Early Learning Center | Washington DC | Virginia | Maryland

Early Learning

The YMCA’s Early Learning Centers offer a full-day early learning program for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Students spend their days in a fun and educational learning environment that offers flexible options to meet the needs of the families in our community.

YMCA Early Learning Program uses The Creative Curriculum™ in conjunction with the Gold assessment tool. Creative Curriculum™ incorporates experiences that permit learning through guided play and active discovery. The curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child—cognitive, social, and physical.

Child development experts agree that the first experiences of every child set the stage for success not only in school but in life. YMCA Early Learning Centers do exactly that, by creating a caring environment that allows every child to learn in distinctive, individual ways and explore what they find interesting and stimulating.

Infants and toddlers learn trust through activities that focus on fun, creativity and interaction. It is this early socialization that helps to build confidence and self-reliance in later years. Along with mobility and early language skills, young children are encouraged to explore the world around them in any way they choose.

The Creative Curriculum

Our nurturing environment stimulates children from six weeks to five years of age. Programs may vary from one location to another, but each of our Early Learning Centers places a priority on individual growth and positive reinforcement. In this way, we prepare children to thrive in elementary school, to respect others, to foster creativity and curiosity, and to provide guided play opportunities that emphasize cooperation and respect for others.

We believe that these are important life skills that cannot be introduced too early in a child’s life. The curriculum used at our YMCA Early Learning Centers, are based on comprehensive program principles while aiming to facilitate the optimal development of the “whole child” -cognitive, social, emotional and physical.

YMCA Early Learning Center programs are familial and oriented toward all family members. Not only are they designed to meet the needs of the varied communities they serve, they also deliver an individualized experience to each child, one that presents varied opportunities and fosters unique experiences. With safe, age-appropriate supervised care, daily schedules that meet the needs of local parents as well as the children, and activities intentionally designed to foster feelings of belonging, we strive to help our young people grow to be the best versions of themselves.

Another important tenet of our programming is the ongoing emphasis on healthy lifestyles. We stress the importance of fresh air, physical activity and proper nutrition. At our Early Learning Centers, our educators and staff who interact with our children, model our pillars of Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

No matter what programs we offer — from infant care to pre-school learning programs, from group games and sports to school-age child care, from homework support to arts and crafts — our primary focus is on building relationships and creating a sense of belonging.

We are proud to point to the success of YMCA Early Learning Center programming in diverse locations throughout the nation. What we do works, and it makes a difference in countless lives. Are you interested in learning more about YMCA Early Learning Center programs in your local community? We encourage you to contact us for additional information, and to support your local YMCA. By so doing, we are confident that we can build stronger communities, contribute to the health and well-being of our nation’s children, and create a better future for us all.

Early Learning is offered at the following locations. Please click for more information.


YMCA Ayrlawn Program Center
YMCA Silver Spring


YMCA Alexandria
YMCA Fairfax County Reston
YMCA Loudoun County Youth Development Center

To schedule a tour or learn more about our Early Learning programs, please fill out the form below and a YMCA representative will get in contact with you.

Early Learning Center