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Somerset Hills YMCA Offers Variety of Options for Early Childhood Education and School Age Child Care

Megeen Laska

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 • 5:09am

WARREN, NJ – The Somerset Hills YMCA offers a wide range of early childhood education and child care options for families in the community. As a non-profit focused on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the Somerset Hills YMCA infuses its core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into all of its programs. With a mission of strengthening community, the Y aims to make a meaningful impact on the lives of each person who walks through the doors and to support parents in their effort to build happy, healthy families.
 
The demand for excellent education and school age child care and has been the driving force behind the expansion of the Y’s programs over the years. “There is a growing need in the community for quality early childhood education and child care,” stated Karyn Lightcap, COO of the Somerset Hills YMCA. “At the Y, our goal is to nurture the potential of every child. We understand how important it is for parents to know that their children are in a safe, caring environment where they are encouraged to learn, grow and thrive. We hope to provide that for more families.”
 
Dedicated to the care of children, the Y’s programs cater to working parents and focus on enriching the lives of the children throughout all years of development. A variety of program options are available so parents can work secure in knowing that their children are being educated and nurtured through a caring, constructive and stimulating program.
 
The Y believes that positive role models are critical to a child’s development; and therefore, the full-time Early Childhood Education and School Age Child Care Programs are staffed with certified teachers and compassionate assistants. The staff understands the cognitive, physical and social development of children to help them feel secure, supported and connected so they can thrive.
 
The Somerset Hills YMCA offers comprehensive, quality Early Childhood Education and School Age Child Care. Programs include Waddler Care for infants age 3 months to 2 years, Toddler Care for children age 2 years to 3 years, and Preschool for children age 3-5 years, as well as School Age Child Care for children in grades K – 8th.
 
At the Y’s newly named Early Education Center, a wide variety of experiences are offered for the Waddler through Preschool Age child, including daily activities that develop the child's language, social, emotional, fine, and gross motor skills.  The staff promotes learning in the academic areas of Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Additional offerings include Art, Music, Cooking, and Swimming (for Preschool Age children) to establish a well-rounded program for young children. The program includes all-day care from 7:30am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, plus lunch and a mid-afternoon snack. New this fall, the Early Education Center will offer extended hours to add more flexibility for working parents. The morning extended hours will be from 7:00 – 7:30am and the afternoon extended hours will be from 6 - 6:30pm. Additionally, options for 5, 3 and 2 day care are available.
 
“When I talk about my son’s preschool experience at the Y, I get emotional,” said Kandi Mucha of Far Hills, Early Education Center parent. “The Y’s Early Education Center lets children be children. The staff celebrates each child and lets the children explore their own personality. They guide the children’s individual growth, both academically and personally. My son made huge progress and, as a result, the Y has a special place in my heart.”
 
The Y’s Before and After Care Programs are available to school-age children who attend Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bedminster and Warren Townships schools, as well as at Far Hills Country Day School. The Before Care Program hours are 7 -8:50am. The After Care Program hours are 3:00-6:00pm. The After Care schedule consists of a snack, indoor/outdoor activities, sports/games, arts & crafts, themed daily activities, and the opportunity to participate in YMCA classes.
 
“My husband and I always rest easy knowing our daughter is in such good care after her school day is over,” mentioned Mary Dolan of Basking Ridge, School Age Child Care parent. “The staff is so kind and professional, They genuinely care about the well-being of the children. What more could a parent want.”
 
The Somerset Hills YMCA offers continuity of care from young children through young teens, which allows children to feel secure in their surroundings and to grow in a structured, enriching environment. The Y also infuses its focus of Social Responsibility in all of the programs through various activities to help the children build character and understand how meaningful it can be to help others.
 
The Y’s Early Education Center and School Age Child Care Program both integrate Healthy U, a  statewide initiative that includes nutrition education and physical activity as a means to  promote healthy living and prevent childhood obesity. Through this program, the Y is playing a major role in promoting healthy living among children by teaching them the importance of good nutrition and helping them get physical activity each day.
 
The Somerset Hills YMCA strives to ensure a bright future for children, so they can grow to become tomorrow’s leaders. For more information about Somerset Hills YMCA Early Education Center, please call Sally Roser at 908 630 3523. For more information about the School Age Child Care Program, please call Tina Costello at 908 766 7898 x331. For more information about the Somerset Hills YMCA, visit www.somersethillsymca.org.
 
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