About the program

Our preschool programs focus on preparing children for kindergarten. Classrooms utilize either the Creative Curriculum or Tools of the Mind Curriculum to help children develop skills in literacy, mathematics, science, social and emotional development and problem solving.

Tuition Assistance

New Jersey is providing tuition assistance through Dec. 30 for eligible residents with school-age children ages 5-13. Families with incomes up to $150,000 are eligible for up to $1,900 in full-time child care assistance. Part-time assistance is also available.  

To apply visit Proof of income and a notice/announcement from your child’s school of a remote learning scheduling including hours are required.

The Y strives to make child care tuition more affordable for all families, so that kids can receive the educational, physical, and social benefits of our programs, while reducing the stress on parents juggling work and household responsibilities with the uncertainties of life. Through our Y for All Fund, qualifying families can receive a reduced rate on their child care tuition. Even if you don’t think you would qualify for assistance, we encourage you to apply.


Early Learning Child Care Interest Form

health and safety measures playbook for child care

Guide to Child Care

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East Orange YMCA

  • Address: 100 North Arlington Ave., East Orange, NJ
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., with before and after school care available.
  • Contact: Sharon Parker, 973-673-5588, x104 or

Program features:

  • Free child care for ages 3-4 from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC
  • Tools of the Mind Curriculum
  • Smart board technology
  • Uniforms and more

Greater Bergen County YMCA

Child Care Open House

10am-1pm on Saturday, December 12 - In-person


  • Address: Happy Day ECLC, 360 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601
  • Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Contact: Mary Soto, ECLC Director, 201-487-6600 x211 or by email at

Program features:

  • Hands-on and creative play using Blocks, Dramatic Play Toys and Games
  • Areas for Art, Library, Discovery, Sand & Water, Music & Movement
  • Daily access to gym and playground
  • Weekly swim lessons

South Mountain YMCA

  • Address: 10 West Parker Ave. Maplewood, NJ
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Contact: Jennifer MacAfee, director of Early Childhood Learning Center, 973-762-0860 or

Program features:

  • Pretend play
  • Learning areas for science and math, literacy, social studies, and art
  • Manipulative area (math/logic/literacy/fine motor skills)
  • Gym time
  • Enrichment programs in sports, cooking, dance and more

Wayne YMCA

  • Address: ABC Early Childhood Learning Center, 1 Pike Dr., Wayne
  • Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Contact: Jessica Malas, center director, 973-595-0100 or

Program features:

  • Learning centers for exploring
  • Indoor and Outdoor Play
  • Indoor pool for swim lessons
  • Dance Studio for Creative Movement Enrichment

West Essex YMCA

  • Address: Peanut Shell Early Childhood Learning Center, 706 Regent St. (Regent Street Office Park) Building #7, Livingston, NJ
  • Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Contact: Jaime Behringer, Assistant Director, 973-533-1511 or

Program features:

  • Housekeeping and dress up area
  • Learning areas for socialization and social studies, science and math, art, reading and writing
  • Manipulative area (math/logic/literacy/fine motor)
  • Water/sand table
  • Gym time
  • Weekly Swim and Gym Session, a Music and Movement Class, and optional Computer and Music Classes for all preschool children

Parent Resources

Tips for Reading with Your Preschooler

Screen-free Activities


"I've been really struggling with how [the school district] has been handling things and whether to send Jack back to school, and my thoughts consistently come back to 'why do I feel okay sending Nolan back to daycare?' and it's really because I trust everyone at the Y." - Nicole S.

“[We] feel there could be no better testament to how amazing Peanut Shell is and how the curriculum and programs really do set the kids up for success once they leave from both a social/emotional standpoint but also academically. Thank you to you both and your staff for all you do for the families at Peanut Shell.” - Beth C.

“You were an answer to my prayers. COVID has forced me to work from home with a rambunctious 3-year-old. Finding your facility and to learn that you were offering childcare services was heaven sent. I was impressed with your COVID safety precautions and policies. I know my child definitely benefited from being around other kids and having the option to place her in a secure, clean, and spacious facility was all I needed to see and hear about. I appreciate your dedicated and kind staff, and I love the bright curriculum/fun schedule you had for my child. It takes a community to raise a child and East Orange YMCA is that for me. Thank you so much!” - LaKesha E.

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