Early Learning Academy

Welcome to the Y's Early Learning Academy!

The human brain develops most between birth to age five, making the preschool years a crucial part of a child's education. Our Early Learning Academy focuses on nurturing your child's development by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance.

We use Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment Tool in our child carepreschool, and kindergarten, giving parents the option for full-day, full-year care OR half-day preschool. Our curriculum is research-based and focuses on science, social studies and “first hand” experiences as a segue to learning. Children develop confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills necessary for Kindergarten.

The Early Learning Academy offers a Lending Library to provide children and families with a quality reading program that aligns with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Our Lending Library uses Usborne books and more and allows children to choose a book weekly to take home and read with their parents. A literacy activity is also provided. Research shows that children who are read to consistently by their parents often begin reading earlier than their peers.

Click here to read what parents have to say about our Early Learning Academy.

For information on school-age child care, visit our before and after school based program for students in Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, and Newark School Districts.

 

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Infants01Our Early Learning Academy has 2 locations at both Central Branch in Plano, IL and West Branch in Sandwich, IL.

We offer a full day / full year ages 0-3 years licensed program for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos where our highly trained and qualified teachers provide individualized care, create environments that support and encourage exploration, ensure children's health and safety and develop partnerships with families. We use Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment Tool in all of our classrooms. Our curriculum is research-based and focuses on science, social studies and “first hand” experiences as a segue to learning.

INFANTS (6 weeks - 15 months; 1:4 Ratio)
In the infant classroom, our primary emphasis is meeting the infant’s daily needs and providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment. Children are provided with experiences that foster and develop their cognitive, social/emotional, and motor skills while encouraging their independence. Infants are engaged in developmentally appropriate toys, books, stories, and fingerplays throughout the day. They are learning through routines and attachments to their caregivers. Infant daily nap and meal schedule are based on the infant’s individual needs.

TODDLERS (16-24 months; 1:5 Ratio)
In the toddler classroom, children are introduced to a more structured and regular routine. Children are provided with an environment that encourages exploration and curiosity through child-initiated and teacher-guided activities. Toddlers have opportunities to make choices in art, sensory, exploration, problem-solving, music, books, self-help skills, and interactive play. The toddler classroom provides a rest time as part of the daily schedule.

TWOS (1:8 Ratio)
In the two’s classrooms, the children discover a stimulating environment arranged into various interests and learning centers. Our goal for our two-year-olds includes developing valuable self-help skills such as potty training, personal hygiene, dressing self and putting toys away. We also focus on building cognitive skills, such as counting, sorting, recognizing letters, colors, and shapes. Another important skill we work on is interacting with others. We have many opportunities for sharing, listening and taking turns. The two’s classroom provides a rest time as part of the daily schedule.

If you have any questions about any of the Early Learning Academy (ELA) services, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Early Learning Director at (630) 552-4100.

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We offer half-day preschool program for children ages three to five years at Central and West Branch. Our preschool program offers quality care in a safe and supportive environment that fosters the emotional, physical, social and cognitive growth of each child. In addition, your child will develop skills to build character values, self-esteem, friendships, and kindergarten readiness skills.

HALF-DAY PRESCHOOL PROGRAM (ages 3-5)
The three to five-year-old classrooms focus on the growth and development of the whole child: physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Activities and classroom centers are oriented to the child’s interests and developmental levels. Our three to five-year-olds are able to make choices in a variety of areas including art and sensory activities, dramatic play, stories and books, music and movement, fine and large motor development and much more.

Our program builds the foundation and prepares children for those skills needed in Kindergarten. Math, science, language areas, and pre-reading and writing are emphasized. In addition, children learn important classroom skills such as taking turns, sharing and cooperation as well as learning to develop socially acceptable behaviors and positive social relationships through cooperative play.  

Our Preschool Curriculum includes the following areas: Language Development, Creative Experience, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, iPad Technology, Music/Movement, Science and Discovery, Dramatic and Sensory Play. 

*Preschool events include School Pictures, Holiday Parties, Recreational swimming, End-of-Year Pre-K ceremony, Spring Recital, Local Field Trips, and more. Additional YMCA Benefits include Indoor gymnasium, music and dance rooms, after-school enrichment programs, USDA-approved lunches and snacks, 17-acre outdoor pavilion, indoor pool, two secure and safe outdoor play areas, "Let's Move Initiative," and a gymnastics center. *Please note, availability is dependent on current CDC & DCFS recommendations. 

In need of financial assistance? The Y is able to offer help through the generosity of our donors. Call for details.


CENTRAL BRANCH PRESCHOOL
630-552-4100
Center Hours: Monday - Friday 6:30am-6:00pm
To register your child, stop in today! Contact Early Learning Academy Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (630-552-4100 x230) with questions. 

HALF DAY PRESCHOOL - 3-5 years old
Snack will be provided
Monday thru Friday
9-11:30 am 


Interested? For more information and to register call 630-552-4100 x. 250.


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The Y continues to follow all CDC and DCFS guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. Members, staff and program participants are expected to do so, as well. The Early Learning Academy follows a DCFS approved COVID action plan. For questions and concerns, email Child Care Director, Amy Schultz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dana Lowe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Y is excited to be able to offer a full-day Kindergarten option for our community this year. Taught by accredited teachers with over 15 years of experience, our teachers will implement the whole-child approach programs, Kindergarten Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment. These programs work in tandem to provide a high-level Kindergarten education that will prepare your child educationally, socially, emotionally for 1st-grade expectations in your school district.


What will the Y's Kindergarten program provide?

  • 5 full-days a week of in-house Kindergarten
  • Accredited and Experienced Teachers
  • Before and After School Care included
  • Nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snacks
  • School Supplies included

more program details

  • Kindergarten is 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Before & After Care: drop-off begins at 6:30 am, pick-up by 6:00 pm
  • Registration fee is $50
  • Tuition is $200 per week
  • Registration deadline is August 14th
  • School begins August 31st 

how to ENROLL

Fill out a Kindergarten Enrollment Packet and submit to our Child Care Director, Amy Schultz, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For any further questions, contact our Child Care Front Desk at 630-552-4100 ext. 250


The Y continues to follow all CDC and DCFS guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. Members, staff and program participants are expected to do so, as well. The Early Learning Academy follows a DCFS approved COVID action plan. For questions and concerns, email Child Care Director, Amy Schultz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dana Lowe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Y FamilyWhat some of our Early Learning Academy parents are saying…

"I wanted to thank you and all of the teachers Lukas has had over the last four years. We picked the Y based upon meeting you and learning about the program you put together and we couldn't have been happier with the choice. He has come so far from being the shy little boy that didn't want to leave my side and I have everyone there to thank. At kindergarten registration, they complimented the preschool program that prepared him so well and said they were going to have a hard time challenging him in class. Everyone has done a wonderful teaching and taking care of him and I just can't thank you all enough! - Robyn L.

 

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you and your staff have done for Skye over the past few years. I have been so happy with the level of care that the YMCA staff has provided to Skye. I’ve never had to worry that she would be well cared for and I can definitely tell that the teachers care deeply for Skye and she for them.”  - Miranda K.

 

"We feel so lucky to be part of the Y's Early Learning Academy family! Our boys love their teachers and all the learning and playing that goes on throughout the day. Plus, the added benefit of being able to enroll them in enrichment classes like swim lessons, gymnastics, or sports makes their day at school even more fulfilling." - James M.

 

"Thank you so much for taking such good care of Abby this year. Finding a daycare we could trust to care for our first born was not an easy decision, but you impressed us from the very beginning. It means a lot to us to know that Abby is in good hands." - Jillian S.

 

Thank you all so much for taking such good care of Maddy! Going back to work was hard, but knowing I was leaving Maddy in your caring hands made it so much easier. I really appreciate the love and caring you gave to Maddy this year and all of the fun projects and experiences she had with you! I appreciate the photos and keepsakes from her time in the Infant room.

 

"Odi and I cannot thank you enough to tell you how blessed we have been these past months to have had all your love, guidance, patience, and care. Odi knows all that he does thanks to you ladies."

 

Have something to add? Email Academy Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we'd love to hear from you!

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