Y Childcare: Planting Seeds of Kindness

Y Parent Testimonial: On the first day I walked into the Y at Whitney Early Learning Center, I was at my wit’s end.  My home school district had announced it would not after all be opening in a hybrid model, and I knew that I could no longer justify that the daycare I had been at for nearly 4 years wasn’t “that bad”.  I had concerns about how physical the boys were allowed to be with each other and concerns about the older kids picking on the younger ones.  

We had already made the decision that when possible, my oldest could hang out with dad, who was mostly working from home. But what to do about preschool for our youngest?  Our prior preschool wasn’t sure they would open at all, and even if they did,  they didn’t offer full day care.  I began calling all over two counties looking for open preschools. 

I set up a tour with the director Y ELC at Whitney, and asked lots of questions, I asked how she dealt with bullying and kids getting physical with each other.  I was pleasantly surprised by the answer, and was impressed by everything I saw.  Somewhat apprehensively, we made the decision to start at the beginning of the next month. 

On the first day, my son was very shy and nervous, as the other daycare was all he remembered.  I put off dropping him off as long as I could, and left work early to pick him up, sure that I would be picking up a kid in tears.  As I walked up to the playground, though, what I saw was a kiddo who was living what he referred to as his best day ever.  Tired, dirty from digging, and having made a new best friend, he told me all about his day as we drove home.   

About a month later, feeling somewhat guilty about his long days in pre-k, I asked him about his new school and new friends.  “Mommy, it hits the top of my meter,” were his words.  We couldn’t be happier with the choice we made to send our kiddo to the Y ELC at Whitney. 

Our teachers integrate the Y’s core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility into daily activities and lessons. Creating a safe and welcoming environment is a top priority from the moment children walk in the door. 

“When children join a new class, they may be nervous and unsure about what to expect,” Y ELC at Whitney Director Stephanie Travers says. “Families want to know if they will be welcome and if the teachers will value their suggestions and appreciate their child. We start with a clean, well-organized room. We decorate the walls with children’s artwork and photos of the children and their families.”

In any group setting, conflicts are bound to arise. Whether it be learning to share or express difficult emotions, Y Childcare staff are equipped to help children navigate these situations while maintaining a safe, respectful classroom environment. 

“We use a Mood Meter to teach empathy and emotional intelligence,” Y Childcare Preschool Teacher Louise McKnight says. “We practice ‘filling each other’s buckets’ by choosing kindness in all things each day.”

At our many Y childcare centers across Skagit County, you will see consistent, high-quality care no matter which center your children attend. By investing in our team of dedicated teachers through trainings and certification reimbursement, we provide our staff with the tools they need to be successful. Learn more about Y childcare at skagitymca.org/childcare. 



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