Early Childhood

Association Leadership

Claire Martorana
Sr. Early Childhood Director/PA Stars Director

Early Learning Education

A Safe and Nurturing Place for Your Child to LEARN, GROW & THRIVE

At the Y, children develop trust, security and experience early literacy and learn about their world. Most importantly, children learn how to be their best selves. That makes for confident kids today and contributing engaged adults tomorrow.

With so many demands on today’s families and the increased focus on early educational opportunities, families need all the support they can get. That’s why our programs focus on nurturing child development by providing a safe and healthy place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships, and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.


At the Y, we believe that children learn best through play and socialization with others. We utilize the Creative Curriculum for Preschool and Toddlers as a guide. Our teacher guided programs integrate purposeful and intentionally planned activities that are designed to be fun and engaging while teaching children valuable skills.

We nurture development by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships plus cultivate fine and gross motor skills. We plan our classes to develop each child’s self-esteem and strong image of self-worth. In every class, we encourage children to explore, ask questions and solve problems.

Our experienced early childhood educators provide a warm and secure atmosphere with five areas of focus to help kids meet and exceed developmental milestones: learning, life skills, healthy habits, socialization and fine and gross motor skills. Staff interactions among the children allow for conversations that instill information and extend a child’s thinking with open-ended questions and suggestions. Lesson plans are driven by the individual and cultural needs of the child and include the PA Early Learning Standards to ensure all areas of a child’s development are met.

Rest assured, your kids are in good hands at the Y. Our staff understand the cognitive, physical and social development of children. We recognize the need children have to feel connected and supported, as well as the care and reinforcement parents and families need. All staff are trained in First Aid/CPR/AED and receive special instruction related to safety and child development.

Y-Assistance may be applied to your tuition costs if you qualify.

You can view all of our Health and Safety Plans on our COVID Resource Page.

School Age (Before & After School)

Where Kids can Excel Before & After the Bell

The YMCA School Age program is a safe place for children to play, learn and grow when out of school. Qualified and caring staff focus on nurturing the development of each child. Our program is designed to provide a place to have fun, make new friends and become more active. Children create lasting memories as they engage in a variety of educational and imaginative activities that encourage them to explore who they are and what they can achieve. Before & After school programs at the Y are flexible, convenient and offer enriching opportunities for children who need care when parents have to be at work. We boast unique and innovative approaches to traditional care full of fun activities indoors and outdoors.

Y-Assistance may be applied to your tuition costs if you qualify.

You can view all of our Health and Safety Plans on our COVID Resource Page.

The YMCA – A Safe Place To Be A Child

Children’s safety is a foundational priority for the Y in our mission to help youth reach their full potential. In our commitment to ensuring the protection of every child, our staff and volunteers adhere to strict Child Abuse Prevention Policies and Reporting Procedures. These policies and procedures promote a positive, nurturing environment while protecting children and teens, and those who work with them in our organization.

YMCA Policy prohibits sex offenders from accessing YMCA facilities. In order to ensure the safety of our children, we regularly compare our membership database to the National Registry of Convicted Sex Offenders and terminate the membership and/or access rights of anyone registered

To keep children in our programs safe, we take the following steps in our intensive screening of employees and volunteers:

  • Detailed application forms
  • Comprehensive interview process
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal record checks
  • Members and program participants are required to abide by our Code of Conduct
  • Staff and Volunteers complete an extensive child abuse prevention training program
  • Staff and Volunteers are required to abide by our with Child Abuse Prevention Policies

See something, Say Something

It takes everyone’s help to stop the cycle of abuse. If you encounter what might appear to be an act of child abuse or neglect, we offer a confidential consultation hotline through Praesidium Child Abuse Prevention. You can share your concerns safely.  YMCA Staff are mandated to report any suspected child abuse.

FREE Trainings for Parents

Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

The statistics are startling. Approximately twenty percent of ALL victims of sexual abuse are under age eight. One in five children are sexually solicited while on the internet.  Thirty to forty percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members. There are an estimated 39 million survivors of sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.

But there’s good news too. The YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light, a nationally acclaimed non-profit, to bring its award-winning prevention program, Stewards of Children to Delaware County, Pa.  Stewards of Children is a two-hour workshop designed to educate adults on how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.  Stewards of Children emphasizes child safety as an adult’s responsibility.

There are specific trainings open to the public, and can be of specific interest to youth sports organizations, coaches, camp counselors, teachers, schools, faith centers, and other service organizations. The trainings facilitate discussion about the incidence and consequence of abuse and presents information about child protection policies and mandates. Continuing education credits for professionals in various fields can be obtained through this training.

Call 610.557.YMCA (9622) to register for the next training date.

Pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED for Infants, Children and Adults

American Red Cross and American Heart Association CPR/AED classes take just a few hours but can help you save a life when every moment counts. With CPR/AED classes for Good Samaritans, parents, teachers, grandparents, and office staff, we can help you learn how, and when, to provide care for someone experiencing an emergency situation.

Call 610.557.YMCA (9622) to register for the next training.