“The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women starts with our youngest family members. The economic security, safety, and health of our families are the core of YWCA’s mission.” -Beth, YWCA Early Learning Center parent
YWCA empowers our youngest community members
Working families throughout the region rely on YWCA to provide safe and affordable care for their children. Our Early Learning Center staff are dedicated to creating a fun, enriching environment for children ages 1 year-old and walking to Pre-Kindergarten. They work on school-readiness skills, social and emotional development, including potty-training over the age of 2 ½, which is something that many day care centers do not provide. We are one of very few preschools in Shawnee County to accept DCF payments. Last year, around 36% of the families in our Early Learning Center used DCF subsidies to help pay for their childcare.
According to the 2021 Status of Women in Kansas report, Kansas has twice the number of children under 5 per available licensed childcare slots, and the cost of daycare is 1.3 times more expensive than in-state college tuition. We believe that parents like Beth deserve to know that their children are safe, cared for, and happy, regardless of income.
YWCA sets students up for success
Beyond preschool, YWCA partners with Topeka Public Schools to offer affordable, innovative, and accessible programs that meet the needs of working families. Our Kids Quest, KAPP, and FEATS programs strengthen families and empower students through innovative STEM+ adventures and hands-on builds.
Beginning this fall, our before and after school programs implemented the Flying Classroom STEM+ curriculum, founded by world-renowned and record-breaking pilot Captain Barrington Irving. Captain Barrington even surprised the students at State Street Elementary in September by flying in to meet them and inspire them to set their dreams sky-high! Click here to read more about his visit and the Flying Classroom program.
This year, the Kids Quest before and after school program was nominated for a Peace Award by the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice. We’re so proud of all the things that our Youth Services staff and students accomplish, and it’s great to see that they are being recognized! These programs are essential to so many families in our community, and we believe that they should always be affordable, accessible, and high-quality. Help us empower and strengthen families and students today.