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About YWCA Children's Center

Childcare and Youth Programs that stimulate their minds and bodies on a schedule that works for you.
A child standing behind a toy storage rack in a classroom
Children hugging in a classroom.

Doing things differently at YWCA Children's Center


Children learn through being actively engaged with new and varied hands-on experiences that cause them to question what they know.

Preschoolers get to enjoy curriculum that includes circle time, group games, gym/outside play, Family-Style meals, and small group activities.

Certified teachers guide large and small group interaction as well as encourage children to explore independently. Teachers observe, offer support, and gauge skill levels to determine when to introduce new opportunities.


Keeping kids active, safe and healthy is just another reason YWCA is on a mission. Children in YWCA's childcare program embark on a journey of development in a nurturing environment designed to stimulate their growth.  Dedicated and experienced caregivers engage children with educational activities, social interactions and structured play. YWCA focuses on the needs of the whole child and fosters cognitive, emotional and social skills that are crucial for their future success. Parents can have peace of mind knowing their little ones are in safe, loving hands.

After School Care

YWCA's Youth Program offers after school care for K-5th graders at CCSD Elementary schools. 

After School Care Hours:

M, T, Th, F - 2:45 - 5:30pm*

Wednesday - 12:45 - 5:30pm*

*Families needing care after 5:30 pm are invited to contact YWCA Children's Center to ask about the Extended Care Program which offers quality care in extended evening hours Monday - Friday.


After school care is not held on days where school is canceled or closed early due to emergencies. Spring Break and Holiday Camp are available by sign up only.

Children enrolled in the YWCA After School Program will have time for homework as well as games, daily outdoor or gym time, and activities that build upon what they are already learning in the classroom with a focus on exploration, imagination, and creativity.

Holiday & Summer Camps

Camps are a great way for kids to make new friends, spend time in nature and learn new life skills.

Just a normal day...

Each classroom has a lead teacher who uses experience and education to plan fun, educational activities for each day. Children are also scheduled two outside/gym times throughout the day.


The Child and Adult Care Food program ensures that we are able to serve healthy, balanced meals that meet strict dietary guidelines. (We serve breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and a bedtime snack.) Meals are provided at no additional charge and we can accommodate and substitute for any dietary needs.

Our Staff

Staff have background checks and physicals before starting. All staff must take mandatory reporting, universal precaution and 12 hours of childcare essentials as well as become CPR and first aid certified within the first 90 days of employment. The YWCA Children's Center covers the cost of additional trainings throughout the year. Staff also receive training from Eastern Iowa Mental Health in the field of trauma informed care. Scholarships are provided for CDA credentials for staff.

Our Center

A little bit about our center licensure:

Centers are required to follow a long list of requirements and receive at least one unannounced monitoring visit annually from DHS consultants.

Each child care license must be renewed every 2 years.

Licensed centers must meet requirements in the following areas, but are not limited to:

  • Adequate floor plan and fire marshal's report

  • Policies for fees, enrollment, field trips, discipline, nutrition, and health and safety policies

  • Developmentally appropriate curriculum

  • Parental participation

  • Personnel

  • Professional growth and development

  • Staff ratio requirements

  • Record keeping

  • Health and safety policies

  • Physical facilities

  • Activity programs

  • Extended (evening) care, if applicable

  • Get well center, if applicable

  • Food services

More details about center regulatory requirements and the regulation checklist can be found in the Child Care Centers and Preschools Licensing Standards and Procedures document. 

Our History

1943 – The YWCA became quite vocal in favoring Aid to Dependent Children. At approximately this time, a nursery was opened so that children of working mothers would receive adequate care.

1956 – 42 children were enrolled in the nursery which provided child care five mornings a week and on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. The nursery was closed in 1964 as it was a financial liability.

1967 – The Head Start Program began in conjunction with Clinton Community College. In 1968, 42 children were enrolled, with an extensive waiting list.

1977 – The YWCA Play and Learn Center began in August 1977. The center was licensed and certified to care for 35 children. The center has continued to grow and expansion has included infant care and preschool programs.

2002 – New spaces constructed as well as renovations to the historic building are now part of the YWCA Children’s Center.

2023 – Major renovations to the childcare space in the Downtown historic building with new convenient parking and childcare entrance at the Southwest corner.

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