© 2018 by YMCA Early Learning Community

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Philosophy and Curriculum

The YMCA Early Learning Community is designed to offer well supervised, safe, quality and positive care for your children during the times you cannot be there yourself.  Our program is set up to accommodate both working and non-working parents and offer children an opportunity to grow and develop in an enriching, multi-choice, encouraging as well as pressure-free environment.  Our programs are designed to promote creativity and build self-esteem while developing each child’s full potential. We hope your child’s enrollment with us will mark the beginning of a wonderful experience in your child’s early years.  Our programs provide a place for children to become independent and to feel loved.  We hope to provide a supplement to your child’s family life by encouraging growth in spirit, mind, and body.



  • The children are exposed to a variety of activities; projects and role modeling that reinforce positive values.  The YMCA focuses on character development that emphasizes the YMCA core values of: Caring, Respect, Responsibility, and Honesty.

  • Young children need years of play with real objects and events before they are ready to understand the meaning of symbols such as letters and numbers or before they are ready to handle situations completely independently. 

  • Learning takes place as children touch, manipulate, and experiment with things and interact with people.  Our curriculum focusses on the process of learning rather than the product.

  • Our programs include activities that will enhance social, cognitive, language, and physical development.  Activities are planned to encourage children to explore, experiment, discover, learn, create, and increase self-understanding, as they acquire and develop these skills.


Curriculum/Program Activities

YMCA program activities/lesson plans will provide each Infant, Toddler, Preschool, BB4C, and School-Age child with experiences to encourage several areas of development, including large/small motor, creative, social, intellectual, and cognitive opportunities.

  1. Self Esteem and Positive Self-Image Development

  2. Social Interaction

  3. Self-Expression and Communication

  4. Intellectual Growth

  5. Creative Expression

  6. Large/Small Muscle Development


Child Management Techniques

The goal of the YMCA is to guide children in becoming cooperative, happy, and responsible participants through positive, non-threatening teaching techniques involving problem solving, communication and negotiation skills. Guidance shall not damage the child’s self-image or embarrass the children involved.Redirection is used whenever possible.Limits will be displayed and reinforced through active listening, example:messages, giving information, contingencies, making choices and natural consequences. Management of crying, fussing, or distraught children will be addressed through nurturing of individual needs through the use of rocking/comforting, reading stories or one-on-one break away times. The YMCA Early Learning Community utilizes the Pyramid Model as a part of our child management.


Factors to Contribute to Guidance

  • Pyramid Model

  • Modeling by caregivers

  • Classroom environment

  • Planned activities

  • Related curriculum

  • Ongoing scheduled evaluations

  • Redirection

  • Transitions

  • Setting clear limits

  • Development of children’s communication skills



Serious Guidance

A serious guidance problem is defined as one in which a child is continually hampering the flow of the

program in one of the following manners:

  1. Requiring constant one-on-one attention

  2. Inflicting physical or emotional harm on other children

  3. Physically/emotionally abusing caregivers, other children or visitors/guests, or using profane language

  4. Inability to conform to the guidelines of the program

  5. Physical destruction of property

  6. Stealing

  7. Threatening or abusive language



Chronic or Disruptive Behavior

 A child becomes problematic when his/her behavior becomes chronic and disruptive.  Serious behavior will be documented and parents will be notified by the YMCA staff.  Behavior difficulties usually become manageable with cooperative effort between staff, parents, and the child.  In the event that parents and staff are unable to come to a mutually satisfying course of action, the Child Care director reserves the right to ask the parents to find alternative child care arrangements.

  1. Observation and documentation of behavioral problems

  2. Parent/Staff conferences to identify possible behavior modification programs

  3. Referrals to outside resources such as doctors or counselors

  4. Withdrawal from the center (see discharge policy)



Biting Policy


Our program recognizes that biting is unfortunately, not unexpected when toddlers are in a group child care setting.  We are always upset when children are bitten in our program, and we recognize how upsetting it is for parents.  While we feel that biting is never the right thing for toddlers to do, we know that they bite for a variety of reasons.  Most of these reasons are not related to behavior problems.  Our program, then, does not focus on punishment for biting, but on effective techniques that address the specific reason for the biting. 


When biting occurs we have three main responses:

  1. Care for and help the child who was bitten

  2. Help the child who bit learn other behavior

  3. Work with the child who bit and examine resources/options to help stop the biting


Our teachers express strong disapproval of biting.  They will teach children how to use nice touches and how to use their words to enhance verbal communications with others.  They work to keep children safe and to help the child who bit learn different, more appropriate behavior.  When there are episodes of ongoing biting, we develop a plan of specific strategies, techniques, and timeliness to address it.  We do not and will not use any response that harms a child or is known to be ineffective.



Discharge Policy


  1. In the event that the parents/guardians and the staff are unable to come to a mutually satisfying course of action after identifying and processing a concern, the director reserves the right to cancel the enrollment of the child.

  2. Written notification prior to withdrawal is not required if the withdrawal is requested by the center.

  3. The YMCA Early Learning Community reserves the right to withdraw a child from the program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Non-payment of fees

  2. Repeated failure of parents to pick up the child on time

  3. Failure to provide the center with current medical information

  4. Chronic or disruptive behavior as discussed in the guidance policy

  5. The program is not contributing to the child’s emotional/physical development

  6. Hostility and lack of cooperation on the part of the parents towards staff

  7. Conduct which endangers property, health, and safety of others engaged at the center or while under supervision of school authority


  1. Here at the YMCA Early Learning Community, we want to do all we can to provide each child a safe and fun learning environment. We ask for parent support in providing the best experience possible for their child(ren) and all of our children. We talk and work with the children on expectations and behaviors and ask that parents talk with their child(ren) to remind them of our expectations and rules (Listed below).

    1. The YMCA Early Learning Community follows the core values of the YMCA:

      1. Honesty:

        1. Always tell the truth

      2. Caring:

        1. Speak kindly and use nice words

        2. We are inclusive – no one is excluded from joining in on the fun

        3. Vulgar and/or threatening language is not acceptable 

      3. Respect:

        1. Be respectful of YMCA Early Learning Community teachers, YMCA staff and other children at all times

        2. Keep your hands to yourself

        3. Hitting, shoving, fighting, bullying and touching others in inappropriate ways/places is not tolerated

      4. Responsibility:

        1. Children are required to follow all directions given by YMCA Early Learning Community teachers and YMCA staff

        2. If you need a break from others, tell your teacher

        3. Children need to stay with their group at all times

        4. Rules for games:

          1. Take turns

          2. Wait patiently for your turn

          3. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses, it is about enjoying the game!


The YMCA Early Learning Community is committed to providing a safe and fun environment. Expectations for appropriate behavior are high and will be expected to be upheld. Children may be denied attendance for not adhering to the rules and expectations of the YMCA Early Learning Community.

We work with the children and give them constant and consistent messages. We see mistakes as a teachable moment and offer guidance and direction. We also offer the opportunity to try, and try again. 

If inappropriate behavior becomes chronic our policy for not following the rules and expectations are as follows:

  • 1st offense: Teachers will talk with the child and provide a reminder of the rules and expectations. The child’s parents will be notified of the incident.

  • 2nd offense: Parents will be called to come pick up their child immediately.

  • 3rd offense: The child will be suspended from the YMCA for two days.

  • 4th offense: The child will be suspended from the YMCA for one week.

  • 5th offense: The child will be expelled from the YMCA.

Physical Aggression will not be tolerated and will be considered a severe offense. Causing physical harm to a YMCA Early Learning Community teacher, other child or property will result in the following actions:

  • 1st offense: Parents are notified to come pick up their child immediately and an incident report is filed in the child’s confidential file.

  • 2nd offense: The child will be suspended from the YMCA for two days.

  • 3rd offense: The child will be suspended from the YMCA for one week.

  • 4th offense: The child will be expelled from the YMCA.


Thank you for your assistance in discussing these expectations with your child and in helping to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone.