Thursday, May 5, 2011

Harley's Visit

In March 2011 the Preschoolers at the YMCA were fortunate enough to have a special visitor named Harley.

Harley is a Harlequin Great Dane and he travels around the area as a therapy dog and also as a Story Time Ambassador. The children were quite obviously enamored with him...and the feeling was mutual. The kids loved petting and hugging Harley, who is gentle, quiet and tolerant. His owner affirmed Harley's love for children. We hope that Harley can make a return appearance (and so do the kids).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summer Program Information & Registration Available

It's that time of year and our popular summer programs are open for registration! The Prescott YMCA Website has your online program guide.

Our programs will provide a safe, entertaining environment for your 2 - 14 year olds. (All Preschoolers must be non-diapered). The Y has loyal and well-trained Child Care Staff already getting their training for Summer Camps.

Parents that do not have children currently registered for programs should fill out our "Emergency Blue Card" Information and turn in that document with their $30 Annual Registration Fee (which is good through August 2011).

If your child is currently enrolled in our Child Care Programs (After School, Adventure C.O.R.P. or Preschool), simply include a $20 deposit with your next payment to hold your child's spot. If you are approved for YMCA Scholarship Assistance or D.E.S. for the summer months, your deposit is $5 per child.

We are gearing up for a great summer, so we look forward to your child having a wonderful and exciting experience, whether it is for one week of camp, or all 9 weeks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Committed to Quality, article by Claire Louge, First Things First

Prescott YMCA staff develop their professional skills at a Child Care Conference

On Saturday, April 9th, 54 child care professionals braved the unseasonably snowy weather to attend the Child Care Coalition Conference (CCCC) in Chino Valley. Conference participants were able to attend a variety of workshops on topics such as early childhood temperament, using recyclable resources in the classroom and teaching personal safety to young children. The conference was funded by First Things First, the statewide organization that works to ensure all young children are healthy and ready to succeed when they enter school. Many child care providers from the Prescott YMCA chose to attend the conference.
The CCCC provided early childhood educators with interesting workshops both to develop their professional skills and to fulfill training requirements. Kristi Summers, a child care provider at the Prescott YMCA who attended the conference, explained that the yearly training requirements for child care providers have increased from 12 hours to 18 hours. Though professional standards for early childhood educators have increased, it is sometimes difficult to find opportunities to fulfill these requirements. Attendees of the Child Care Coalition Conference were able to receive up to five credit hours for their participation.
“Working with children is a learning process” stated Alicia Craig, an early educator with the Prescott YMCA who attended the CCCC. The Prescott YMCA is enrolled in Quality First, a program funded by First Things First. Through Quality First, the YMCA receives regular visits from a consultant who provides support and guidance to improve the quality of their Child Care Center. “First Things First does a lot,” states Alicia, “Our consultant is very informative – she makes sure we know about child care trainings like these.”
Josh Taylor, also a child care professional with the Prescott YMCA, has attended past Child Care Coalition Conferences. “They’ve taught me a lot of neat tools,” he states. Josh has been able to put the information he’s learned into action- after he attended a workshop on music in the classroom at the CCCC last October, Josh was inspired to start a music program at the Prescott YMCA.
Quality Child Care is important. National research shows that children who are exposed to quality early education are 40% less likely to be held back a grade or to need special education, and are more likely to advance into college. Because quality child care starts with educated professionals, First Things First supports training opportunities such as the Child Care Coalition Conferences.
“It was great,” stated Alicia Craig after the conference was over. “It taught me age-appropriate activities, and how to help kids in our program succeed in school.” The Prescott YMCA staff has a commitment to creating a quality program for the young kids they serve. Through funding professional training opportunities like the CCCC, First Things First works to ensure all early educators have the tools they need to give all young children a quality early education.
To learn more about First Things First, who we are, why we do it, and why it’s important, please visit

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did you know...?

Did you know that the YMCA Preschool utilizes the High Reach Curriculum for Kindergarten Readiness?

In addition to all of the opportunities for physical growth in fine and gross motor skills at the Y (such as swimming, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor play) we are also working hard to enrich your child's learning.

Teachers in all of our 5 classrooms are instructing children about numbers, letters, shapes, colors, patterns, sequencing, science, and more!

If you have any questions about what your child is learning, check in the classroom for clues on the whiteboard, talk to your child's teacher and read the "what did we do today..." board on your way out the door.

It is important that you have things to talk about with your child about his / her day at school. Reinforcing their learning at home, at the grocery store, at the park, etc. is wonderful as well.

Monday, February 28, 2011

March draws near and the Leprechaun looms....

The Preschool is once again decorated for St. Patrick's Day...and there is already talk of that mischievous leprechaun coming back to fool us again. Stay tuned to see what his antics will include this year...