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West Side YMCA Tender Care

There are still spaces available for the 2016/2017 School year for children 2.6-5! Contact our Early Childhood Office for more information: Senior Director of Early Childhood Shannon Cussen: 212-912-2650 or Abbey Robarge: 212-912-2651 or, Early Childhood Coordinator Bridget Sieling 212-912-2652 or

Tender Care, is our child care center for children six months through 5 years of age, opened in 1986 at the West Side YMCA.  Designed to provide flexible child care for working parents, Tender Care is open Monday - Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM. Approximately 60 percent of the children attend the center on a full-time basis, leaving openings in each classroom for families that need part-time care.  The children in the Tender Care program are divided into three age groups – Tender Care I with children ages 6 months - 2 years, Tender Care II with children 2 - 3.5, and Tender Care III with children 3.5 - 5 years.  These groups provide children with a classroom experience that best meets their developmental needs.

Philosophy and Curriculum

Tender Care is committed to providing a safe, supportive living and learning environment for young children.  It offers a nurturing, yet challenging program for children who are enrolled on a full-time basis, as well as an early group experience for children who attend part-time.  Teachers create a warm and loving atmosphere while covering a developmentally-based, engaging curriculum, where children can play, discover and learn.

Tender Care values each child's unique personality and temperament.  The development of independence, trust and initiative is fostered through a balanced program of free play and structure, quiet and active play, and group and individual time. Learning centers in each room include science, dramatic play, block building, library, art, music and manipulative materials.  The children in Tender Care go outdoors each day and take advantage of the many play spaces in Central Park.  In addition, there are special classes in swimming, science, gym, music and art.

Social development is at the core of our program.  We want our children to feel that they are liked, respected and an integral part of the life in the classroom.  Tender Care functions as a close-knit community of teachers, children and families.  Each child develops a strong sense of community and belonging. Tender Care at the West Side YMCA is an experience unmatched by any other child care center in the area.


Tender Care has 5 spacious, well-equipped classrooms.

In September 2001, once the West Side YMCA's new McBurney Annex was completed, Tender Care acquired five state-of-the-art classrooms with

  • pediatric toilets
  • resource library room
  • indoor and outdoor play space



Each class has one head teacher and two assistant teachers. Many of the faculty members hold advanced degrees in Early Childhood Education or in a related field. The Tender Care Program also has specialists in music, science, gym, art and swimming.


Parents may call or stop by the YMCA for an application on September 19th or download a PDF from our website.  Applications are due back to the YMCA by February 1, 2017 . Applications submitted by the February 1st deadline will be considered on a priority waitlist for September 2017 enrollment.  Once we receive your application we will place your child on our wait list.  Please be aware that although we enroll on a space available basis the enrollment process usually takes at least one year.  Every effort will be made to place your child as soon as a space becomes available.  Please call the Admissions Office at (212) 912-2652 to reserve a tour date.  We will begin notifying families of our enrollment availability beginning late April 2017. Financial assistance is available.

Application Form

Application Fee: $75