When most of us think of the YMCA, we think of athletics; and if we have children, we may know they offer after-school programs and summer camps. But, did you know the Metropolitan YMCA of Atlanta also offers NAEYC-accredited child care programs? NAEYC accreditation is the national standard for measuring high quality child care centers and pre-schools. NAEYC enforces rigorous standards of quality for centers, including requirements for directors and staff, emphasizes low teacher-to-child ratios, and curricular review, among many other things.
Staff at the Emory WorkLife Resource Center recently visited several of the YMCA child care centers to learn more about them. Their programs are dedicated to providing high-quality affordable child care. They provide family-centered, values-based programs to support the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of children, and are committed to campaigning for the needs of families and children in the communities they serve. Each child care center is unique, and while the exteriors are relatively simple and plain, they house a playful and fun learning environment for children and include a resource room or library for their families and teachers.
The YMCA has six traditional child care centers throughout the Metro area, including programs in Decatur, Lithonia, Downtown Atlanta, Paulding County, and Southwest Atlanta. Tuition rates are extremely competitive and availability varies depending on the age of the child and center location. YMCA programs offer a number of slots through the Head Start Association and provide resource directors onsite to help families with community assistance. Each of the centers house Georgia Pre-K programs and a few of them have Hispanic community coordinators available. While touring the centers, many parent volunteers and even a few male teachers are found to be working with the children.
For more information, contact the Metropolitan YMCA of Atlanta at (404) 588-9622. You may also contact Audrey Adelson, Emory WorkLife Resource Center Dependent Care Program Specialist, at (404) 727-1261.