Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program (UPK)

The YMCA’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program serves 4—5-year-old children in warm, nurturing, supportive classes staffed by experienced, dedicated New York State-certified early childhood education teachers and aides.

Universal Pre-K is approved by the New York State Department of Education in collaboration with multiple school districts, licensed by the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, and staffed by New York State-certified early childhood education teachers.

UPK works in partnership with parents and recognizes them as the primary teachers of their children. Parents are encouraged to become part of their child’s educational experience by participating in classrooms, group meetings, and teacher conferences.

UPK is sensitive to each family’s lifestyle, values, and cultural preferences. Each child is viewed as unique and is guided to reach his/her potential. Class size and a high adult/child ratio support individuality. Children are encouraged to problem-solve, experiment with developmentally appropriate materials, and establish social relations through self-directed activities and special projects.

Universal Pre-K Educational Goals:

§  To provide a developmentally appropriate, child-centered, comprehensive, individualized, and family-focused early childhood education program

§  To prepare children for kindergarten, excited about learning and ready to succeed

§  To adhere to the New York State Department of Education’s Pre-Kindergarten Learning Standards.

§  To have children enjoy learning through play, both individually and in small groups with peers

§  To enhance the talents, abilities, and strengths of every child

§  To efficiently integrate with local school district


  1. Contact your child’s school district for an application
  2. Once approved your school district will notify the YMCA who will contact you with registration and extended day options

Lakeland *NEW FOR 24/25 SCHOOL YEAR*
Mahopac *NEW FOR 24/25 SCHOOL YEAR*
Mount Pleasant *NEW FOR 24/25 SCHOOL YEAR*
White Plains

For more information contact:

Margarita Pineiro, Director of Early Learning Childcare
mpineiro@ymca-cnw.org (914)949-8030 ext. 204

YMCA UPK School Supply List 23/24

  • 1 Normal Size Backpack
  • 1 pack Jumbo Pencils, pre-sharpened #2
  • 1 child-size scissors
  • 1 pack EXPO Dry Erase Black Markers
  • 2 Plastic Folders with pockets at the bottom solid color
  • 12 Elmers glue sticks
  • 1 pack of 24 Crayola crayons
  • 2 tissues boxes
  • 2 hand sanitizers (not scented)
  • 2 packs of baby wipes
  • 1 box Ziplock gallon-size bags
  • 1 subject notebook
  • 2 packs of Lysol or disinfecting wipes.
  • 1 seasonal change of clothes labeled in a zip lock bag (shirt, pants, socks, underwear)

Extended Day Pricing School Year 24-25

Choose Your School District For Pricing Information

The YMCA of Central & Northern Westchester is honored to be able to partner with the Somers Central School District to bring early childhood education to the young members of our community.

Excerpt from the Somers Record article written by Carol Reif.

If parents, students, and educators were grading Somers’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, they would give it an A+.

“It’s been amazing for the community. I’m so happy to be a part of it,” said UPK teacher Jill Sarote.

Things have gone so well that the district will be doubling the number of classes from two to four this fall, schools Superintendent Dr. Raymond Blanch announced at a Board of Education meeting last month.

The district uses a lottery system. It has already notified the families of kids who got in for the 2023-2024 school year.

“In the short time we have offered this program, the benefits to the children, families, and school district are already immeasurable,” Blanch said in a recent statement, citing research that shows “a long-term, positive impact on children who attend preschool.”

Read the full article here.