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Communities thrive where high-quality child care access is prioritized

Young children need a supportive, nurturing place to learn, play, and grow while their parents or caregivers work. Child care is an essential service—a key part of the social and economic infrastructure that allows Minnesotans to pursue professional opportunities and contribute to building healthy communities. Supporting high-quality early care and education leads to positive outcomes for children, families, and society now, while also setting the stage for positive outcomes in the future.

As seen during global pandemic shutdowns, holistic child care programming is also a critical community resource when it comes to safety, food security, academic success, emotional well-being, and so much more.


For over 145 years, the Y of the North has been a leading partner in child care, providing age-appropriate and culturally and linguistically responsive programs that support families in nurturing the healthy development of their child(ren).

Caring Hands

It has always been a central part of our mission to ensure child care is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality—proactively responding to the ever-changing needs of young children and their families.


While the need for child care continues to grow exponentially, we turn to our community of supporters to help us fuel our mission through our Child Care Fund.

Your gift today will go right to work supporting children, families, and entire communities by ensuring access to Y child care programming.

Leading the Way in Youth Development

We are committed to nurturing the healthy development and wellbeing of every child at every stage.

We do this by supporting their social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and linguistic growth through developmentally appropriate, research-based curriculums that meet each child’s unique needs.

Early Childhood

From the earliest stages of life, the Y provides responsive care from highly trained staff and enriching learning environments for children that prepare them for the transition to kindergarten and beyond. Our nine metro Early Childhood Learning Centers (ECLCs) offer full-day, year-round care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and pre-kindergarteners, ranging in age from six weeks to five years.

98% percent of graduating YMCA preschool and pre-kindergarten students exceed state kindergarten readiness standards.

School-Age Response

Through partnerships with several school districts, the Y’s before-and-after school care and school-release day programs provide kids in kindergarten through 5th grade with age-appropriate physical and educational activities that encourage them to explore who they are and what they can achieve. Parents and caregivers can rely on the flexible options offered and feel reassured knowing they have a safe place to take their child(ren) outside of school hours.

YMCA School Age Care (SAC) programs serve over 5,392 kids annually across 42 locations.

Summer Enrichment

Our organization continues to be a proactive leader in preventing academic learning loss through summer programming. Summer Power, Nature Power, Summer Uproar, Summer Sports, and Day Camps all provide unmatched opportunities for exploring, making friends, developing independence, learning new skills, and connecting with the outdoors.

Each year, more than 25,827 kids of all backgrounds participate in exceptional summer programming, allowing caregivers to maintain their work schedules.

We are on a mission to provide the highest quality across our programming, invest in our staff and retain talented team members, and expand our enrollment numbers—all while maintaining an affordable price point for families.

The only way this can be achieved is through donor support to our Child Care Fund.

Did you know…?

  • On average, Minnesota families spend over $16,000 each year to send one child to a licensed child care center, and for those making the state median household income, this represents over 20% of their total annual income. For child care to be considered affordable, this percentage should be no more than 7%.

  • Investing in child care is not only beneficial for those in our community—it also helps fuel a healthy, thriving economy. Every dollar spent on early care and education programs has shown to generate $8.60 in economic activity.

  • 10% of children who participate in the Y’s youth development and child care programs are able to do so through donor-supported financial assistance.


As a trusted leader in youth development with over 90 child care sites across the state, our goal at the Y is to eliminate barriers to access so that positive outcomes are achievable for every child and family in our community. Your support helps make this a reality!

Here at the Y, we're dedicated to providing unmatched opportunities for access to high-quality child care.

We have dedicated over $2.5M annually to child care assistance.

These investments include ECLC and SAC scholarships, free memberships that allow families to utilize drop-in child care at branch locations, and financial aid for summer programs.

You Can Make an Immediate Impact

Combat Staffing Shortages

Your support will help improve ongoing staffing shortages by offering every child care employee a competitive wage, full workplace benefits, and professional development opportunities.

Meet Developmental Needs

Your generosity will allow us to meet the increasing social-emotional needs of children through appropriate staff training and hiring of community-based professionals who are experts in this increasingly demanding area.

Giving Hand
Fill the Funding Gap

Your donation will assist in filling the gap in state funding for day-to-day operations so that more dollars can be spent on providing financial aid for the growing number of families in need.

A Bright Future for All

Will you donate TODAY to help ensure every child and family is equipped to thrive?

By supporting our Child Care Fund, you are investing in the future of our communities and helping create the best possible outcomes for ALL.