Minneapolis, MN – The YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will celebrate the grand opening of a new Early Childhood Learning Center.

This new YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center is conveniently located at 326 16th Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus and is licensed to serve children of faculty, staff, students and community in 10 infant, toddler and preschool classrooms. There are currently 11 other Y Early Childhood Learning Centers in the greater Twin Cities where 98 percent of graduating YMCA Preschool & Pre-K students surpass local school district Kindergarten readiness requirements.

“We are excited to be opening an Early Childhood Learning Center that will support families at the University of Minnesota and surrounding communities,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the North.” “We are thrilled to partner with the University of Minnesota to care for children who 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.”

The YMCA Early Childhood Learning programs are rooted in the Y’s core values of caring, equity, honesty, respect and responsibility. From those basic values comes a child care experience designed to develop a child’s potential through creative, intellectual, emotional, social and physical skills while they grow. The Y’s Learn Through Play is based on children learning a lot through interaction and exploration because playing is learning. For example, tea time builds organizational skills, playing with blocks teaches innovation and so on.

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 Aware and licensed by the State of Minnesota, give kids the chance to explore freely through:

  • sensory 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 aquatic environment
  • enrichment opportunities, including music & movement classes and an introduction to languages like Spanish or American Sign Language

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.

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new Early Childhood Learning Center; hear from YMCA, University of Minnesota and community leaders on the importance of this new Center serving families; and enjoy special artwork and fun march by the youth participating at the Center. U of M’s Goldy and the Y’s Sneakers mascots will be joining in the fun, too.

YMCA of the North

YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center at University of Minnesota Ribbon Cutting Celebration 

YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center 
University of Minnesota East Bank campus
Outdoor Playground Area 
326 16th Ave SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 

Wednesday, September 29
4:00 Program and Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Tours follow

For more information on the YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center at the University of Minnesota, visit www.ymcanorth.org/eclc/locations/ymca-early-childhood-learning-center.

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 165 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcanorth.org.