Early Learning Center

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YWCA is proud to have the NRP Group serving as the general contractor for our outdoor classroom, the newest feature of our Early Learning Center. The outdoor classroom will be a therapeutic learning space and include art stations, a sandbox, and raised garden beds that segue into a quiet green space for being still, observing, and relaxing. Stay tuned for more information! We can’t wait to share this amazing space with you!

Equipping Leaders

When you visit the Early Learning Center, you will sense right away that this is a happy place – not only for the children, but also for the teaching faculty. Everyone on staff is doing what they love most – working with children and families to establish a solid educational foundation. For more than 100 years, the YWCA has been providing high-quality early childhood education for children ages three to five years while empowering mothers and fathers to pursue their career and educational goals.

YWCA incorporates a therapeutic approach and a two-generational model into its Early Learning Center model to best serve children age three to five. This innovative trauma-informed model will assess and identify the social-emotional needs of the children, work with families to create case plans, achieve goals, prevent re-occurrence of homelessness, and empower families to achieve and maintain the highest level of self-sufficiency.

The Early Learning Center offers a uniquely diverse setting providing child care for families who live and work throughout Greater Cleveland. Experienced educators teach a child-centered curriculum, and children learn from a young age to celebrate differences.

Early Learning Center parents stay engaged and up to date through various communication channels, family events, support groups, and parent action team.

To enroll your child at the Early Learning Center, please follow the process below:

  • Call us at 216.881.6878 and ask to speak with LaTishia Gomez
  • Fill out an application in person
  • Participate in orientation
  • Start!

For more information contact:

Tish Gomez
Family Engagement Specialist

Margaret VanDyne
Faculty Development Director

Samantha Scheutzow
Clinical Director

Cynthia Harrigan
Director of Programs


YWCA Greater Cleveland's is the only model of this type in this part of the country.


All lead teachers are required to have a four-year degree to implement customized education plans.


Family Engagement Specialist provides family members and/or guardians with resources to live a quality life and achieve their goals, increase their self sufficiency, and ongoing case management services.


Our Clinical Director focuses on social and emotional needs of the children.


The Early Learning Center is conveniently located between University Circle and downtown, in the administrative building of YWCA Greater Cleveland.

4019 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44103

The Early Learning Center is open:
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The ELC is currently enrolling children three to five years of age. The ELC is closed eight days throughout the year for holidays and staff development.



The Early Learning Center has a whole-child approach to teaching preschoolers, accounting for their mind, body and soul. We celebrate the diversity of children and encourage them to learn about and respect their differences.

Preparing children for kindergarten comes naturally in our classrooms. YWCA preschool teachers help children internalize routines and rules to help them get along with others. Teachers also help children understand that there are many different ways to learn and be successful. We support each child’s individual strengths, which helps to foster their self-esteem.


Pre-K prepares children to enter kindergarten by teaching self-help skills, developing their attention spans and fostering learning independence. Children develop a love of learning while they become accustomed to working independently, participating in group activities and completing interest-based projects. Teachers help children understand the daily routines of a structured classroom while still focusing on child-centered, creative learning.

Our Goal

To prepare children for kindergarten and empower families to achieve and maintain the highest level of self-sufficiency.

Studies show that upon entering kindergarten, children who participate in early childhood education programs demonstrate greater language, literacy and math development than children who go directly from home care to kindergarten.

Committed to Quality

YWCA’s Early Learning center provides:

  • Lower teacher-to-child ratios
  • Higher teacher education levels
  • A focus on professional development
  • Early childhood mental health consultation
  • Effective administration practices, and
  • Strong implementation of an evidence-based curriculum.