Greater Valley YMCA Expands Child Care Offerings in Underserved Communities
March 4, 2021 at 11:36 AM
At two local Branches, the Y is offering additional child care programming.
[Allentown, March 4, 2021] – Earlier this week, the Greater Valley YMCA announced the expansion of its child care offerings at its Slate Belt location. Since 2015, the Slate Belt Y has offered child care through its Keystone STARS-Accredited Program in a DHS Licensed facility for school-age children. Beginning March 15, the Y will offer care for toddlers and preschool children ages 2 through 5 in its newly-constructed child care wing.
For decades the Slate Belt community was looking for a local community center and hub of support. The Y became a part of the conversations 15 years ago, and was able to make the dream a reality in 2015 with a core facility located in the heart of the Slate Belt area at 315 West Pennsylvania Avenue in Pen Argyl. The Y team is currently finalizing this community group’s original plans by completing the facility’s child care wing expansion, as well as the addition of the pool and gym this spring. The Slate Belt region is a service desert, and the Y has stepped up to provide even more solutions through this program despite the pandemic’s effects. Once the child care wing construction was completed earlier this year, volunteers with the United Way VISTA program supported the move of furniture and other supplies to get the classrooms prepared. Certification from DHS was recently completed so registration is now open for toddlers and preschoolers. Child care is offered Monday through Friday from 6AM to 6PM.
In addition to expansion at its Slate Belt location, the Y is reopening Preschool offerings at its Suburban North location located at 880 Walnut Street in Catasauqua.
The Y has a history in the region dating back to 1897. The Y has provided care and programming for children in the Lehigh Valley through its accredited program for decades. Prior to the pandemic, the Y served 1,100 children daily through child care and school age programming. The Y offers 25 licensed child care programs in PA and NJ.
David Fagerstrom, President & CEO of the Greater Valley YMCA, expressed, “Our team is thrilled to expand our child care offerings for Lehigh Valley families. We love partnering with parents and guardians to provide children with a bright start. The Y has a rich history of helping children learn, grow, and thrive. We are proud to help so many children reach their potential.”
Amid a season of increased challenges for all with the pandemic, once child care centers were permitted to reopen on June 8, 2020, the Y team adapted and adjusted standards to continue to provide families with a safe environment for their children to be cared for, enriched and engaged.
At each of its locations, the Y strives to provide quality early childhood education in a caring, safe, positive, structured environment emphasizing on the building blocks needed to promote healthy child development. The Y embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every infant, toddler, preschooler, kindergarten, school age child and their family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential.
Supported by an understanding of children’s learning styles, interests, and PA Early Learning Standards, the Y’s Preschool curriculum is designed to provide activities that enhance cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. This contributes to a child’s success in school and throughout life. The curriculum follows Creative Curriculum and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) supporting growth and development of youth in seven key learning areas: Literacy, Science, Math/Problem Solving, Arts, Social Competence, Fitness/Nutrition, and Technology. This curriculum supports a unique learning environment that stimulates a child’s curiosity while reinforcing essential academic standards.
Financial Assistance for preschool is available for those who qualify.
To learn more about the Y’s child care offerings, schedule a tour of the facility or register, visit gv-ymca.org/child-care or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Greater Valley YMCA
The Greater Valley YMCA is a volunteer-led, nonprofit, community organization. The Y is committed to strengthening community by positively changing lives every day. At each of our Branches, we concentrate our efforts in three areas: Healthy Living, Youth Development, and Social Responsibility. The Greater Valley YMCA serves the Lehigh Valley and consists of Branches in Allentown, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Easton, Nazareth, and Pen Argyl. To learn more, support, or join the Y, visit gv-ymca.org.
The Greater Valley YMCA offers child care at seven locations throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley: Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Nazareth, Slate Belt, Surburban North and Forks Education Center. For more details about the offerings at each location, visit https://www.gv-ymca.org/child-care.html.
Join the Y
Households across our community have different needs so we offer a variety of membership types. Each of our locations offer many different programs, schedules, and classes therefore offerings and fees may vary by branch.
Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. At The Y, no child, family or adult is turned away due to an inability to pay.
Financial assistance awards are assessed on a case by case basis during a one-on-one, confidential session with a staff member. Those interested in applying for our financial assistance program are encouraged to download this form in English or download this form in Spanish, or stop in to any of our branches to learn more and pick up an application.