Our YMCA Child Development Centers are dedicated to providing high-quality professional care to infants, toddlers and preschool children. Creating strong emotional bonds between the child, families and other children is the primary focus. Children need to feel emotionally and physically safe in their environment to reach their highest potential. 


YMCA Early Childhood Development Centers

San Francisco County Locations & Virtual Tours

Mission YMCA
Mission Preschool


Mission YMCA
Alice Chalmers Preschool


Stonestown Family YMCA
Lutheran Church of Our Savior (LCOS) Preschool


Stonestown Family YMCA
St. Francis Preschool


Chinatown YMCA

Edwin & Margaret Lee Tung Lok Early Childhood Learning Center



San Mateo County Location & Virtual Tour

Peninsula Family YMCA
Gateway Child
Development Center


Mission Statement

The mission of our preschool programs is to provide a supportive, nurturing environment that enriches the development of the whole child and helps to provide a foundation for the entire family.

Our Philosophy

YMCA of San Francisco Early Childhood Education Programs provide high-quality professional and nurturing care to infants, toddlers, and preschool children. Creating and strengthening emotional bonds between children and families is the primary focus. We believe children need to feel emotionally and physically safe in their environment to reach their highest potential. We understand that children develop at different rates and we incorporate that belief into every aspect of the program. We provide opportunities for children to engage in developmentally age-appropriate activities that focus on the child’s whole development which includes social-emotional, physical health, language and literacy, and cognitive development.

Our Goals for Children

Children will learn and demonstrate growth in the following four primary areas of development.


Language and Literacy Development

  • Language development: comprehension and verbal communication
  • Pre-literacy and reading skill development: Phonetic sounds, recognizing and naming letters, shapes and numbers

Health & Physical Development

  • Fine Motor Development: the use of small muscles for object manipulation and grasping, for coloring, drawing, and writing
  • Gross Motor Development: the use of the large muscle movement such as sitting, crawling, walking, or running
  • To develop healthy habits for self-care, hygiene, and nutrition

Social-Emotional Development

  • To develop positive self-esteem and self-awareness and interpersonal relationships
  • To develop and demonstrate a sense of independence, trust, and cooperation
  • To recognize emotions of self, show understanding and empathy for others
  • To appreciate and respect all aspects of diversity in all families, other children in our program, and their community

Cognitive Development

  • To develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • To learn about objects and relations between cause and effect
  • To develop pre-reading and early literacy skills, and language acquisition
  • To learn math language and mathematical concepts such as counting by rote, one-on-correspondence, and simple age-appropriate arithmetic such as addition subtraction, measurement and data, and geometry for preschoolers


Children will be prepared for Kindergarten

  • To close the achievement gap by meeting each child’s developmental and learning needs
  • For children to become confident learners

Our Core Values: Honesty, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility

We look to the YMCA core values when implementing our curriculum. We use Honesty, Caring, Respect, Responsibility in all our work. We provide high-quality care and early childhood education for all children from three months old to six years of age.

At the Y, we understand that we are developing leaders of the future who will display strong character, as well as curious minds, and healthy bodies. Our staff’s role is to guide and teach children with love, respect, and creativity. Caring is focused on teaching the ability to show compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and kindness. Honesty is shown by speaking the truth and encouraging the children to behave with integrity and fairness. We foster respect by welcoming, understanding, and accepting all families and cultures and abilities. We provide a relaxed and nurturing atmosphere where self-esteem, independence, decision making, and self-control are supported to help the children understand their choices while also learning about responsibility. We teach these values in our preschool programs through appropriate guidance, facilitate learning by providing opportunities for hands-on learning experiences that allow exploration and discovery through play.

Our Curriculum Statement

We believe that children learn best when they are having fun, and are given opportunities to explore, experiment, investigate, and problem solve through developmentally appropriate activities. Our teachers use the following curriculum framework that is aligned with our philosophy. These curricula are scientific-research and evidence-based as well as best practices and approaches used in the field on how to teach and care for young children. We use the Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP), Program for Infant-Toddler Caregivers (PITC), Creative Curriculum, and inspirations from Reggio Emilia, all of which are implemented in our programs through play and by creating a positive indoor and outdoor learning environment and experiences for children.


YMCA Early Child Development Center Locations

Villa de Kapuso Child Development Center
Opening Late Winter 2024

2350 San Jose Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 586-6900

Gateway Child Development Center - Peninsula Family YMCA
559 Gateway Blvd
South San Francisco, CA 94080
(650) 873-8145

Mission Preschool - Mission YMCA
4080 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 452-7566

Alice Chalmers Preschool - Mission YMCA
670 Brunswick Street
San Francisco, CA 94112
(628) 250-3542

Lutheran Church of Our Savior (LCOS) Preschool - Stonestown Family YMCA
1011 Garfield Street
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 333-9622

St. Francis Preschool - Stonestown Family YMCA
399 San Fernando Way
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 333-9622

Edwin & Margaret Lee​ Tung Lok Early Childhood Learning Center - Chinatown YMCA
75 Vallejo Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 576-9622

The safety and well-being of our members and staff are at the forefront of our planning. We have new protocols in place that you should know about before arriving.


Get in Touch!

Want to chat about how your child can thrive at the Y? 

Email Executive of Early Child Development Anne Señores at asenores@ymcasf.org to set up a call.

YMCA of San Francisco is a trusted Early Childhood Education provider for cities and companies across the Bay Area. If you or your employer may be interested in partnering with the Y for preschool services, please reach out to Anne.