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.

*Due to online learning, most locations are not currently registering for Before and After School Care.

Now offering Learning Support Centers!

When school is out, the Y is in! As Delaware’s largest licensed childcare provider, we are committed to serving all students engaged in distance learning through high-quality care and remote learning assistance. Our Learning Support Centers will combine fun, character-building activities with educational support. Participants will receive an opportunity for homework help along with assistance to complete school assignments. Learn More!

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: $850 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 (April – October)
  • 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

Brandywine District:
P.S. DuPont

Charter/Private Schools:
East Side Charter
Family Foundations
First State Montessori
Great Oaks
Kuumba Academy
La Academia
St. Peters Cathedral School
Thomas A. Edison Charter

Christina School District:
Bancroft Elementary
Bayard Middle School
Montessori Academy at Bancroft
Stubbs Elementary

Red Clay School District
Highlands Elementary
Shortlidge Elementary
Warner Elementary

Our Mission

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


Welcome Week (September 12 - 20)

Help us celebrate the power of inclusion and coming together for good with Welcoming Week 2020! Learn more about what is happening at your local Y this week!


New Kids Clubs available while you work out!

Looking for child care while you work out? Try our brand new Kids Fun Club (Ages 2-5) and Youth Fit Club (Ages 5-12)! Each week participants will get together to move, play, explore, and have tons of fun! Registration is required. Click here to browse offerings by location.