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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. 

Our Philosophy

At the Y, we recognize the importance of each step in a child's learning experiences. Our programs encourage physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. We believe in focusing on each child individually and tailoring our curriculum accordingly.


In partnership with the City of South San Francisco and the YMCA of San Francisco, Gateway Child Development Center has been in operation since July 2004 offering early care and education to children ages three months to five years old.  We are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and are part of Quality Counts! 


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.



Gateway uses the Ages and Stages Developmental Questionnaire and the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) for children and families to evaluate our program and child developmental progress. Parent Teacher conferences are held twice a year.

Our Staff

The center is staffed with a caring and experienced workforce.

  • Our Child Development Program Directors have a degree in Child & Adolescent Development and with multiple years of experience in childcare, teaching, supervision and management.
  • Our Assistant Director/Curriculum Coordinator has a degree in Early Childhood Education or related field with a minimum of three years experience working with children.

Each member of the teaching staff, as well as the Director and Assistant Director holds a teaching permit from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing. Our team members are selected based on their professionalism, skills, training and ability to work with children. All personnel meet or exceed California’s Community Care licensing educational and experience requirements. A background check and fingerprinting are completed before an individual is eligible to work at the center. We understand that a well-trained, stable staff that cares deeply about children is central to a quality program.

The YMCA has a training series to advance the knowledge and development of all levels of staff. Mandatory YMCA training for child care staff includes first aid, CPR and Child Abuse Prevention.

Tuition Rates


The childcare fee includes a free family membership to the YMCA of San Francisco. Family membership will start on the child’s first day of official enrollment at Gateway Child Development Center.

Monthly Rates: 5 full days per week (Monday-Friday)

$2,381/Monthly - Infants (Ages 3-24 months)
$1,977/Monthly - Junior Preschool/Toddlers (Ages 2–3 years)
$1,660/Monthly - Preschoolers/Pre-Kindergarten  (Ages 3-5 years)

Monthly Rates: Part-Time (2 Days a Week or 3 Days a Week)

$- Infants (part-time care is currently not available for infant care)

Junior Preschool/Toddlers (Ages 2–3 years) 
$1,371/Monthly - 2 Days (Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, Friday)
$1,513/Monthly - 3 Days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) 

Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten (Ages 3-5 years)
$1,147/Monthly - 2 Days (Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, Friday)
$1,266/Monthly - 3 Days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)

Daily Drop-In Rates

When the ratio allows, we are able to accept children for drop-in care. Our daily drop-in rate is $100 per day for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. For parents contracting 10 days or more, the following pro-rated fees will apply:

$90 per day - Infants (3 months old-24 months old)
$85 per day - Toddlers (24 months-36 months old)
$75 per day - Preschool (3 years-5 years old)

Chefables Lunch Program

$120/Monthly - Full-time Program for Infants, Junior Preschool, and Preschoolers/Pre-Kindergaten
$82/Monthly - Part-Time Program for Infants, Junior Preschool, and Preschoolers/Pre-Kindergarten

Our programs run year-round. We accept 3rd party subsidies such as Children’s Council, 4 C’s, DHS, and other programs. Financial assistance may be available for those families who qualify. While the majority of our enrollment is done during the summer months between July and September, we do offer year-round enrollment as space becomes available and pull from those families who have enrolled on our waitlist. 

Current Ratios

Infants (Ages 3-24 months): 1:4

  • Group Size: 12

Toddlers (Ages 2–3 years): 1:8

  • Group Size: 15

Preschoolers  (Ages 3-5 years): 1:10

  • Group Size: 15


Tuition Rate with Discounts
A 20% sibling discount will be applied to the oldest child's tuition rate. There is an eligible 5% sibling discount for a 3rd child. Financial Assistance is available to qualified families. Alternative payment vouchers are accepted. Tuition rates are subject to change. Active facility memberships include discounts on youth development programs, such as summer camp programs and afterschool programs. 

Billing, Late Payments, or Returned Payments

Monthly tuition is due 10 days before the 1st of the month. An automatic draft is REQUIRED. 

Families who have not paid their tuition by the first of the month will be assessed a $50 late fee (per child). A $15 bank fee will be applied to all rejected early child care and education drafts. Tuition payments and late fees will be due by the first of the month. (Depending on the circumstances, a Program Director may waive the fees).

Financial Assistance

The YMCA of San Francisco's Membership and Programs are open to ALL. Financial assistance, to the extent possible, is made available through the generosity of donors on a first-come, first-served basis. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. We have bilingual staff on-site, please contact the site for more details. 


Waitlist Application

Join our online Waitlist! We are currently accepting waitlist applications. Click below to get started!


For more information, please contact Melissa Constantino, Administrative Assistant, at (650) 873-8145 or email at mconstantino@ymcasf.org. Please note there is a Non-Refundable $120 Waitlist Application Fee.

Sample Schedule

Sample Classroom Schedule for Junior Preschool and Preschool Classrooms

Our Monday-Friday activities are consistent, however, times may vary slightly by age-group to allow for staggered outdoor playtime.

7:30 am - Center Opens, Quiet/Free Choice Activities (hand washing upon arrival)
8:30 am - Clean-up, Hand Washing, and Morning Snack
9:15 am - Circle/Music Time
9:45 am - Small Group/Free Choice
10:15 am - Outdoor Play
11:15 am - STEAM Activity/Hand Washing
12:00 pm - Lunch Time
12:45 pm - Story Time/Hygiene
1:00 pm - Quiet/Nap Time
2:45 pm - Snack Time
3:15 pm - Outdoor Play
4:15 pm - Hand Washing, Small Group/Free Choice
5:15 pm - Story/Library Time
5:30 pm - Clean-Up/Center Closes

Children in the Infant Suite start off with “on-demand” schedules based on the child’s needs and start to mirror the above schedule as they approach 15 to 18 months old. 

Work At the YMCA

Bring Your Passion To Our Mission!

Our mission is to strengthen community. Join our team and make an impact on the lives of people in your community. 


Preschool Teachers & Preschool Assistant Teachers

Qualified preschool teachers and preschool assistant teachers (work on your credential!) needed at several locations. The teachers are part of a team which provides a safe, nurturing, and educational environment for all children enrolled in our program.

Preschool Teachers Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum 21 years old.
  • Must be available Monday through Friday during program hours.
  • Must be qualified for Teacher Permit (12 ECE core, plus 16 GE).
  • 350+ days of 3+ hours per day within 4 years.

Preschool Assistant Teachers Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum 18 years old.
  • Assistant Teacher Permit or higher.
  • 350+ days of 3+ hours per day within 4 years.
  • Available on-call Monday-Friday as needed.