Our Early Learning Readiness program creates a place for young children to play, learn and develop the skills they'll need for school. A caregiver or parent attends each class with their child and learns developmental activities to do at home. This program is available through community partnerships.

  • Enhances Language Development
  • Learn Through Play
  • Improves Cognitive Development
  • Nurtures Creativity
  • Builds Relationships


  • Help your child develop and get ready for school.
  • Enjoy games, books, resources and more!
  • Meet other caregivers of young children.
  • Your child can interact with other children his/her age.

The program is offered at local schools and through community partners that meet qualifying criteria. If your organization is interested in partnering please email to Caroline Mitchell

Our Early Learning Readiness program is offered at the following locations:

Carr Square

If your organization is interested in hosting our Early Learning Readiness program please email Caroline Mitchell or call 314-776-7102.

In a typical class session is 2 hours. During that time young children and their parents will participate in:

Circle Time - songs and stories
Activity Centers - dramatic play, art, blocks, math & puzzles, etc.
Resource Information - the facilitator will share information and local resources for families with young children.

Each class has a theme that guides our play.  Some of our themes include:

Growth - Participants planted seeds, read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, played with baby and adult animals, and learned about how plants and animals (including us) grow.
Teddy Bear Party - Participants wore our pajamas, brought their teddy bears and talked about what makes us feel safe and loved. We filled a cup full of pretend marshmallows while listing all the things we love about ourselves and the ways we take care of ourselves. We finished with a hot chocolate and snack.

Do you need to be a member to participate in the program?
No, this is a program we offer free to the community regardless of YMCA membership

Is this available at YMCA branches?
Yes, we offer this program at the Emerson YMCA and Carondelet Park Rec Complex. If you'd like to have it offered at a Y near you, please contact Caroline Mitchell or call 314-776-7102.

How do schools and community partners get involved with Early Learning Readiness?
There is no cost associated with this program for qualifying schools and community partners.

Is there a cost associated with the program?
There is no cost associated with this program. However, community partners must meet specific criteria to qualify. Please email Caroline Mitchell to find out if your organization qualifies. 

Thank you to all the community organizations who help make this program possible:

Normandy Collaborative
Vision for Children at Risk
Scholastic books
First Books
Books for STL Kids
Turn the Page STL

If your organization is interested in partnering our Early Learning Readiness program please complete email Caroline Mitchell or call 314-776-7102.