Our Full-Day Program supports families year-round in a partnership to nurture children’s development through play-based learning. Here, children from 0- to 5-years-old establish friendships that continue year-after-year and learning is a hands-on experience. Come discover with us!
Full-Day Program by Age Group
Infants (0-12 mo. by Sept. 1)
Recent brain and child development research confirms what the Children’s Center has long believed: the care infants receive is critical to every aspect of their futures. We make sure that your child builds trust and develops their own personality, so they can grow up to be a secure and well-rounded adult. Our teachers are specifically trained in infant development, encouraging each child to develop at their own pace through individualized schedules and developmental activities.
Toddlers (12-24 mo. by Sept. 1)
For toddlers, we focus on social-emotional development by providing opportunities for each child to build relationships with their teacher and their peers. Our teachers are trained in child development and encourage emergent language through reading, singing, and repetition. Children are also supported in their large-motor development by taking walks in the neighborhood and exploring in our indoor and outdoor large-motor spaces designed for younger groups.
Young Preschool/Twos (24-36 mo. by Sept. 1)
This age is all about exploration and curiosity. Teachers provide daily consistency that supports children’s social-emotional growth so they feel safe to explore and learn. As children grow from parallel play into collaborative play, teachers model language to encourage peer relationships. At this age, we introduce field trips, gym and formal music class into the classroom schedule.
Preschool/Threes (3-yrs-old by Sept. 1)
Guided play and self-directed play go hand-in-hand as children develop a sense of independence. Children continue to deepen relationships with their peers as teachers support their social-emotional needs. Teachers build on children’s knowledge through stories and activities in the classroom and in the community. To further nurture their physical development, swimming is added to their schedule twice a week. Daily schedules include visiting our large-motor spaces, going to enrichment classes, and learning through exploration.
Pre-Kindergarten (4-yrs-old by Sept. 1)
School readiness develops from infancy through the preschool years. We continue to build on children’s social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and language development. Our teachers implement small and large-group activities to extend children’s knowledge of core subject areas such as literacy, science, math, social studies, and the arts. Daily schedules include visiting our large-motor spaces, going to enrichment classes, and learning through exploration.
Learn more about our Full-Day Program:
The Children’s Center participates in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, which plays a vital role in the quality of meals being served. We offer a morning snack, hot catered lunch, and two afternoon snacks, following strict guidelines on all food selection, preparation, and documentation of meals. We also provide formula with iron, commercial baby food in jars, and rice cereal for infants too young to eat catered lunch. We have an alternative vegetarian menu available, along with the option for organic milk or soy milk. We work diligently to make sure every child is getting the nutrition needed for their growth and development.
We use YMCA Character Development program and The Creative Curriculum® https://teachingstrategies.com/solutions/teach/preschool/ or https://teachingstrategies.com/solutions/teach/creative-curriculum-infants-toddlers-twos/ developed by Teaching Strategies, Inc. This allows us to provide a well-rounded early learning program for children prior to Kindergarten. Our staff members implement both teacher-developed and child-directed activities. Here, curriculum builds year-after-year centering on development of children’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, physical skills, and core subject areas such as science, literacy, and mathematics. We partner with families to create goals for their child and update families on developmental milestones through conferences and Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment tools.
Community Connections – We believe it is important to instill a feeling of belonging in every child. Our community is full of rich and diverse opportunities to teach children the value of their neighborhood and of those who live in it. We achieve this by taking active walks in our community passing by local community helpers, businesses, murals, and neighbors.
The Arts – Music, art, and dramatic play are important in the development of young children’s brains. Through our partnership with Northwestern University, we offer a music enrichment program that is designed to introduce basic music concepts to our preschool and pre-kindergarten classrooms. Our Art Appreciation program for pre-kindergarten classes lets children discover sculpture, native beadwork, Chicago architecture, and renowned works from the Art Institute of Chicago. Throughout the year, we incorporate dramatic play daily and have performers share stories through puppets, books, marionettes, and song.
Physical Activity – We believe that children should have a time to be active throughout the day. Our playground areas and large-motor spaces are available for use each morning and evening. Yoga, tricycles, ball play, climbing equipment, and group games are just a few ways we engage large muscles during this time.
Our teachers are selected for their expertise, enthusiasm, and experience. They look forward to working with children every morning and our staff retention rates reflect that. All of our lead teachers meet state educational requirements. They complete extensive training in child development and age-appropriate program planning, CPR/AED, First-Aid, and child abuse prevention. Reference checks and extensive background checks are performed to ensure the safety of all children.
Schedule a Tour!
The best way to experience the Children’s Center is by taking a tour and speaking to our staff directly. For more information on tours and the registration process, click here.