Minneapolis, MN – The Rochester Area Family YMCA, 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 in Rochester on May 21.

This new Early Childhood Learning Center, located on 2364 Valleyhigh Drive NW in Rochester, will serve 155 children in the community by offering full-day child care options for kids ages six weeks to five years. There are currently 13 other Y child care programs 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 Greater Twin Cities. “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 nationally recognized child development models including: CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health) and HEPA (Healthy Eating, Physical Activity).

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.

“We are excited to open a new YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center that will address the need in our community for quality, safe and affordable licensed child care,” said Virginia Kaczmarek, executive director of the Rochester Area Family YMCA. “We look forward to continuing to be a valuable asset, supporting youth, adults and families in our community.”

The Rochester Early Childhood Learning Center is accepting enrollment in their infant, toddler, preschool and pre-K classrooms. If people register by May 31, they will receive 50 percent off the first six weeks of child care. 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.

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the new Early Childhood Learning Center, hear from YMCA and community leaders on the importance of this new Center serving families and enjoy special entertainment by the youth participating at the Center.

YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

YMCA Rochester Early Childhood Learning Center Ribbon Cutting Celebration

YMCA Rochester Early Childhood Learning Center
2364 Valleyhigh Drive NW in Rochester, MN 55901

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
4:00 Program and Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Tours and Open House to follow

For more information on the Rochester Early Childhood Learning Center, visit www.ymcamn.org/rochestereclc.