Central YMCA

At the Central YMCA, we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why child care and early learning programs at the Y focus on holistically nurturing child development by providing a safe and healthy place to learn fundamental skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-esteem through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. The Central YMCA is a proud participant in the Delaware Stars quality program and has been ranked a 5 Star Level.

REGISTRATION: Please call the Central YMCA at (302) 254-9622 to register.

The Central YMCA pre-school program is for children ages 6 weeks through pre-k. This program provides a beneficial social experience and a good foundation for future education. Experienced teachers and aides utilize child-centered activities to encourage attentive listening skills, social behavior and provide opportunities to increase self-awareness.
Hours: 6:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Infants (under 1 year): $1170/month
1 year of age: $1050/month
2 years and older: $910/month 


  • At the Central YMCA, we support youth development, promote healthy living and emulate social responsibility. Your child will learn and grow in a multi-faceted program that provides opportunities for self-expression, socialization and teacher-led activities. The children learn age appropriate developmental skills that will both engage and challenge them intellectually and physically. 

Program Highlights

  • Weekly science, multi-sensory and cooking activities
  • Enriched early literacy program
  • Bi-weekly swimming for children ages 2 1/2 and older
  • Nutritionally balanced meals included
  • Warm, caring staff
  • Remodeled, clean facility

Program Options

  • Bunnies and Ducklings (6 Weeks Old – 12 Months)
    Our teachers are knowledgeable about infant development, and they interact and respond to your child’s needs. Our infant program offers experiences to infants that encourage them to explore their world by seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and exploring their environment.
  • Lambs (12 Months – 18 Months)
    Our teachers provide many opportunities for physical, intellectual, social and emotional development through interactive play with staff and other children their own age. Floor play enhances large motor skills that promote growth by assisting in the skills that are needed for walking and climbing!
  • Bears (Ages: 18 – 24 Months)
    Our program in the Bears’ classroom provides children with many opportunities to play and interact with other children, which helps them build friends and develop social skills like taking turns and sharing. Our teachers create lesson plans that enhance and build language skills which are critical for cognitive development.
  • Kangaroos, Elephants & Giraffes (Ages: 2 – 4 Years)
    Our Preschool program includes activities that introduce and enhance developmental growth in all areas of child development. Children paint, build with blocks, color, make new friends, and use their imaginations to create their own works of art. Children will be introduced to pre-kindergarten concepts that will help them as they get ready for school. The Downtown YMCA Child Development Centers also give children numerous opportunities to run, jump and build strong bodies!
  • Lions (Pre-K)
    Our pre-k program prepares your child for their first formal year of school, kindergarten! Children learn upper and lower case alphabet letters and numbers, and they work on beginning word sounds and writing skills! Our pre-k program also concentrates on problem-solving techniques and how to seek peaceful resolutions



Our Mission

The YMCA is an association of people of all ages, ethnic groups and religious affiliations that strives to cultivate the human potential, self-esteem, and dignity of all people. Our organization exists to develop and practice the Christian principles of love, caring, inclusiveness, justice and peace…and to enrich the emotional, physical and social life of all individuals, families and our community.


Stronger Together

At the Y, we stand against all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred. We have a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and compassion for all.  We share the grief and outrage felt by the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.  As we watch and experience the unrest and violence that continues to erupt throughout our communities, we acknowledge that this reality is fueled by generations of injustice. Together through the Y, we can be a positive force for change in every community we serve. We must unite. We must be heard, and we must do better.


Due to scheduled protests, the Central and Walnut Street YMCA's will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

The Sussex Family Y will close at 12 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

The Bear-Family Y outdoor pools will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 7th.