A MESSAGE FROM ERIN SIEMERS AND CINDY SHIELDS, SENIOR CHILD CARE DIRECTORS
Hi, my name is Erin Siemers and I have been working for the YMCA of MEWSA for 20 years in every capacity imaginable from swim instructor, birthday party specialist and camp counselor to Pre-K Teacher, School-Age Child Care Coordinator and Child Care Site Director. I have been in my current role of Senior Child Care Director since 2015 and oversee the operation of all of our Child Care Programs in Metuchen and Edison.
Hi, my name is Cindy Shields and I am responsible for the child care programs in the Woodbridge and Perth Amboy locations. My story began in 1993, when I was hired as an Infant and Toddler Lead Teacher at Edgar Early Learning Center, and eventually promoted to Assistant Director. From there I became Director at Our Savior’s Learning Center from 1998 through 2004 and then Director at Grace Early Learning Center from 2004 through 2013. My current role is Senior Child Care Director and I oversee the operation of all of our Child Care Programs in Woodbridge and Perth Amboy, while providing support for South Amboy as well.
The YMCA of MEWSA is the largest child care provider in Middlesex County, serving over 1,000 children each day in our child care centers, school age locations and day camps. The YMCA offers learning programs and readiness opportunities for all children from infant/toddler and preschool through school age, including full and half day programs that teach academics, swimming lessons, physical fitness programs, field trips, enrichment classes, health and safety curriculum and more. We also offer Before and After School Care, Kindergarten Extended Days, Holiday Care and Summer Day Camp where youth engage in physical activities, learning opportunities and imaginative programs including STEM activities. Children throughout all of our programs are taught HEPA (healthy eating and physical activity) habits as part of our day to day curriculum. All of our child care centers follow NAEYC accreditation standards and are enrolled in the Grow NJ Kids Program, a quality initiative funded by the state of New Jersey. This affirms our commitment to continuously improving the well-being of all young children, with a particular focus on the quality of education and services provided to families enrolled in our programs.
We would love for you to come and visit one of our Early Learning or SACC Programs, so that you can see our facilities and meet our teachers and staff. We think you will quickly see that we are not just a child care center, but a family that you can trust with your most precious commodity…your children!
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The cost of tuition includes a month’s worth child care, swim lessons, music class, two healthy snacks a day, and teaching staff that are first aid and CPR certified.
The State approved ratios:
Kindergarten and up: 1-15
Our programs exceed the state approved ratios in many classrooms.
Depending on the center, children are encouraged to be potty-trained prior to entering preschool. If a center requires potty-training and your child is not yet trained, we do offer alternative toddler programs in a majority of our centers.
Our goal is to have all the children rest so they have energy for our afternoon activities. However, all children are different and not every child will fall asleep during rest time. We do encourage all children to take a break and “rest”, however the children who do not fall asleep will be provided a quiet alternative.
New Jersey’s law requires all children under the age of 5 years attending an Early Learning program (infant/toddler/preschool) receive a mandatory flu shot by December 31 each year. A medical or religious exemption is possible in some instances; the Center Director will direct you to the appropriate paperwork.
The State of New Jersey Department of Education recommends several approved preschool curriculums. We utilize The Creative Curriculum in our early learning programs.
Many of our child care centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The YMCA prides itself on following higher standards for health and safety, NAEYC standards provides us the tools and guidance to ensure high quality. The NAEYC Accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers, and other early education programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.
Select child care sites offer a Kindergarten Extended Day program. This program supports the curriculum followed at the public school to ensure that all children receive a full day of learning. The YMCA of Colonia, Ken Shirk Child Care, Our Savior Child Care, Edison Branch YMCA, and Metuchen YMCA all offer a Kindergarten Program.
Each center offers a different variety of enrichments that are both included in our tuition price and ones that require an additional fee. Some of these enrichments include language, soccer, zumba, dance, computers, yoga, etc. Please contact the specific center for more details.
Select School Age programs provide transportation to and from the schools in Edison, Metuchen, and Woodbridge area. The Metuchen branch, Edison branch, South Amboy branch, Ken Shirk Child Care, YMCA Child Care at Colonia, and YMCA Child Care at Fords offer transportation. Due to the amount of schools in the area, we cannot offer childcare from all schools to our facilities. Please inquire with the program contact for more details.
Yes! We have a wonderful summer camp program that runs for 10 weeks during the summer. We service children from 5 to 12 years old. The children in our summer camp program travel to the pool twice during the week and go on one weekly field trip. A half-day program for children 3 to 5 years old is available at some locations.