Our Early Childhood Center builds strong kids, strong families, and strong communities through our award-winning co-op preschool program and comprehensive child care. 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.
Co-op Nursery School
Ages 2-5 years old
The Co-op Nursery School offers a rich, supportive learning and socialization environment for young children ages 2-5 that includes active parental involvement. Social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth is fostered through a balanced, developmentally-based program. Our curriculum is focused on play-based learning and enhancing your child's first school experience through parent volunteers and community-based collaboration.
The West Side YMCA Co-op Nursery School was founded in 1964 by a group of parents in the Lincoln Center area who wanted to have more involvement in their children's first school experience. In 2012, the Co-op Nursery School was awarded Outstanding Nursery School of the Year by The Blackboard Awards and continues to provide an excellent educational experience for families enrolled in Co-op Nursery School.
The Co-op Nursery School believes strongly that young children learn through their play and experiences. For our youngest children, this means a special emphasis on the process of separation, adjustment to the school routine, and discovering the joys of new friends, teachers, activities and language. The 3-year-olds continue strengthening and refining social and physical skills, enjoying their role as a member of a group and the pure joy of discovering learning. The 4’s and 5’s enjoy their independence, classroom responsibilities and sharing their knowledge.
We value each child’s unique personality and temperament. Our daily program includes free-choice activities, circle time, story time and music time. In addition to plenty of open-ended play, there are several special projects or activities including movement, cooking, music, science, art and field trips. As a part of the West Side YMCA, the school places great emphasis on physical development and community awareness. Our program includes weekly swimming lessons and gymnasium visits.
The Co-op Nursery School values the presence and involvement of parents. By participating in the classroom as a volunteer, parents see the curriculum development and children interact and gain a true understanding of their child’s school experience. Co-op families also serve on one of several school committees, which sponsor West Side YMCA events and strengthen the community.
The Co-op Nursery School operates from mid-September to mid-June and follows the ISAAGNY school calendar recommended by the Parents League of New York.
2's: 2 or 3 mornings (9 AM - 12 PM)
3's: 5 mornings (9 AM - 1 PM)
4's: 5 full days (9 AM - 2 PM)
Our school is housed in the West Side YMCA—an architectural treasure and landmark building. The Co-op Nursery School has well-equipped classrooms, with pediatric toilets in the classrooms. Our Early Childhood wing includes a science room, library room, art room, and indoor playspaces. Children and parents enjoy recreational and educational opportunities throughout the YMCA, including the use of one of the two pools, which are kept at a temperature comfortable for children. The children play in the gymnasium, indoor playspaces, and in Central Park.
Each class is also staffed with two teachers, many of the faculty members hold advanced degrees in Early Childhood Education or in a related field. Our program also has specialists in music, movement, science, art, and swimming.
Thank you for your interest in the West Side Y Early Childhood programs. Please note that 2019-2020 Co-op Nursery School applications were due by February 1, 2019. If you are interested in learning more about the Co-op Nursery School program please reach out to Bridget Sieling at email@example.com.
Ages 6 months-5 years old
Tender Care is a comprehensive child care center for children six months to 5 years of age. Designed to provide flexible child care for working parents, Tender Care is open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM with options for full time or part time care.
Tender Care is committed to providing a safe, supportive living and 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. In our age-based program children take special classes in swimming, science, music, movement and art.
9 AM-3 PM or 8 AM-6 PM
2, 3, and 5 day schedules available
Our school is housed in the West Side YMCA—an architectural treasure and landmark building. The school has well-equipped classrooms, with pediatric toilets in the classrooms. Our Early Childhood wing includes a science room, library room, art room, and indoor playspaces. Children and parents enjoy recreational and educational opportunities throughout the YMCA, including the use of one of the two pools, which are kept at a temperature comfortable for children. The children play in the gymnasium, indoor playspaces, and in Central Park.
Each class is also staffed with more than two teachers, many of the faculty members hold advanced degrees in Early Childhood Education or in a related field. Our program also has specialists in music, movement, science, art, and swimming.
Interested families can apply online, and will then be contacted by the school to make an appointment for a tour. The school requires that each child participates in a playgroup experience with a member of our staff. After the school has received a completed application and $75 application fee, a date for the playgroup will be arranged with you by the school.
Financial assistance is available. The school welcomes students of any race, color, gender, religion and national or ethnic origin. It does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial assistance program or other school-administered programs.
We're here for you. Contact our early childhood team today!