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Strengthening Families

Our youth services department provides a wide array of child care and activity options to preschool and school aged children. Some of our programs include Kids Quest, Kindergarten Academic Preparedness Program, Girls Night In, School Days Out, FEATS, and our in-house Early Learning Center. For more information about our programs please call 785.233.1750 ext 347.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” -Margaret Mead

Early Learning Center

YWCA Northeast Kansas is on a mission to provide excellent and affordable childcare in a fun, enriching environment. Our goal is to bolster positive social, emotional and academic development — all while promoting school-readiness.

Preschoolers at YWCA Northeast Kansas meet rigorous Early Learning Standards indicating school readiness, eliminating the education gap regardless of race, economics or culture.

YWCA’s mission of “Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women” starts with our youngest participants – children in our classrooms benefit from a supportive “Love and Logic” curriculum and an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in all of our care procedures. To learn more about openings in our Early Learning Center, contact Chris Hickle, Early Learning Center Program Director: elcdirector@ywcaneks.org

ELC Parent Handbook


COVID-19 Response Update:

The Early Learning Center remains open for children of essential personnel. We provide calm and routine during these difficult times. We are currently accepting applications for children ages one (and walking) to pre-K. Please contact our ELC Director at (785) 233-1750 for more information.

Without the YWCA I have no idea how I would be able to support little L. and myself. I am grateful every single day for the work you do! Because of you all, I can drop my child off every morning free of the burden of worry. I have no doubt L. is safe, loved, cared for, watched over, respected, observed, nurtured and encouraged.
Mother of a child in our Early Learning Center

Kids Quest Summer Camp

Registration is open for Kids Quest Summer Camp 2021! Begin enrollment here.

YWCA Kids Quest Summer Camp provides a safe, secure, positive and nurturing environment for children in Kindergarten through 6th grade. Children grow, discover, build confidence, enrich education and form friendships in our program.

What can my child expect in 2021?

This year, we are planning “Fun in the Sun!” Indoor and outdoor activities will include: Sports, Arts & Crafts, STEM/STEAM Projects, Literacy, Social-Emotional Learning, Water Activities, Weekly Field Trips.

Where: Whitson Elementary School, 1725 SW Arnold Ave, Topeka
When: June 7 – July 30, 2020, Monday – Friday 7 AM to 5:30 PM

Weekly Tuition: $100 per student per week with a $20 enrollment fee ($30 for 2 or more children), plus a $55 activity fee. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are provided daily.

All activity fees and the first week of tuition are due along with completed application packet prior to enrollment. Space is limited to the first 60 enrollments. Enrollment is final once confirmed by the KQ Coordinator. Part-time enrollment is accepted IF space allows. A limited number of scholarships are available for those who qualify. Contact KQ Coordinator for scholarship information.

Ready to start your application?

Step 1: Fill out the 2021 Kids Quest Summer Camp Application online.

Step 2: Visit our main office (225 SW 12th Street, Topeka) to drop off this form, fill out emergency form & pay registration fees. Your enrollment will not be considered complete until all activity fees and the first week of tuition are paid, your completed application packet and applicable forms have been received, and the Kids Quest Coordinator has confirmed your enrollment.

Kids Quest Before and After School Program

We look forward to having your child join us! The Kids Quest Before and After School program application is now available for enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year.

How can I enroll my child?

Step 1: Complete online enrollment form for each child

Step 2: Visit our office to complete the state forms, parent agreement and pay whole or first half month tuition.

Step 3: Verify your start dates.

Please note: If enrolling more than one child in Kids Quest, an additional application must be completed for each child.

Attention: Your child’s spot will NOT be held until they are fully enrolled. Enrollment is granted when applications are complete and your child is fully enrolled. In order for your child to be fully enrolled, you must complete an Emergency Medical Release form, Financial and Program Guidelines Agreement, Health Assessment, and pay enrollment fees and the first half month of tuition to the YWCA Northeast Kansas. (Must be completed in person at the YWCA 225 SW 12th Street, Topeka, KS 66612)

*For Kindergarten only – Immunization record must also be provided before your child is fully enrolled.

School Days Out Program 2019

School Days Out occurred in 2019 on October 10 and 11. SDO is available for Pre-K students at the YWCA Early Learning Center and Shaner Early Learning Center, and available to all Topeka Public Schools students in Kindergarten through 5th grade.


Would you like to make a payment through the E-Z Care Parent Portal? Log in here.

First time using E-Z Care? Click here for detailed E Z Care Parent Portal Instructions.

What can my child and I expect during the school year?

Homework Assistance
Each day students in Kids Quest have designated time for academic work. Students receive guidance for homework assignments while those without school work are involved in enrichment activities.
Kids Quest after school leaders implement a unique and interactive physical fitness and healthy living curriculum called “Fit’N’Fun”. Developed specifically to teach children how to make healthier lifestyle choices, Fit’N’Fun is just as fun as it is educational. This 10 week, active curriculum is implemented in the fall and spring semesters.
Child & Adult Care Food Program and After School Snacks
Kids Quest also offers a snack each day to students in the after school program. We strive to provide students with a healthy option 2-3 days per week including fresh fruits and vegetables. All snacks adhere to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Each Kids Quest before and after school program is dedicated to incorporating STEM into their weekly activities. In cooperation with Kansas Enrichment Network, Kids Quest staff is working to increase the number of STEM related activities they do on a weekly basis, enhance the quality of these experiences, and encourage critical thinking in students.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
Each Kids Quest before and after school program is licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. All programs have annual licensing compliance reviews to ensure the children are safe and properly cared for in a healthy environment. Information on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment licensing for School Age Programs.
To make a Kids Quest payment through E-Z Care, please log-in through the Parent Portal. For instructions on the E-Z Care Parent Portal, click here. To find out your current account balance please contact Tammy Miles, Business Manager at (785) 233-1750 x218

Families Empowered by Additional Teaching of Students (FEATS)

FEATS is an after school tutoring program providing specialized instruction, healthy meals, and community engagement to students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. We currently have two FEATS programs; one at Ross Elementary and one at Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet. Many of the students engaged in FEATS are considered to be at-risk, food insecure, academically challenged, or just need a safe place to go after school.

Ross Elementary FEATS

FEATS at Ross Elementary is brand new in 2018. The funding to provide this program comes from the United Way of Greater Topeka.

Students have direct instruction tutoring three days each week. This tutoring focuses on literacy and mathematics education. YWCA Northeast Kansas, in cooperation with Ross Elementary and the United Way of Greater Topeka, have set goals for the FEATS program to ensure its success:

  • Reduce the number of chronic absences,
  • Reduce behavioral referrals among participating students,
  • Improve students’ attitudes towards math and reading,
  • Increase math and reading state assessment scores
  • Increase the number of students performing at or above grade level in reading and math.

Additionally, two days each week, students participate in extra-curricular activities, field trips, community service work, and team building activities. In March 2016, YWCA partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to offer FEATS students the opportunity to participate in a corporate Bigs program with Advisors Excel. Read more about the partnership and program here.

Kindergarten Academic Preparedness Program (KAPP)

YWCA “Power Up” Summer Program for Topeka Public School Incoming Kindergarteners (KAPP) is now enrolling! This program is for children who will start kindergarten in August 2021 who have little to no preschool experience. We will prepare your child for how school works and teach them academic and social skills.

  • Dates: June 14, 2021 – July 20, 2021
  • 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Located at Williams Elementary (Very limited bussing is available)
  • YWCA KAPP is free.
  • Please have applications submitted by May 19th. For more information, click here or contact: Rebecca (or
    Becky) Trapp-Márquez at 785-235-7131 (office).

KAPP is provided by YWCA Northeast Kansas in collaboration with Topeka Public Schools and is funded by the United Way of Greater Topeka.


YWCA Programa de preparación académica de kindergarten (en español)

Este programa es para niños que comenzarán el kindergarten en agosto de 2021 y que tienen poca o ninguna experiencia preescolar. Prepararemos a su hijo para el funcionamiento de la escuela y le enseñaremos habilidades académicas y sociales. Empieza el formulario de solicitud KAPP aqui.

  • 14 de junio de 2021 – 20 de julio de 2021
  • 8:00 – 12:30 en Williams Elementary
  • YWCA KAPP es gratis.
  • Por favor envíe las solicitudes antes del 19 de mayo. Para más información contacte Rebecca (o
    Becky) Trapp-Márquez 785-235-7131 (officina).