How Do I Know What Childcare Program is Right For My Family? The experienced professionals at the Hamilton Area YMCA answer some common questions.

With so many different options for childcare in our community, many parents can become overwhelmed. Fortunately, the Hamilton Area YMCA has provided quality childcare programs for children from pre-school through sixth grade for over a generation. Their staff put together a list of things to consider when choosing the right childcare program for your family.

Is the program licensed?

This is a must! By selecting a licensed program for both pre-school and before/after school care, you are ensuring that the program has met basic standards for health and safety. You can rest assured that the staff-to-child ratio is appropriate, the staff has the requisite training and experience, and proper safety measures are in place.

What is the program philosophy?

Every childcare program has its own philosophy and goals. For example, Y’s Owls preschool focuses on developing your child’s individual potential. Our before/after school program is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing environment that complements the classroom experience. Make sure the program philosophy matches your family’s goals.

What curriculum is used?

A well-planned curriculum will shape your child’s experience. Y’s Owls uses the Creative Curriculum which is focused on learning through play. Teachers work with individual children to help them develop their skills in several key areas. In our before/after school program, children enjoy programs like HealthyU, which encourages physical activity and proper nutrition, and skill building programs like KidzLit and KidzMath that compliment their academic coursework.

How experienced is the staff?

The Hamilton Area YMCA’s Senior Director of Child Learning and Development has been with the organization for over 25 years, and some of our before/after school site directors are equally tenured. They have the experience and continuing education to be a partner you can trust.

How does the organization communicate?

You and your childcare provider need to work as a team in the development of your child. That’s why parent participation and visitation in Y’s Owls Preschool is encouraged, regular parent-teacher conferences are held, and there are many events throughout the year that include the family. In our before/after school program, parents are kept up to date through regular newsletters, social media and email communication.

Will your child enjoy the program?

You want a program your child will look forward to. Our Y’s Owls Preschoolers can’t wait to play with their friends, take their weekly swimming lessons, and show off their skills on our interactive StarBoard. Our before/after school students look forward to homework help, arts and crafts, and sports and games. They know the staff in our program has an exciting morning or afternoon planned for them when they arrive.

For more information about the Hamilton Area YMCA’s Y’s Owls Preschool and our before/after school programs, visit our website at

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