The Lasting Impact of Early Learning Programs

Last updated: January 14, 2020, at 12:51 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 14, 2020, at 9:47 a.m. PT

Young girl at a world globe

The things they learn today become a foundation for kids’ passions and set kids up for a lifetime of learning. Dr. Jessica Alvarado says it’s a common misperception that early childhood education is only about learning basic skills. “It’s so much more than that,” she says. “It’s a time when children learn critical social and emotional skills and a partnership is formed between the child, their parents and the teacher. When this is done successfully, it lays the groundwork for it to continue throughout the child’s education.” 

At the Y, we’re setting the stage for kids to be their best selves, and to live a life with learning and growing at the center. Here’s how we help preschoolers get the right footing: 


From celebrating birthdays to making the most of every day, there are tons of ways to play at the Y.  Take full advantage of the Kids Zone, a chance for kids to play with other kids with caring staff while you work out or Parents’ Night Out for an evening out for you and a night of fun for them!  When it comes to birthdays, we have tons of options, so there’s something for every kid. 

Swimming Lessons 

Our incremental preschool swim lessons help kids get comfortable in the water and learn basic water safety. Don’t worry about picking the right class, a swim assessment will be held on the first day of each session to match your child with their class level.  

Preschool & Camp 

We’ve got you covered during the school year and summer break. Make sure your kids are learning and growing as they prepare for Kindergarten in our child care programs. Then, when it’s time for fun in the sun, leap into hands-on learning, outdoor exploration and making new friends in a safe, structured camp just for preschoolers! 


Let’s get in the game! By learning the game, of course. The Y is the perfect place to introduce your preschooler to sports. They will learn the rules of the game and basic skills, but the focus is on inclusion, teamwork, sportsmanship and, of course, having fun.  

Enrichment Activities 

Help kids find their next favorite thing! From dancing, painting and creating to science experiments, theater, cheerleading and martial arts, we have something for every kid.  Our programs engage kids in creative activities that build artistic and academic skills, develop discipline, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and foster a sense of achievement and self-esteem. 

Family Activities 

We’re the experts at helping strong families grow. Get outside together with Y Guides or spend an evening at your local YMCA for family nights with movies or activities. If you're searching for active, healthy, affordable fun that your family can enjoy together, you'll find it at the Y.