downtown ymca

Carissa Mendoza was starting a new job and was in search of a child care center close by where she felt comfortable leaving her young daughter, Sabrina. With Sabrina being her first child in “daycare,” Carissa was very nervous about leaving her with someone she didn’t know.

One of her co-workers told Carissa about the Early Childhood Education Center at the Downtown YMCA, and Carissa decided to stop by for a tour with her daughter. During the tour, the teacher invited shy Sabrina to participate in an art project with other children in the three-year-old class, and the warm welcome that Sabrina received sold Carissa almost immediately.

The Power of Pre-K

Within weeks, Sabrina grew to be more independent and began to show the desire to learn at home. She started singing, retelling stories, and even teaching her baby dolls what she had learned in class.

By the time she graduated from the First-Class Pre-K program, Sabrina had met all developmental standards measured by the Alabama Developmental Standards and Preschool, and by the end of her kindergarten year, Carissa said that Sabrina was exceeding her reading level by a full grade!

Carissa credits the Early Childhood Education Center for showing her what quality care should look like:

“The Y has had both of my kids in the daycare and I love you all. I would not have chosen another center for my kids, especially after Sabrina learned so much. It meant the world to me when I almost lost everything and you were right there to give me names, numbers, and places that could help me get the things I needed. Most of all, thank you for giving me scholarships for my kids. Without this, I would not have been able to work because I couldn’t afford the full rate.”