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Our YMCA Child Development Centers are dedicated to providing high-quality professional care to 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.

The Mission YMCA preschool has been operating since 1977 and became a licensed early childhood education site in 1995.


Our Philosophy

We believe in the importance of developing a relationship with nature and we offer a variety of gardening activities like planting seasonal vegetables and flowers, studying bugs and insects and others gardening related activities.

At our Mission YMCA Preschool location, we have an expansive outdoor garden and playground area. We grow kale, apples, plums, lemons, peas, and many other seasonal vegetables. Youth learn about the life cycle of plants and plant their own seedlings. Our newest location, Alice Chalmers Preschool, is in collaboration with San Francisco Recreation and Park. It recently underwent renovations in 2020 and opened in July 2020.



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.



Our goal for every child is to lay the foundation of a healthy body and mind. We prepare each student for Kindergarten with age appropriate materials and activities and conduct parent and teacher conferences. We our part of the OECE Office of Early Care networks of high quality funded providers and the QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System), our preschool program is at a tier 4 out 5 and we continue to work to maintain the quality program standards. As part of the OECE high quality preschool programs, we also continually assess by the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) and ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale) to maintain high program quality through our classroom environment and teacher-child interactions as well aged appropriate curriculum. 

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

Monthly Rates, Effective July 1, 2023: 5 Full Days Per Week (Monday-Friday)


Community Participants: Full-Fee Tuition Rates

$2,883/Monthly - Infants (3 months-24 months old, our new center is expected to open in the fall of 2023!)
$2,196/Monthly - Junior Preschool/Two's (2-3 years old)
$2,015/Monthly - Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 years old)

YMCA Facility Members: Tuition Rate 
(Must have an active facility membership throughout program enrollment)

$2,306/Monthly -  Infants (3 months-24 months old, our new center is expected to open in the fall of 2023!)
$1,756/Monthly - Junior Preschool/Two's (2-3 years old)
$1,611/Monthly - Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 years old)

Please Note: Parent/Guardian must have an active Facility Membership upon registering and throughout program enrollment. If you cancel your YMCA Facility Membership during your program enrollment periods, you will be charged the Community Member monthly rate. Active Facility Members receive additional benefits such as discounts to afterschool programming, summer camps, etc. 


Preschool For All Program, 5 Days Per Week (Monday-Friday)

The Preschool For All program runs through September-August, families must be a San Francisco resident to qualify. Please note, that parents/guardians must have an active Facility YMCA Membership upon registering and throughout program enrollment. If you cancel your Facility Membership during your program enrollment periods, you will be charged the Community Member monthly rate.

Community Participants: PFA Discount

$1,607/Monthly - Preschool (3.9-5 years old, a discount of $407)

YMCA Facility Members: PFA Discount

$1,204/Monthly - Preschool (3.9-5 years old, a discount of $407)


Preschool For All Eligibility

The Preschool For All (PFA) Subsidy and MRA Scholarships DEPENDS ON FUNDING AVAILABILITY AND IS NOT GUARANTEED EACH SCHOOL YEAR. To qualify for a PFA discount, the child must be a San Francisco resident and must turn 4 years old on or before December 2 of the year enrolled regardless of family income.

For more information regarding discounts and scholarships, please contact us at (415) 452-7566 or by email at KAlvarez@ymcasf.org.


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 monthly tuition as well as our youth programs, such as summer camp programming, youth sports, and other programs. 


Scholarships & Alternative Payments
We accept third-party vouchers (alternative payments from Wu Yee, Children's Council, DHSS, local, and state vouchers, CalWorks, ELS, 4Cs, etc. if applicable). Child Care Scholarships (MRA funding) may be available for income-eligible families.


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 Spanish, English, and Arabic speaking staff on-site.


Requirements for Enrollment

All children must be:

  • a minimum of 2 years old
  • potty trained


Mission YMCA Preschool

4080 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112


Current Ratios

Mission YMCA Preschool

  • Koala Room (Ages: 2-3): 1:10 Children
  • Monkey Room (Ages: 3.5-4): 1: 5 Children
  • Butterfly Room (Ages: 3.9-5): 1:12 Children



Coming Soon: Villa de Kapuso Child Development Center

Opening late winter 2024, join our wait list below! This center will be serving infants through prekindergarten. 
2350 San Jose Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112


Alice Chalmers Preschool

670 Brunswick Street
San Francisco, CA 94112


Current Ratios

Alice Chalmers Preschool

  • Panda Bear Room (Ages: 2-3.5): 1:12 Children
  • Grizzly Bear Room (Ages: 3.5-5): 1:12 Children

Waitlist Application

Join our online waitlist! We are currently accepting waitlist applications; click below to get started!




Questions? Please email kalvarez@ymcasf.org for more information. Please note there is a Non-Refundable $100 Waitlist Application Fee.

Sample Schedule

Sample Classroom Schedule (Activities are consistent, times 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

Note: Schedule subject to change.


Due to the safety of our staff and children, tours have been canceled until further notice. Please get in touch with Katia Alvarez at KAlvarez@ymcasf.org for more information.

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.