At the YMCA, we know that choosing a child care and early education program for your child is a big decision. That is why our dedicated registration team will be glad to help you through the process every step of the way. For policy and payment information and for answers to a wide range of frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page or review the materials in our Parent Support Center.

Schedule a Tour

The best way to experience the YMCA's child care and early education programs is by taking a virtual or in-person tour and speaking to our staff directly.

Financial Assistance

The YMCA is committed to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and giving back. To ensure equitable access for all, we offer affordable membership and program options as well as scholarships for tuition. We recommend you apply for a scholarship at the time you begin the registration process.

To begin the registration process:

When you're ready to enroll, we ask that you create an online account in our registration system so that you can register for Y programs. Once your family’s accounts are created, you can apply online to enroll in our full day Child Care and Preschool programs or School’s Out Afterschool programs.

For Head Start enrollment, please contact us at 224-348-4527. For enrollment in MetaMedia, please call 847-475-7400 ext. 196.

You can also apply using a paper registration form. If your child will need special accommodations while in our care, please contact us prior to starting the registration process.

The registration process occurs in two phases.

Phase 1

Apply online or by paper and pay the registration application fee.

The program application fee is $100 for new participants and $50 for participants that are continuing from the last consecutive program. The application fee is non-refundable. The fee will be transferred to the next school year if we are unable to provide care for your child during the current year. Application fees will only be waived if a family can provide a current approval letter from the Child Care Assistance Program along with their registration application.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation by email that your registration application has been received and payment has been processed for the application fee.

If you haven't already done so, request a tour.

Review our Parent Handbook in our Parent Support Center or visit our FAQ page.

Read our YMCA’s Code of Conduct.

Phase 2

Our Admissions team will contact you to let you know that your child is either enrolled or wait listed for the program.

We offer spaces for enrollment according to application date, start date requested, the availability of age-related openings, financial assistance availability, and priority categories. Spaces are offered as they become available. Current parents are required to give a 30-day written notice when ending care. Once we are notified of a vacancy, we will begin offering the space to the next child on the waitlist.

If your child is wait-listed, we will keep your information on file and contact you periodically with any updates. We will contact you when a space becomes available, and we kindly request a response within 2 business days. If we do not receive a response after 3 contact attempts, we will offer the space to the next family on the wait list. If you decline a space offered within your preferred start date range, you will be removed from the wait list. Once removed from the wait list, if you decide to re-apply, you will need to complete a new application and pay the application fee.

Once a space is offered and your child is enrolled, you may be required to pay a deposit to secure your space, which will be applied to your first month’s tuition. You will receive an enrollment paperwork packet. This packet includes forms and documents required by DCFS and the McGaw YMCA and must be completed and turned in a minimum of two (2) business days prior to your child’s first day. Our program staff will also provide you with information about what to expect and how to prepare for your child’s first day.

Our programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and are licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Child Care Licensing.

Ready to enroll? Find the program(s) you wish to register for and click on the "Apply Now" button to start the process.

We're Here to Help

If you need more information or have questions, please email our team and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. For immediate assistance, call 847-475-8580.

Schedule a Tour!

Are you interested in a tour of the McGaw Y Children's Center? Request one today!

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