CDYMCA Childcare FAQ Page

Learning, Growing, and Thriving at the Y

We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life. At the Y, children learn the alphabet, how to share, sportsmanship, and, most importantly, how to be themselves. That makes for confident children and contributing and engaged adults in the future.

What Makes Us Different?

HEPA – In response to a call by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Y has expanded its longtime commitment to support healthy living by adopting a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards.  Based in part on years of research with key partners, the HEPA standards builds a healthier future for our nation’s children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

SPARK – SPARK is dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating research-based programs that promote lifelong wellness.  Each SPARK program fosters environmental and behavioral change by providing a coordinated package of highly active curriculum, on-site training, extensive follow-up, and content-matched equipment.

Creative Curriculum – This approach to teaching young children uses spontaneity and the ability to see and use everyday opportunities to help children solve problems, explore new materials, find answers to questions all while building relationships. The tenets of this framework includes creating a responsive environment, routines and experiences, individualizing, guiding behavior, and much more. It also includes a developmental continuum that links curriculum and individual child assessments.

Tadpoles – Nothing keeps parents happy like good communication and pictures of their children having fun and learning.  The Tadpoles communication system believes that quality of early childhood development is dependent on the connection between parents and their care givers.

Quality Stars – QUALITY starsNY is a rating and improvement system that recognizes an effective quality improvement system, for programs in centers, school and homes, rest on the foundation of a state’s regulatory system. Thus, QUALITYstarsNY works closely with the state’s system to provide additional quality improvement supports such as technical assistance and professional development.

NY State Network for Youth Success Accreditation– Program Accreditation is the ultimate indication of program quality. It also provides professionals with performance indicators, benchmarks of quality – to guide program planning, implementation and evaluation. Click here to see a full list of our accredited programs.

What ages do the children range?

Early Childhood is six weeks to 5 years old.  School-age is Kindergarten and up.

Are the kids separated by ages?

Our Early Childhood groups are separated by age while our school-age children may or may not be separated depending on size of the program.

Is there any educational component and how much time is spent outside?

For our school-age childcare programs, we strive to enhance each child’s education with theme-based activities including STEM, music, art, literacy, cultural experiences, and more. Our full and partial-day early childhood education programs use Creative Curriculum. For full descriptions, please see your branch’s childcare page.

What is the screening process for your staff?

All staff are fingerprinted and cleared through the State Central Clearance and the CDYMCA conducts additional background checks. They must have a current medical and TB test.

How many instructors or staff do you have at a site?  What’s the ratio?

6 weeks to 18 months 1:4
18 months to 36 months 1:5
3 years 1:7
4 years 1:8
5 to 9 years 1:10
10 and up 1:15


How do you handle any injuries or emergencies if a child gets hurt?

Staff assist children who experience a minor injury or illness, noting details in the child’s health log. You will be informed of any first-aid given to your child. For full details, see the handbook.

albany after schoolDo you offer homework help?

We provide space for homework, but do not offer one-on-one tutoring sessions. Homework assistance is provided when possible.

Do you provide snack?

Yes! We provide a healthy snack.

What’s the difference between full-time care and part-time care?

Full-time care is five full days, while part-time care is 3 days a week. Our part-time care is not based on a number of hours, but includes three full days of childcare.