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Parent Interview: YWCA ECE Program is One of the Best Things to Happen to Our Children!

By Geet and Shiva Mittal, YWCA Early Childhood Education parents
December 19, 2017
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How many children do you have enrolled in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program?

Our son started at YWCA Minneapolis Children’s Center at Downtown before his first birthday and was there for over three years before transferring to a public school. Our daughter followed in her brother’s footsteps and joined YWCA’s ECE program in summer 2017. Now we’ve run out of children to enroll!

What makes YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Education stand out?

Compassionate and Professional Care

It matters that the teachers who care for our children are compassionate and well-educated. At YWCA, not just the teachers but the entire staff are professionals who work with passion.

Nourishing Foods

Caregivers personally ensure children are provided healthy meals with an emphasis on nourishing foods. We love the variety of foods served and that YWCA makes a lot of meals from scratch rather than serving processed “heat and serve” foods all the time.

Seeing Our Child Progress and Learn

Parents are kept in the loop about their child’s progress, changes both big and small. Regular Parent-Teacher conferences, book fairs, unfettered gym time, a partnership with MN Reading Corps program and book bags that are given to each classroom are some of what impressed us. We love the art projects which are customized for the various age groups. They have such fun ways to learn about colors, shapes, numbers and the alphabet. It makes us big people want to learn again!

What has your experience been like as a parent in the YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Education Program?

YWCA Minneapolis Children’s Center at Downtown is one of the best things to happen to our children! Finding a good child care center had been a big challenge for us. We wanted our kids to be safe, happy and develop social skills. As parents, we find the YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Program provides an optimal blend of child care and learning. Add to that the attention to nutrition and well-trained, passionate teachers make it a no-brainer for quality yet affordable child care.

Why do you choose to enroll your children at YWCA when you have so many other options for child care?

Sending our son to child care was a tough decision. We grew up surrounded by children in the neighborhood, our cousins and a boatload of relatives to take care of us. Child care had to be a replica of our nurturing childhood, as much as possible. We researched many programs and they all did not fit the bill, for one reason or another. However, the moment we set foot in YWCA Minneapolis Children’s Center at Downtown, it felt warm and homelike. The Director, Assistant Director, staff and everyone around, even people coming to exercise, were so friendly. Right then, we knew this is it! And we are still glad we made this choice. YWCA Minneapolis is one of the most friendly child care programs we know of and has been more like extended family. They frequently celebrate festivals from all cultures and make an effort to respect our children’s food choices per our religion. We ourselves have learned so much more about different cultures with these celebrations.

Would you like to say anything about your child’s teachers?

Caring and patient. Our son was lagging the marker for walking. We were fortunate to receive the guidance of specialists from the Help Me Grow program and YWCA Minneapolis teachers fully supported the practice recommended by the therapist. What more could we ask for! Our son attended YWCA for over three years, before transferring to school. YWCA is still a part of our lives thanks to our daughter, a happy, almost-toddler who is learning a lot in the company of her peers. We appreciate the detailed Parent-Teacher conferences which have provided insights into our child’s strengths as well as areas needing attention. During our association with YWCA, we have worked with four teachers from different classrooms, and they all were great! They have in-depth knowledge of their work and more importantly, applying that in day-to-day situations.

Do you participate in any of YWCA’s family engagement activities? Are these events important to you?

YWCA Minneapolis family nights are so much fun! We get to meet other parents, make new friends and bond with children of other ages. Along with Parent-Teacher meetings, these events keep us current on the goings-on as well as a glimpse into future plans of the program. Not only this, parents are involved in decision making and their opinions are respected and put into practice. We find these to be a wonderful learning experience and they make us feel part of the program.

What would your children say is their favorite thing about YWCA Early Childhood Education?

Our son loved his teachers. It is hard to recall even a day when we had to convince him to go to school at YWCA. Even today, he misses his teachers and enjoys meeting them whenever he goes with us to pick up his sister. He especially enjoyed the art projects and the personal attention that is given to every child at YWCA. Our daughter also loves her teachers. Though she doesn’t speak yet, her smile says it all.