YMCA to open Rochester early childhood center

December 20, 2018

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities plans to open an early childhood learning center in Rochester in March.

The nonprofit announced dates for the initiative Tuesday.

The center, at 2364 Valleyhigh Drive NW, will serve 155 students ages six weeks to five years of age for full-day childcare or part-day programs.

The announcement comes after a Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation study concluded the child-care capacity in the 20-county region in southern Minnesota falls short by an estimated 8,600 children. Olmsted County alone falls short by an estimated 1,060 children. That analysis was provided by First Children’s Finance based on Minnesota Department of Human Services, census data, numbers from the American Community Survey, and other sources.

“We are excited to be opening another Early Childhood Learning Center that will support families in Rochester and surrounding communities,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.

Early enrollment in the programs will run through April 1. The YMCA offers financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition for child care. YMCA membership is not required to enroll in the early childhood programs.

People can get a preview of the facility during an open house Feb. 9. The childcare facility is anticipated to open March 4.

The YMCA operates 13 other programs offering full-day child care for kids ages six weeks to five years and part-day preschool. In the Twin Cities programs, approximately 98 percent of students who complete YMCA preschool and pre-k students surpass local school district kindergarten readiness requirements.

The building formerly housed the Rosa Parks Charter High School.

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