Hamilton Area YMCA

First Responder and Essential Personnel Childcare

During this time of community need, the Hamilton Area YMCA will be offering a full day child care program at two locations for those who need us most.

The State of New Jersey is currently covering the cost of childcare for essential workers, regardless of income. For more information, visit the state's emergency childcare website.

To register as an essential employee who needs childcare, visit the registration page and select your county.

Applicants will be contacted by one of the state's Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies within two business days to discuss the next steps. Additional documents may be request from the State.

Families will need to complete required health forms upon registering. Please read the Essential Personnel Child Care Handbook (located under downloads ) for details on screening upon Entry, drop off and pick up procedures, snacks and meals, and cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

The safety and well-being of children in our care and staff are our top priority.  We have health protocols in place to ensure the highest level of safety.  Care will be provided in a state licensed program with qualified, trained Child Care Providers.  

3 - 5 and 6 - 12 
If your child has diverse abilities, Y staff must review on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility for care. 

Beginning Tuesday, April 7 from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Ages 3 - 5
Hamilton Area YMCA
Ys Owls Preschool 
1315 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Hamilton

Ages 6 - 12
University Heights Elementary School
645 Paxson Avenue, Hamilton

For questions about enrollment, contact Beverly Gessner, VP Child Learning & Development at bgessner@hamiltonymca.org.

Y's Owls Preschool

The Y is committed to working with families to create a support system for healthy development. Our childcare programs do more than just care for children; they provide an opportunity for kids to learn, create, play, gain confidence and grow.

Y's Owls Preschool is a place of discovery where each child is acknowledged as an individual with his or her own feelings, needs and interests. Our philosophy is to focus on your child. A preschool education provides opportunities for young children to discover their own abilities, to make simple adjustments to their environment and to become aware of their bodies. Our program directors lead a qualified, experienced staff in implementing the Creative Curriculum. This curriculum provides your child with a balance of structured and independent activities and builds the foundations for academic and social competence.

Families are an important part of our preschool community. Parents are encouraged to visit, volunteer and share hobbies, occupations and traditions. Opportunities for family involvement occur through parent meetings, parent workshops and special events.

Preschool programs are state-licensed and affordable; serving children ages 3 - 5 in the Hamilton area. Enrolled children benefit from:

  • Kindergarten readiness 
  • Music appreciation 
  • Healthy U preschool fitness and nutrition program
  • FREE weekly swim lessons for children attending five full days
  • Large outdoor playgrounds to enhance social and physical development
  • Peanut/tree nut-free program environment
  • Children’s library
  • Low teacher-child ratios, with highly qualified, caring & trained staff
  • We have CPR/First Aid trained staff on site at all times
  • Technology in the classroom: Interactive Whiteboard and iPads to enhance learning
  • GrowNJKids

The Weekend Owl

Exclusive to enrolled Y’s Owls participants and their families.
The Weekend Owl provides benefits of the facility membership for the entire family on Saturdays and Sundays from September through August. Break a sweat, take a swim, shoot some hoops. Be a family at the Hamilton Area Y.

Consumer Product Safety List
As required by the State of New Jersey as licensed Childcare programs, we are required to review, at least annually, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unsafe children's product list, ensure that items on the list are not at the center, and make the list accessible to staff and parents and/or provide parents with the CPSC website. Internet access may be available at your local library. For more information, call the CPSC at 1.800.638.2772.

Reminder: tuition payments for Y’s Owls Preschool are due by the 1st day of the month of service. 
Payments can be made online by clicking here.

Preschool Summer Camp at the JKR Branch

Our Preschool Summer Camp for children ages 3 - 5 is a perfect blend of indoor and outdoor activities with a Garden where children will cultivate a love of nature and a connection to plants. Weekly swim lessons and water play day are also included. Registration begins Wednesday, April 1! Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

  • Y's Owls Preschool Open Houses
    Wednesday, April 22 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, May 13 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Childcare Administrative Office

Regular Hours

Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For more information about Y's Owls Preschool, please contact:
Rose Elefant
Director, Y's Owls Preschool
Coordinator, School Age Care
609.581.9622 ext. 126