The family pool at the Emilson Y (Hanover) will be closed on Thursday, July 11.


Registration for Early Learning Centers and After-School Programs is open and ongoing.

  • HANOVER: If you are interested in enrollment information for the Early Learning Center in Hanover,  please contact  Mary Spargo at (781-826-7900).
  • QUINCY: If you are interested in enrollment information for the State Street ELC located at the Hale Family YMCA, please contact Sonya Nesbitt at (857-403-4749).
  • SCIENCE CENTER (NORWELL): If you are interested in 2025 enrollment information for the SSYMCA Nature Center Preschool, please contact Jessica Hagen at

YMCA Early Learning Programs

The South Shore YMCA Early Learning Centers offers a variety of programs to suit the needs of families in our community. Full-day educational programs are available on a partial or full-week basis.

Infant (6 Weeks – 14 Months)

Infant Care at the SSYMCA Early Learning Centers

A warm, caring and supportive environment where families can trust that babies age 6 weeks to 14 months will be happy and safe. At the YMCA Early Learning Center Infant program, children are nurtured and encouraged to explore active learning activities that are personalized to meet their developmental and emotional needs.


The infant curriculum is based on the unique needs of every child through individual and group learning experiences. Infants learn through love and activity, therefore the infant curriculum is a mix of care and education within a developmentally appropriate learning environment for babies to explore, all under the guidance of trusted caregivers and educators. Infant classroom activities include:

  • Gross Motor Activities
  • Fine Motor Activities
  • Language Development
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Beginning Self-Help Skills


Our clean, bright and cozy infant rooms have state of the art furniture, toys and equipment needed for your baby to play, nap, be fed and diapered properly in a calming, comfortable, safe and secure environment. Our center is licensed and meets strict standards as set forth by the Massachusetts Early Education and Care (EEC).

Toddler (15 Months – 2.8 Years)

Toddlers receive guidance and support from a warm, caring staff. Enrichment activities help toddlers learn through play as they navigate social situations, investigate cause and effect relationships, and build essential early language and motor skills.

A Typical Day for Toddlers

  • Art Projects: Children learn and have fun while they experiment with wet and dry media in a variety of colors.
  • Manipulatives: Children use eye-hand coordination, visual perception and tracking, and visual motor skills in play activities.
  • Circle: During circle time, children gather daily to sing their favorite songs and listen to a variety of age-appropriate literature that is read aloud.
  • Dramatic Play: Children listen to, recite, sing, and dramatize a variety of age-appropriate literature. At ELC, we encourage children to let their imagination run free!
  • Sensory Table: Daily activities help toddlers apply their sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste to explore their environment.
  • Diapering/Bathroom: Through 1:1 interaction, children learn self-help skills which helps build self-esteem and independence.

Preschool (2.9 – 5+ Years)

Our Preschool program offers a high-quality learning experience for ages 2.9 to 5+ years old. Daily learning and enrichment activities in the classroom are designed for students to use their natural curiosity and imagination to become creative thinkers. Preschoolers are active and exuberant learners and will work on increasing their mastery of physical skills and developing a positive self-image.


  • Emphasizes the importance of routines
  • Promotes hands-on learning through exploration
  • Supports early literacy and language development
  • Ensures preparation for elementary school


  • Swim Program at the Y
  • Gymnastics – Hanover Only
  • Music & Movement
  • Story Time (Early Literacy & Gross Motor Play)
  • Small group instruction with developmentally appropriate practice

A Typical Preschool Day

  • Scientific exploration and discovery in the classroom
  • Gross Motor Play in the KidsZone or Field House
  • Outdoor exploration at modern playground spaces

Pre-Kindergarten (4+ Years)

Our Full Day, Pre-Kindergarten Program prepares children to become independent learners and develop self-confidence and social skills for sharing in a classroom setting. We focus on language and literacy development, math activities, science and nature, music and movement through many enrichment activities.


  • Incorporates learning objectives for Kindergarten as identified by the Massachusetts State Frameworks (recently adopted Common Core State Standards).
  • Uses research-based assessment tools in both Literacy and Mathematics to determine student development and inform instruction.
  • Provides small group instruction in phonemic awareness, letter/sound recognition, guided reading, and mathematics concepts.
  • Innovative classroom learning centers to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and to support student-initiated interests.


  • Y Swim Program
  • Y Gymnastics Program (Hanover only)
  • Music & Movement
  • ELC Story Time (Early Literacy & Gross Motor Play)


South Shore YMCA Early Learning Center - Hanover

1075 Washington Street (Route 53)
Hanover, MA 02339

Our Hanover early childhood educational setting provides full-day care for infants through private kindergarten in this clean, vibrant educational center. Our goal is to provide a safe, nurturing, and enriching environment for young children to learn, thrive, and grow. Our programs are developmentally appropriate yet flexible enough to allow room for challenging the unique strengths and abilities of each individual. Contact Mary Spargo at ( for enrollment and waitlist information.

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State Street Early Learning Center – Quincy YMCA

79 Coddington Street
Quincy, MA 02169

The South Shore YMCA State Street Early Learning Center at our Quincy Branch provides a full-day, high quality early education and care program throughout the year. We provide a safe and supportive environment that fosters the physical, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social growth of children, while supporting and strengthening families. Full-time and part-time programs are available for infant, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten classrooms. Contact Sonya Nesbitt at (857-403-4749) for enrollment and waitlist information.

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Nature Center Preschool – South Shore Natural Science Center

48 Jacobs Lane
Norwell, MA, 02061

The Nature Center Preschool at the South Shore Y Natural Science Center combines the idea of a traditional preschool program with all the extra opportunities and excitement offered by the facilities and staff of the South Shore Natural Science Center. Naturalists from the Science Center visit the preschool regularly to provide enrichment activities. For more information please contact Jessica Hagen at

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Our highly qualified early childhood educators implement a research-based curriculum that promotes critical thinking skills & recognizes the importance of brain development and its influences on learning by doing. Each of our centers uses Teaching Strategies Gold curriculum and assessment, which relates directly to NAEYC and MA DOE standards for early childhood education.

  • Emphasizes the importance of routines
  • Provides an assessment tool for all areas of child development
  • Promotes hands-on learning through exploration
  • Supports early literacy and language development
  • Helps children enter elementary school as well adjusted, and eager learners


At the SSYMCA Early Learning Centers, enrichment programs are embedded into the curriculum to provide children an even greater opportunity to become well-rounded learners. Depending on the age of your child, he/she will be involved in:

  • Aquatic safety sessions (temporarily restricted due to current COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Music and movement
  • Outdoor exploration and play
  • Gymnastics (ELC – Hanover)
  • Child Protection Unit Curriculum
  • Visits from community leaders (temporarily restricted due to current COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Small group instruction


Gross Motor Play Spaces

Our early learning centers offer vibrant, indoor gross motor play spaces, equipped with engaging and developmentally appropriate equipment designed to meet the needs of young children. Children at the Early Learning Center in Hanover visit our KidZone dedicated indoor play spaces, while children at State Street Early Learning Center visit the Briggs Family Field House each day, and all children visit our outdoor playgrounds when the weather permits. Gross motor play is part of every child’s day with us, where they can run, climb, crawl, hop and skip their way to healthy minds and bodies.

  • Scooters and trikes to build balance and coordination
  • Large structure with ramps, slides, ladders, and small climbing wall
  • Tunnels and tents for spatial awareness
  • Soft climbers for infants to strengthen motor skills
  • Basketball hoops and balls to facilitate hand-eye coordination
  • Wheeled toys for pushing and pulling to build upper body strength

Outdoor Exploration & Play

Children can enjoy nature and daily outdoor time on our modern and expressive playground, designed to capture imagination and energy.

  • Paved paths for bikes and scooters
  • Infant and toddler swings
  • Infant/toddler climbing structures
  • Climber for older children with slides, ladders, and tunnels

Family Resources

The South Shore YMCA Early Learning program meets high levels of standards, ensuring that they provide safe and enriching environments for children, support educators’ professional development and qualifications, thoughtfully engage with families and the community, and demonstrate strong leadership. I commend their hard work, achievements and significant contribution to early education program quality in Massachusetts overall. Thomas L. Weber, Commissioner of Early Education and Care


Looking to Support Early Education?


Have Questions?

We would love to meet you and learn about your family’s child care needs. Come see why your family belongs at the YMCA Early Learning Centers.

Contact Us