The Y has a variety of programs for even the youngest New Yorkers. From pre-school to stroller strut to music class to yoga, the Y helps babies become toddlers, toddlers become tots, and tots become strong kids — all through programs grounded in our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Program offerings vary by branch. More information on each category of programming is below, and learn about different classes available for your tot here.
View Program Guides
- Camp — Many of our Ys offer summer camp programs for pre-school children. Campers will participate in camp songs, arts & crafts, music, sports, swimming, academic fundamentals, storytelling, and more.
- Pre-School Sports, Dance & Play — Ballet, karate, tap, soccer, baseball, basketball…the Y has a world of activities that will ensure that your child is ready for bedtime. Browse our Sports, Dance & Play programs by clicking here or by browsing your location specific program guide.
- Swim — New York City’s YMCA has been teaching kids how to swim for more than 150 years. Classes are available for kids 6 months and up. From me and my grown-up to your child’s first Shrimp swim class. Teach your child to swim in the Y’s time-tested progressive swim program. Find the class that’s right for you here.
- Early Learning — It’s never too early to develop a love of learning. The Y has a myriad of classes to help you nurture your child’s intellectual curiosity. Popular Early Learning programs include Busy Bodies, Story, Song and Shimmy, Music and Movement, and more. Browse programs available at your locations click here.
- Child Watch — Do you need someone to watch your child when you are at the Y? We’re here for you. At Child Watch, kids will enjoy fun and creative play all in a safe environment while you exercise or take a class. All Child Watch schedules are included in your branch program guides. Find your local Y and take a look.
- Infant Care — YMCA infant centers are designed to meet your child's individual needs by ensuring positive attention and development. Because this is a critical time in your child's life, our infant care focuses on the development of the whole child and equips even infants with essential skills for lifelong learning. YMCA staff are trained especially for this delicate and inquisitive age group. Because a well-trained staff is a key factor in quality infant care, staff members are required to attend numerous training sessions throughout the year. Infant Care is available at the West Side and Vanderbilt Branches.
- Language Classes — Forget videos and apps, teach your child another language the old fashioned way in a language class. The Y offers pre-k language classes in Spanish and Mandarin at select branches. click here to browse classes near you.
- Nursery School — Is it time for your toddler to get their first school experience? The Y has more than 40 years of experience operating quality Nursery School programs in Manhattan. Learn about the CO-OP Nursery School at the West Side Y, or the Early Childhood Center at the Vanderbilt Y.
- Universal Pre-K — YMCA Early Childhood Centers offer a free Universal Pre-Kindergarten program for four-year-olds. UPK places its focus on the healthy development of the whole child by providing a safe, happy, nurturing environment where children are intellectually, socially and physically stimulated while participating in fun activities. The curriculum is based on learning centers and a theme-based approach to learning. Each classroom is equipped with Listening, Block, Math/Science Library, Computer, Dramatic Play, Art, and Sand & Water Centers.Universal Pre-Kindergarten is a partnership with the New York City Department of Education and is licensed by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. UPK runs Monday-Friday for 2.5 hours, in an AM or PM session. The child must be born in 2008 and be toilet trained. The program is available at the following Y locations: Broadway, Cross Island, Flushing, Long Island City, Ridgewood, and South Shore. Click on the location you are interested in and reach out to the Youth & Family Director to apply for the Universal Pre-K program.
Questions about how to register for programs? View Program Registration FAQs