Childcare and Preschool

Walnut Street YMCA

At the Walnut Street 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 Walnut Street YMCA is a proud participant in the Delaware Stars quality program and has been ranked a Star Level 5.

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The Walnut Street YMCA preschool program is for children ages 2 years 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, pro-social behavior and provide opportunities to increase self-awareness. Our staff works with the children in individual and group settings to ensure each child is ready and prepared for Kindergarten.
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fees: 2 years and older: $1,000 per month


At the Walnut Street 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 (October – April)
  • Nutritionally balanced meals
  • Warm, caring staff
  • Remodeled, clean facility

Program Options

Little Rascals (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 imagination 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!

Little Professors (4 – 5 years )
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 licensed School Age Child Care Program provides a positive and meaningful before and after school experience for children grades k-8. Our experienced and dedicated staff plan structured activities designed to develop each child to his or her fullest potential. Our program emphasizes the YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. Service to other schools may be available, but transportation may need to be self-arranged.

Our School’s Out Program offers

  • Homework assistance
  • Daily snack provided
  • Diverse recreation and enrichment activities
  • Access to YMCA youth programs
  • Trained and experienced staff

Schools Served

All Walnut Street Y Before and After School programs are held at the Walnut Street YMCA location. The Walnut St. YMCA provides bussing for the following schools. If your child’s school is not listed, please arrange Before and After Care transportation for them.
YMCA Provided Transportation 
  • Harlan Elementary
  • P.S. DuPont
  • First State Montessori Academy
  • Great Oaks Charter
  • Kuumba Academy
  • St. Peters Cathedral School
  • Bancroft Elementary
  • Bayard Elementary School
  • Highlands (Johnson Jr.) Elementary
  • Shortlidge Elementary
  • Warner Elementary
Alternate Bus Transportation (YMCA Bus Stops) 
  • Charter School of New Castle
  • Eastside Charter
  • Odyssey Charter
  • Thomas A. Edison Charter
  • La Acadamia Charter School
  • Stubbs Elementary

2024/2025 School Year Monthly Pricing

Before Care Only:
Full Member: $180/month
Non-Member: $265/month

After Care Only:
Full Member: $275/month
Non-Member: $360/month

Before and After Care:
Full Member $400/month
Non-Member: $500/month

TEENS (ages 13-17): Free

Our Mission

To empower youth, foster healthy living, and promote strong communities.