As a leader in youth development, the YMCA of Greater Houston serves over 7500 children ages 5-12 on a daily basis, providing safe, quality and affordable after school care in approximately 200 sites in 25 school districts. Enrollment is open to any child ages 5-12 who is a student of the school/district in which the site is located.
To monitor overall program quality, the YMCA uses the nationally recognized, validated instrument, the Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tool, which is designed to measure the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs. The tool is used to assess in the following areas:
- Safe and supportive environment
- Staff and youth interaction and engagement
- Youth- centered policies and practices
Results from each site assessment are used to identify areas of success and identify opportunities for improvement through a continuous improvement plan. Follow up training is available to staff based their individual professional skills and competencies. The Y was an early adopter of this program and has been a part of the United Way of Greater Houston Quality Improvement System for 5 years.
All staff must:
- Pass a thorough background check process including: FBI Fingerprints, National Child Abuse Registry and National & State Sex Offender Registry
- Drug tested
All staff are trained in:
- Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention
- CPR and First Aid Certification
- Communicable Disease Management
- Additionally, all staff must complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of professional development annually
YMCA After School Care Benefits
- Conveniently located on school campuses
- Transportation offered at select sites
- All sites are licensed through the Department of Family & Protective Services
- All staff undergo pre-employment drug tests & background checks
- Low staff-to-child ratios
- Highly qualified staff who receive ongoing education
All of our after school programs provide a range of activities including:
- Homework help
- Structured academic enrichment activities
- Indoor/outdoor physical play
- Hands-on engaging activity centers for students to explore
- Healthy snack
- Lessons in empathy and inclusion as well as service-learning
The YMCA is committed to serving ALL children. If your child has any special needs or will need special accommodations while in our care, please contact your local Y prior to starting the registration process. This meeting is important to ensure that site staff is equipped with the necessary information and skills needed to support your child.
Have more questions? Contact your local Y center.
Our programs are licensed by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services childcare licensing regulations. These regulations are designed to reduce the risk of harm to children while they are in before and after school care.
During unannounced visits, DFPS personnel ensure that all Y programs adhere to childcare minimum standards.
None of our sites have received a Serious Risk Non-Compliance infraction this year.
We keep a pulse on what parents are thinking about our program by surveying them on a regular basis. Hear what other parents have to say:
“I like the activities the YMCA provides. My kid is never sitting still and is always excited to go to the after school program.”
“I am grateful for the snacks provided as well as the extra time outdoors and access to do homework.”
“The counselors do a fantastic job of keeping the kids busy, organized and happy.”
“I am thankful the YMCA offers affordable, quality childcare. I like that there are a variety of activities the children can choose from. I feel like my child is in a safe and caring environment.”
“My children enjoy all the counselors. They take the time to get to know my kids and what their interests are. We are very happy with the program.”
“A good sign my son loves the program is that he never wants to leave at the end of the day!”
“My son has made many friends and come out of his shell. He openly asks to go to the YMCA every day. Even after another event he has after school, he still asks to come right back to the YMCA.”
Check out our site listing to find out if the YMCA program is offered at your child’s school site and register today. Transportation offered at selected sites.