Flourishing as Preschoolers: Our Journey with YWCA Child Care
August 6, 2020
In this blog post, parents Rachel and Colin Ernst share about their experiences as a family enrolled in our Early Childhood Education program.
We have twins who started attending YWCA Minneapolis Children’s Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital when they were two years old. They are now almost five years old and it has been so nice to have the consistency of care as they transitioned from day care to preschool. Our daughter loves imaginative play, our son enjoys any and all physical activities, and they both are serious bookworms and puzzle masters. They get to enjoy all these things and more at YWCA.
Looking For a Four-Star Parent Aware Rating
When it came time to find a day care for our kids, we searched for programs that had a four-star Parent Aware rating, looked them up and toured several options. We were drawn to YWCA because the diverse student population can see themselves reflected by a similarly diverse staff. We appreciated the play-led learning and the strong commitment to helping youth engage with the natural world around them.
Attentive Caregivers, Healthy Food and Adventures
From the first day our twins joined the program at Abbott, we knew they were in good care. They had attentive caregivers, healthy food and we received a note for each kid at pick up letting us know a highlight of each day. As they transitioned to the toddler and preschool rooms, they’ve gone on field trips to the Midtown Global Market, the Swedish Institute and have had the chance to take swimming lessons during the school day. It has been a very enriching experience for them and we feel good about sending them off on the adventures they get to have while we are at work.
Remaining Open for Essential Workers
We feel extremely grateful for YWCA as they found safe and effective ways to remain open for the children of essential workers right at the start of the pandemic and have been impressed by the strategies they’ve implemented to maintain that safety as the program has opened back up to all of their students. There have been multiple occasions when our friends have had their care centers close for weather, the pandemic, etc. when YWCA has found ways to remain open. This, along with their flexible drop off and pick up schedule, has been a lifesaver for us on many occasions.
Flourishing as Preschoolers
Our children are completely different kids than they were when they started with YWCA. They entered the program with some delays and with the supportive environment provided, they have flourished into preschoolers who are on par with their peers socially and academically.
“Throughout our time with YWCA, we have seen the teachers allow for a range of learning styles and they have helped us recognize and celebrate our children’s individual milestones.”
The kids are encouraged to try new things and are gaining more confidence and independence every day. They love coming home to show off their new skills!
An Extension of Our Family
The administrators with YWCA’s Children’s Center at Abbott make a point of getting to know each of the youth in their care. They have helped us find outside support for some of the additional needs of our children and been extremely supportive and flexible as we have navigated incorporating those supports into their daily routines at preschool. We appreciate all they have done for our kids and consider them an extension of our family!