The YMCA Tackles Childcare Challenges in Ypsilanti

In Ypsilanti, there are an overwhelming number of students and workers struggling to balance school and employment with their parenting responsibilities. The need for a safe, nurturing space for their little ones was more than just a convenience; it was a necessity, an answer to a heartfelt call from the community. 

Ypsi’s childcare solution

Enter the Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center, managed by the Ann Arbor YMCA, where parents find much-needed support and care.

The center, located at the former Chapelle Community School, makes a significant difference in the lives of Eastern Michigan University students, Ypsilanti Housing Commission residents and families in the Ypsilanti Community School District by providing accessible and inclusive childcare. 

Its doors are open from 7am-6pm Monday through Friday, accommodating the varied schedules of busy families.

“The center, especially for families of EMU students like international students and single parents, is a vital resource,” affirms Kaitlyn Savage, Engage@EMU YMCA Childcare Collaborative Liaison.


A standout feature of the center is its commitment to affordability. Understanding the financial constraints of many families, it offers competitive pricing options, such as $639 bi-weekly for five days of toddler care per week. Additionally, a sliding scale of financial assistance can cover up to 80% of childcare costs, ensuring that high-quality care remains within reach for all community members.

Furthermore, Savage explains, “We provide scholarship funding raised through grants, helping EMU students with children access both education and childcare. We believe having children shouldn’t be a barrier to pursuing college.”


Photo from Taylor Gevaert.

The modest cost of the center’s services doesn’t compromise the quality of care offered. Here, it’s much more than just babysitting. It’s about fostering a love for learning in children from 18 months to 5 years. The little ones’ development is nurtured in a holistic and engaging manner through the Creative Curriculum, a respected practice in early childhood education. It champions learning through play and exploration by focusing on children’s interests and developmental stages, incorporating creative expression, sensory experiences, language, writing, literacy, STEM topics and physical activities. 

“The Creative Curriculum’s research-based, state-approved approach lets our teachers provide play-based experiences tailored to each child’s development, using individual profiles built from daily observations,” Savage said. 

She further explains, “Each classroom has a daily schedule balancing active and quiet activities, individual and group play. We value learning through play, and our teachers create environments fostering growth in all developmental areas.”


Beyond education, the center also attends to the nutritional needs of its young attendees. All children receive balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, including breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, and a mid-afternoon snack, providing them with the necessary energy and nutrition for active learning and play.

Looking ahead, Savage says, “We’re…working with Jewish Family Services to enhance our meal offerings.”


None of this would be as effective without a safe, nurturing environment to back it up. Within its walls, the center boasts three large, bright classrooms, a spacious playground, gym access, and the potential for future family-oriented programs. The space encourages exploration, play, and growth, ensuring that children not only receive care but also engage in meaningful and enriching experiences.

Photo from Taylor Gevaert.

Furthermore, parental engagement helps both parents and their children to feel more familiar with and comfortable at the center. Savage explains, “We have a parent advisory board and regular family events. Our open-door policy and frequent updates, including parent-teacher conferences, keep families connected to their children’s learning journey.”

Sign up

For families interested in enrolling their children or learning more about the facility, registration forms are available here

The Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center demonstrates the positive impact that can be achieved when organizations come together with a shared vision. It’s more than a childcare center; it’s a hub of learning, growth, and community support, playing a vital role in shaping the lives of young children and providing much-needed support to families in Ypsilanti.

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