YMCA of Greater Erie

Choosing the right partner to foster learning and life skills in your little ones is an important decision. We, as parents, want nothing more than for our children to succeed in school and beyond. Research has shown that children that attend early learning programs tend to do better in school then children that do not.

A very smart man by the name of Fred Rogers once said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is really the work of childhood.” Choosing a structured, engaging, safe, loving quality program can be overwhelming for new parents. How do I choose the right center?

Here are some tips to help you…

  1. Seek advise of agencies-Call CCIS (Child Care Information Services) 814-451-6580 and they can answer questions regarding funding, different providers in the area, STAR level of different providers (continuous quality improvement of providers), or any other general questions.
  2. Ask friends and family for suggestions-referrals are very important to get an idea of experiences that people may have had. Just understand that because one person had a bad experience doesn’t mean that you will. Do your research!
  3. Take a tour- visit and ask questions. You want to know if you are welcome to pop in anytime. What is the discipline policy? What curriculum do they use? Do you need to provide your own food? What qualifications do the teachers have?
  4. Make the decision that is best for you family- trust your gut. I truly believe in mother’s intuition. You will know if it is not a good fit.
  5. Stay active-it is so important that you talk daily to the teachers or director. You want to know what happened during the day with your child. Also, having that relationship with the staff will allow you to feel more comfortable leaving you child.

Learn more about YMCA Early Care & School-Age Enrichment.

Stacy Dambaugh
Site Director
YMCA of Greater Erie Early Learning & School Age Enrichment Center, Wattsburg Elementary School