Families welcome to attend open houses to see the new child care center, meet the teachers and learn more about the program

Minneapolis, MN – The YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, recently announced a new Early Childhood Learning Center will be opening in Rochester on March 4, 2019.

This new Early Childhood Learning Center, located on 2364 Valleyhigh Drive NW in Rochester, will serve 155 children in the community. There are currently 13 other Y programs offering full-day child care for kids ages six weeks to five years and part-day preschool, in the greater Twin Cities where approximately 98 percent of graduating YMCA Preschool & Pre-K students surpass local school district Kindergarten readiness requirements.

“We are excited to be opening another Early Childhood Learning Center that will support families in Rochester and surrounding communities,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the North. “Children are the future and the YMCA is committed to investing in them by providing experiences that help youth grow and develop into confident, caring, happy and healthy individuals.”

Gunderson added that the YMCA Early Childhood Learning programs are rooted in the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and paired with the Creative Curriculum educational framework. The Y creates intentional Learn Through Play experiences designed to develop a child’s potential through creative, intellectual, emotional, social and physical skills while they grow. Children learn best through interaction and exploration because play supports educational activities. The YMCA early learning programs are guided by the Healthy Kids Initiative, an intentional strategy to expose all youth to healthy eating, nutrition and physical activity while in the Y’s care in order to achieve equitable health outcomes for both young people and their families. The Y uses CATCH, HEPA and Farm to YMCA programs to support this initiative.

The Y’s early childhood learning programs, which have earned national accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and 4 Star Parent Aware and licensed by the State of Minnesota, give kids the chance to explore freely through:

  • STEM activities that help with math and science comprehension 
  • arts and humanities projects that develop fine motor skills
  • physical activities and nutritious food to encourage healthy habits
  • swimming and water safety classes in a safe aquatics environment
  • enrichment opportunities, including music & movement classes and an introduction to languages like Spanish or American Sign Language
  • interactive white boards that help prepare children for their future school classroom experience

These activities help to develop skills like critical thinking, communication and creativity. The Y offers a warm and welcoming environment in which every child can thrive. Most importantly, children have a place to grow with the guidance of caring adults while their parents are at work. 

Early enrollment is available through April 1, 2019. Families who choose early enrollment will be able to sign up for a free, six-month YMCA membership or $535 in Y Bucks, program “dollars” that can be used toward a wide variety of fee-based classes and programs designed to support healthy habits that will make a difference for the entire family.  Some restrictions apply. The YMCA offers financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition for child care. YMCA membership is not required to enroll. To enroll, go to ymcamn.org/rochestereclc, or call 507-200-4024.  

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to attend open houses to see the new child care center, meet the teachers and learn more about the program.  A Grand Open House will be on
February 9, 2019 at 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Dates may be subject to change. Check the website ymcamn.org/rochestereclc for up-to-date information. 

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 162 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across 12 counties of the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 28 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 350,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.