood Center

Our Early Childhood Center is a comprehensive child care program for children 1 year to 4 years of age. For children ages 1-3, our school is offered through a fee-based program. For children 4 years of age, our school will be offered through UPK. Designed to provide a flexible schedule for working parents, our Early Childhood Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 5:30PM.

Philosophy, Curriculum, and Schedules

Our Early Childhood Center is committed to providing a safe, supportive learning environment for young children. Teachers create a warm and loving atmosphere while offering a developmentally based, engaging curriculum, where children can play, discover and learn. The development of independence, trust and initiative is fostered through a balanced program of free play and structure, quiet and active play, and group and individual time. Learning centers in each room include science, dramatic play, block building, library, art, music and manipulative materials.  Our age-based program incorporates science, music, movement, and art in its foundation.

Our Schedule

  • Fee-Based (Ages 1-3 years): 8:30am-5:30pm
  • UPK (Age 4 years): 8:30am-3:00pm
  • Optional Extended Day: Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 5:30pm
Facility and Staff

Our school is located within the West Side YMCA—an architectural treasure and landmark building. The school has well-equipped classrooms, with child-sized toilets and sinks in the classrooms. Our Early Childhood Center wing includes a library, indoor play spaces and a full-sized gymnasium. Children and parents enjoy recreational and educational opportunities throughout the YMCA. Each class is staffed with at least two teachers, and many of the faculty members hold advanced degrees in Early Childhood Education or in a related field. 

Early Childhood Admissions and Tuition



Program Based on Age

Sept. 1st 2021

Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5:30 PM

Monthly Rate

Toddlers (12-24 months)


Two’s and Three’s


Financial assistance is available. 

Registration & Tours



Interested families should fill out this Prospective Family Form and return to Bridget Sieling at bsieling@ymcanyc.org


Interested families should contact Bridget Sieling at bsieling@ymcanyc.org for information regarding enrollment or program inquiries and to schedule a tour of our school. 


COVID Protocols



Due to the nature of COVID-19, we are taking considerable steps to ensure the health and safety of all children and families in our care. All guidelines, best practices, and steps put into place stem from mandates and recommendations by New York State, New York City, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and the YMCA of Greater New York.

PPE Requirements
Everyone entering our facility 2 years of age and older must wear a mask. Gloves are optional. Children will be asked to keep their masks on for the duration of the day except during lunch, snack, and nap times. We will do our best to find additional times where children can spread further apart than 6ft to allow for extra mask-less leisure time. If a child displays difficulty donning a mask, we will work with them and the family to provide comfort and support until they are able to wear their mask throughout the day with ease. If children request a moment without the mask on outside of the designated timeframes, we will absolutely honor that request so they can take their moment. If children have any medical needs that restrict them from wearing a mask, please provide this to us in writing from the child’s physician.

Please send your child to school with one mask on and an extra mask in their bag daily.

Health Screening
All individuals, including staff, entering the facility must pass a temperature check and health screening at the entrance. Once this screening has been completed, they may enter.

Arrival will take place at the 64th Street entrance from 8:30am-9:00am. We ask all families to line up along the side of the building. Please be mindful of social distancing. Once at the door, you can complete your health screening and proceed to enter. For any late arrivals, please utilize the 63rd street entrance. Security will alert the Early Childhood administrative staff to meet you to conduct your health screening. Once inside the facility, you may escort your child through the Early Childhood wing, to the classroom door. Parents/guardians, please do not enter the room. Kindly stop at the door and allow the staff to check your child in on the sign-in sheet. You will provide your name, child’s name, and confirm that your child has their extra mask, snack, lunch, water/juice for the day.

Near the entrance of the classroom, you will find a shoe hanger. Please locate your child’s designated shoe spot, assist your child with taking off their shoes and help them enter the room. Staff will receive the child at the doorway and help your child into their indoor shoes.

Dismissal will take place at the 64th Street entrance from 5:00pm-5:30pm. We ask all families to line up along the side of the building. Please be mindful of social distancing. Once at the door, you can complete your health screening and proceed to enter. For any early pick-ups, utilize the 63rd street entrance. Security will alert the Early Childhood administrative staff to meet you to conduct your health screening. Once inside the facility, you may proceed to your child’s classroom and stop at the door. Staff will assist your child with gathering their belongings and taking off their indoor shoes. The staff will also check the child out with you on the sign-out sheet. You may then assist your child into their outdoor shoes at this time.

Indoor Shoes
In order to prevent exposure to outside germs, we ask for you to provide a brand-new pair of sneakers for your child to keep at school as their indoor shoes. If brand-new shoes are not available, please thoroughly clean and sanitize a pair of sneakers to the best of your ability.

Staff will also adhere to the indoor/outdoor shoe policy.

Visiting Policy
To decrease exposure and contain our classroom pods, we are limiting visitation to the hallway of the classroom. Parents/guardians will not be able to enter the classrooms at this time. All children and staff in the classroom must remain static.

Classroom Setup
Rooms have been set up to allow for social distancing. Only two children per table at opposite ends of a rectangular table. Tables are distanced from other tables. Naptime will also be social distanced. Selected toys and materials in the room are easy to sanitize. Staff will clean toys on a daily basis using a water and bleach solution. Staff will also clean the room throughout the day with an extra focus on high-touch areas. Our facility cleaning staff will do more extensive cleaning every night.

Outdoor Play
As it is more difficult to prevent exposure of people around us in public, outdoor activities will be temporarily limited. As a result, we will only be utilizing Central Park as an outdoor location for our Early Childhood program activities. Local trips and other outdoor locations are temporarily postponed. To increase time for movement, we are creating schedules that allow each group to maximize on the time they have in the indoor play space, gymnasium, and any other large areas of the facility where they can move, stretch and have fun!!

Enrichment Activities
To ensure groups remain static, the use of enrichment specialists, whether contracted or YMCA staff, will not be permitted at this time. This includes the use of the swimming pool as swim instructors would be considered enrichment specialists. As a result, our full-time teachers will incorporate enrichments into the schedule and will facilitate these themselves. Such enrichments include art, STEM, dance, etc.

Sick Policy Pertaining to COVID-19
Staff will conduct health checks of each participant upon arrival. If a child shows symptoms of illness, in relation to symptoms of COVID-19, the child will not be able to check-in for the day. If the child becomes ill during the school day and begins to display symptoms, the child will be escorted to a designated isolation room where they will remain under supervision of a staff member. We will contact parents/guardians and/or additional emergency contacts to schedule for your child to be picked up. In this event, your child must self-quarantine and follow guidelines by the CDC and DOH. Your child may not return to the program until symptom free, with physician documentation confirming negative test results. All staff must adhere to this same policy and will not be allowed to return to work until symptom free, with documentation from a physician confirming a negative test result.

If a child or staff contracts COVID-19, parents/guardians and staff must notify the school administration immediately. If someone in the child or staff’s household contracts COVID-19, we must also be notified immediately. The YMCA will follow the guidance of DOHMH and NYC Testing and Tracing regarding notifications, quarantining, and classroom or program closures.

If ever a case of COVID-19 should arise causing a classroom or school closure, we will continue to engage all children remotely. We will also work with all affected families on tuition adjustments.

Please note that these guidelines and best practices are subject to change at any time. We are closely monitoring all updates from the aforementioned entities and will update all families accordingly as things change. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

2020-2021 School Calendar

Tuesday, September 1

Parent Orientation (ZOOM)

Thursday, September 3

Parent Orientation (ZOOM): 5:30pm-6:30pm

Monday, September 7


Tuesday, September 8 

First Day for Students

Monday, October 12

PROGRAM CLOSED — Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day

Monday, November 2 — Friday November 6


Tuesday, November 3

Picture Day

Wednesday, November 11

PROGRAM CLOSED — Veteran's Day - Professional Development

Wednesday, November 25

Early Dismissal-3:OOp.m. for all children - Thanksgiving Holiday

Thursday, November 26 — Friday, November 27

PROGRAM CLOSED - Thanksgiving Holiday

Monday, December 21 —January 1

PROGRAM CLOSED - Winter Recess

Monday, January 4

Program Resumes

Monday, January 11 — Friday, January 15


Monday, January 18

PROGRAM CLOSED — Martin Luther King's Jr. Birthday

Monday, February 15

PROGRAM CLOSED - Presidents' Day

Friday, March 19

PROGRAM CLOSED — Professional Development

Monday, April 12 — Friday, April 16


Friday, May 28

PROGRAM CLOSED — Professional Development

Monday, May 31


Friday, June 18


Monday, July 5

PROGRAM CLOSED — In Observance of Independence Day

Monday, July 12 — Friday, July 16


Monday, August 23 — Thursday, August 26

Stepping Up Ceremony/Graduation Ceremony — Regular School Day

Friday, August 27

LAST DAY OF PROGRAM - Early Dismissal - 3:OOpm for all children

Monday, August 30— Friday, September 10

PROGRAM CLOSED — Staff Professional Development & Clean-Up

Community News

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Book Drive

Diverse is who we are, inclusive is who we choose to be. The West Side YMCA seeks to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment in everything that we do. Our goal is to have a library for our Early Childhood Center that reflects those same values and beliefs. Throughout the year we will highlight different groups of people whose lives, stories and voices are not shared often enough. For February we began our book drive with a focus on Black lives.

Black History Month remembers, honors, and celebrates the contributions that Black lives have made for our country, world and for all of us as individuals. Young children notice and think about race.  Adults often worry that talking about race will encourage racial bias in children, but the opposite is true. Silence about race reinforces racism by letting children draw their own conclusions based on what they see. Teachers and families can play a powerful role in helping children of all ages develop positive attitudes about race and diversity, guiding them to develop skills which promote a more just future. 


  • Donate a book from the curated list
  • Speak to your family and loved ones about race and the importance of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Celebrate Black lives all year long
  • We will mark the books in our library with a special bookplate in your honor for your donation!

Thank you!


Join our Online Community!

Stay up to date by following us on social:



We're here for you. Contact our Early Childhood Center team today!