YMCA of Greater Erie

Research continues to reinforce that what children learn before kindergarten affects their learning and success for life. The early years before kindergarten are unique; they lay the foundation for all future learning and social development and cannot be

duplicated later in life. When it comes to early learning, there are no “do overs.”

The YMCA of Greater Erie’s Early Care & School-Age Enrichment Centers will “graduate” 275 preschoolers to kindergarten this month; the YMCA is the largest provider of early care, preschool and school-age enrichment with 21 locations throughout Erie County.  Preschoolers, in cap & gown, have prepared special songs and ceremonies for their families and friends.

“”There’s increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool,” says Jill Simmons, YMCA of Greater Erie vice president of Early Care & School-Age Enrichment. “At preschool, they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes. And, more important, they learn how to socialize — get along with other children, share, contribute to circle time.”

“Children who attend high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not. Kindergarten teachers will tell you that the students who are ready to learn are those who come into school with good social and behavior-management skills. In fact, educators have so recognized the importance of giving kids some form of quality early education that about 40 states now offer state-funded pre-K programs, including Pennsylvania.”