For twenty years, YMCA Preschool has prepared kids to be excellent learners while making friends and memories along the way.

Shady Grove Family YMCA Preschool

From the beginning stages of life, the Y provides a nurturing environment for your child to lean, grow and thrive.We support your family values and work with you to expand your child’s world. Mastering new, age-appropriate skills, your child will build on accomplishments.Learning through play provides a solid foundation they can take to kindergarten and beyond.

Benefits of YMCA Programs:

  • Licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Social Services.
  • PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) assessment completed with all PreK students.
  • Classrooms are peanut and tree nut free
  • Financial assistance available to all that qualify
  • Participates in *Virginia Quality Accreditation.

*Virginia Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) awards quality level to child care and preschool programs based on four nationally recognized quality standard and best practices:the education and qualifications of the staff, the curriculum or intentional teaching approach the program uses to guide children’s learning, the learning environment, and teacher-child interactions.


Our Approach

Children learn through interaction and exploration.In other words, playing is learning.  We take every interaction we have as learning experience to develop your child’s creative, intellectual, emotional, social and physical skills.   We use Creative Curriculum with developmentally appropriate experiences to foster joyful learning, address specific needs and build skills for success.  Our creative movement classes and outdoor play initiate physical activity to help develop lifelong habits for children.

What your child learns early in life is the foundation for forming well-rounded individuals.  Our age-appropriate, comprehensive curriculum has a clear organizational structure and focuses on routines and learning experiences.  Our program fosters joyful and purposeful learning while addressing specific developmental needs.

Registration is Open!

  • A $70 registration fee is required to reserve your child’s place in the program.  Monthly dues are drafted on the first of each month, September through May.
  • Registration is not final until a complete Virginia Licensing Child Care Agreement along with your child’s health information and immunization records (dated with one year of beginning preschool) and birth certificate or passport have been received.
  • Please read and review the 2022-23 Preschool Parent Handbook, which contains a lot of information about the program.

Enrichment Classes

Enrichment activities are available each day from Noon to 1:30 p.m. and include art, music and movement, swim lessons, kid’s kitchen, and ballet.  Children may be registered for one or as many as five enrichment classes.  Children will be taken directly from preschool to enrichment.  Participants should bring a “nut free” lunch.  Swim lessons and ballet lessons also require the participants bring the necessary supplies.

Children do not need to be a part of the Preschool program to participate in enrichment classes.


Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available and is based on a sliding scale according to household income.  “Open to All” forms are available online at  It is our goal to provide financial assistance to all families in need. The YMCA does not want to turn anyone away because they are unable to pay for services and programs.


Creative Curriculum

Creative Curriculum uses the latest research in the field of early childhood education.  It focuses on not only what to teach your child, but how and why particular practices are effective based on your child’s learning style.  By learning the what, how and why, our teachers are better equipped to support your child’s development, no matter how thy learn.

Creative Curriculum foundations:

  • Social-emotional competence:Learning how to self-regulate emotions, control behavior and resist impulses.
  • Interacting with the environment: Engaging in tasks throughout the classroom helps children develop and learn.
  • Partnerships with families:Building continuity and helping families support their child’s enthusiasm for learning.

We’re committed to giving your child an enriching experience that sets them up for success for years to come.  Every moment of the day is an opportunity to learn.  Our teachers intentionally use every interaction with your child to help them build new skills.

Rooted in the Y’s core values: Caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, we create a trusting environment that allows your child to develop skills in literacy, problem-solving, and social emotional development.

Focus Areas


Gaining self-awareness and social skills to positively navigate the world and build relationships.We have incorporated the curriculum called Al’s Pal’s which uses puppets to help children learn to understand and self-regulate their emotions and behavior.The program also helps children learn to make healthy choices.

Physical Development

Understanding healthy eating, physical and personal safety and building a lifelong enjoyment for physical activity.

Language and Literacy

Learning to speak are an essential part of successfully communicating with others.Our teachers help children learn to articulate their needs by increasing their vocabulary through stories, conversations, and environmental print.


Developing reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Social Studies

Understanding of people, places, environments, and the appreciation of diversity and inclusion.


Providing opportunities for exploration, cause and effect, and an understanding of our physical environment.


Granting the freedom to think creatively, express individuality, and develop fine motor skills through process art.


Understanding numbers, concepts, and patterns through games, toys, and real life application.


Your child will need to bring with them each day to preschool:

  • “Nut free” healthy snack
  • Extra set of clothing (seasonal) to include shoes
  • Totebag will be provided
  • Water bottle
  • Pencil box with individual pack of crayons, markers, scissors, and glue sticks

Child Abuse Parent Education Guide

At the Y, we ask our parents and guardians to be our partners in child abuse prevention. This Parent Education Guide seeks to equip you to be informed about child abuse and to protect your child from abuse.

View the Guide