For those times when you can’t be there yourself, the Y provides a safe and nurturing environment where your child will learn, grow and thrive.

Our Early Childhood Centers are licensed by the State of Missouri or Illinois and all child care staff members receive extensive training through the national YMCA as well through the Gateway Region YMCA. We implement age-appropriate learning focused on promoting independence, building self-esteem, working with friends, and improving kindergarten readiness.

The Gateway Region YMCA has five full-day locations throughout the area. And if you are looking for half-day preschool options, we have those too.


We provide a high quality, safe, convenient, recreational and educational environment for children regardless of ability. Our philosophy includes:

  • Providing quality care for children, regardless of socio/economic background
  • Supporting and strengthening the family unit
  • Helping children develop their fullest potential
  • Deliver the program in a positive YMCA environment of safety, support and care.

We achieve these goals with the understanding that each child is a unique, special individual who will receive attention appropriate to his or her developmental needs.

A Place for All: Inclusion and Adaptive Support Services

 Our YMCA welcomes participation by children of all abilities. All children diagnosed with a disability will be referred to the Inclusion Services Department. The YMCA provides a recreational environment for children and teens with and without disabilities through added support staff, when needed to facilitate successful participation in the programs when appropriate. For more information, call the Inclusion Services Department at (314) 678-0162. 

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Financial Support

Through the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, we can ensure that everyone is always welcome at the Y, no matter his or her financial situation. Financial Assistance toward program fees is available for those with a demonstrated financial need. Applications are available at the ECEC office. 

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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 difference among children.

Project Construct

Inspires hands-on, minds-on learning to attain deep understandings in the core content areas, while working collaboratively with adults and peers in vibrant learning communities.

Reebok BOKS

A physical activity program that improves our children physically, mentally and socially through movement.

Ignite by Hatch 

A digital learning platform for ages 4-5 offering play-based, research-backed curricular experiences that engage, instruct, and assess children in 7 domains of development. 


Healthy Eating Physical Activity


Families receive updates sent via email or smartphone using the HiMama app. HiMama is used by our educators to record activities and updates throughout the day. Everything from naps to snacks, it will provide you with a complete history of your child's experience in our program with photos stored safely and securely in a journal format.

"I cannot say enough positive things about the Y, the teachers and the staff. We are so happy with our decision to send our child to the Y and its been the greatest experience for both us and our child." ~ ECEC Parent