Where education meets fun

Each day at the Y, we nurture the potential of every child. Because the early years are so important to a child’s life, we are dedicated to making them the most enriching. At the Y, we provide a fun, safe and structured hands-on learning experience where children can discover their full learning potential in a home away from home.

Our Early Education Center offers a wide variety of experiences that help children to learn, grow, and thrive. Not only are these years the most precious, they are the most formative when it comes to cognitive, physical, linguistic and social development. Our goal is to stimulate the children’s academic abilities and creativity while fostering the development of their social skills and individuality.

We strive to bring out the best in each and every child that comes through our Center’s doors. The Y’s core values of caring, respect, honesty and responsibility are woven throughout our Center’s program to create a warm, nurturing environment for children; a home away from home, where they feel secure and confident to discover their potential.

Our program curriculum is designed to consider the general patterns of growth and to recognize and accept individual differences among children. Our nurturing and well qualified staff focuses on six content areas within The Creative Curriculum®: literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, arts & technology, all while making sure your children have fun and express their individuality while learning.


Options For School Year 2022-2023 at Hillsborough YMCA

Infant Care (Ages 6 weeks to 22 months)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:00am-6:30pm

Infants build cognitive sensory skills through play-based activities such as music, storytelling and other physical activities that foster growth and learning through independent exploration. Our teachers engage children while providing care tailored to each infant’s schedule.

Toddlers (Ages 22 months to 3 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:00am-6:30pm

Toddlers explore the world and work on their social skills in a group through immersive activities that include music, sports, stories and science. We also introduce them to shapes, colors, letters and numbers.

Preschool 1 (Ages 3 years to 4 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:00am-6:30pm
3 Full Days | Monday – Friday | 7:00am-6:30pm
2 Full Days | Monday – Friday | 7:00am-6:30pm

Children participate in age-appropriate, engaging group activities. Our staff inspires and supports literacy, math and language both socially and cognitively through interactive learning, such as recognizing patterns, sequences, numbers, and letters. Children also enjoy music and a healthy dose of physical activity.

Preschool 2 (Ages 4 years to 5 years)

Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:00am-6:30pm
3 Full Days | Monday – Friday | 7:00am-6:30pm
2 Full Days | Monday – Friday | 7:00am-6:30pm

Children explore the worlds of science, math, literacy and social studies to acquire kindergarten readiness. Our Preschool 2 students learn the alphabet, develop pre-writing and pre-reading skills, and early number concepts. Children also enjoy science and a healthy dose of physical activity.

Pre-Kindergarten Plus (Ages 4 1/2 years to 5 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:00am-6:30pm

Designed for children who miss the kindergarten cut-off date and have already experienced Preschool II level class. Children are prepared for the rigors of kindergarten and challenged with enhanced readiness skills in math, science, literacy, phonics and language. Social skills are encouraged through group projects and physical fitness.

Options For School Year 2023-2024 at Somerset Hills YMCA

Infant Care (Ages 6 weeks to 18 months)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:30am-6:00pm
3 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm
2 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm

10% sibling discount when both children are enrolled in 5-day full-time option

We care for infants as young as 3 months to toddlers of 24 months who are learning to function as individuals, and in a group, as they experience a wide range of activities from sensory play and painting, to stories and baby sign language. Children engage in self-initiated activity daily, balancing large and small motor skills with social, language, sensory and self-help skill development. Teacher to child ratio is 1:4.

Toddler Program (Ages 18 months to 3 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:30am-6:00pm
3 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm
2 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm

10% sibling discount when both children are enrolled in 5-day full-time option

This program is rich in language and sensory experiences and fosters self-paced development. Our 2- and 3-year-olds are encouraged to continually explore their surroundings while we introduce them to letters, colors and numbers. Toddlers are motivated and supported to participate in new activities as they become developmentally ready.Once your child is 2.5 years old, we work in conjunction with your family to toilet-train your child using positive, motivational, rewards-based techniques. Parents receive a daily written report of their activities. Teacher to child ratio is 1:5.

Preschool 1 Program (Ages 3 years to 4 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:30am-6:00pm
3 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm
2 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm

10% sibling discount when both children are enrolled in 5-day full-time option

Our Preschool classrooms use manipulatives, table toys, books, music/movement, art, library, science and nature to present different development themes for children to explore each week while they learn to follow directions in preparation for kindergarten. Readiness activities related to shapes, colors, letters, and numbers are incorporated into themes such as Community Helpers, Holidays, Transportation, Science, Social Events and Health. Physical activity, library, physical education, and music enrichment classes are also an important part of our curriculum. Teacher to child ratio is 1:7.

Preschool 2 Program (Ages 4 years to 5 years)

5 Full Days  |  Monday – Friday  |  7:30am-6:00pm
3 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm
2 Full Days  |  7:30am-6:00pm

10% sibling discount when both children are enrolled in 5-day full-time option

Preschool 2 prepares children for their next major milestone, Kindergarten! They become secure with concepts such as numbers, colors, days, months, and letters, coordinated through weekly themes. Reading, writing and individual thinking is emphasized. Frequent assessments ensure each child’s learning needs and styles are met. Our 4- and 5-year-olds enjoy physical education, music and library each week as part of the curriculum and included in tuition. Teacher to child ratio is 1:10.

I have used other childcare programs, and the difference here is that this is more than a job to the employees of the YMCA. They are here to model and teach children very special values. It is an environment where people care about more than just the dollar!

Jennifer, YMCA Mom

We’d Love to Meet You!


We invite you to come and tour our daycare centers at Hillsborough YMCA and Somerset Hills YMCA  so you can see our classrooms and meet our staff. We offer infant, toddler, and pre-k care – as early as 6 weeks old – 5 years old.


    Have additional questions? Need more information? Not sure where to start? Click below to get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. We’ll be happy to help!



    Age-Appropriate Curriculum

    Understanding how children develop and learn is vital to a quality early childhood program. Our program is designed to consider the general patterns of growth, as well as to recognize and accept individual differences among children.

    At the Y, we use The Creative Curriculum® to enhance the children’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and linguistic development. The Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive, research-based, research-proven, whole-child approach to education—one where children develop not only math and literacy skills but also social-emotional, physical, and cognitive skills.

    The Curriculum features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, focused in six content areas: literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and technology. It includes developmentally appropriate goals and objectives for children within four main categories of interest: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language.

    The Creative Curriculum organizes the learning environment into a variety of interest areas including blocks, dramatic play, toys & games, art, discovery and more! Children are immersed in learning through purposeful play-based experiences on topics they’re familiar with from their everyday lives. These experiences help foster children’s social competence, support learning through play, create rich environments for learning, and forge strong home-school connections.

    Further enrichment opportunities are included within the Preschool I and Preschool II weekly schedule. These offerings include gross motor instruction and music that help develop the whole child.

    Social-Emotional Development

    Sanford Harmony™ is a social-emotional learning program designed to foster communication, connection and community both in and outside the classroom through an environment of acceptance and inclusion that celebrates strengths and differences. This PreK-6 evidence-based program helps children develop into compassionate and caring adults. Aligned with the Y’s four core values, Harmony-based stories, games, songs, and a variety of age-appropriate lessons are seamlessly integrated into our YMCA Early Education Center’s Pre-K and Kindergarten experience. Intentional activities help children develop self-confidence, control, and respect for the feelings and rights of others.

    Quality Staff

    Our staff is comprised of caring, nurturing individuals who are trained in early childhood education. All staff are required to complete a minimum of twelve hours of on-going training on an annual basis and are certified in First Aid and CPR.

    Committed to Your Child’s Safety

    In an effort to continually improve the safety and security of our YMCA, we utilize a system called Raptor which instantly screens visitors against registered sex offender databases in all 50 states. This is in addition to sex offender screenings the Y regularly conducts on all members, participants, and staff. All authorized pick-ups must present a state or government issued photo ID every time when picking up a child.

    Family Involvement

    Home and school are a child’s two most important worlds. Our goal is to connect these two worlds in a positive, respectful way so the children feel secure and confident. Activities throughout the year offer opportunities for families to share in the school experience.

    Enrichment Options

    At Greater Somerset County YMCA, we encourage self-discovery and exploration, and we know part of that comes with trying new things. To learn more, please contact your branch child care director.

    Y For All

    We believe that everyone—no matter who they are or where they’re from—deserves the opportunity and the resources necessary to reach their full potential. In addition to any community subsidies families may qualify for, the Y also provides direct financial assistance to qualifying families enrolled in our child care programs—made possible through the generosity of our Y’s Annual Campaign donors and proceeds from special fundraising events. Visit gscymca.org/fa to learn more.


    The Y isn’t a building. It’s people from all backgrounds and walks of life who come together to improve their lives, nurture their families and strengthen their community, together.