Early Childhood Education

The York JCC Education Information and Philosophy

Our Early Childhood Education Program seeks to provide an educational environment that fosters each child’s self-image, curiosity to learn about the world, and confidence in his or her developing physical, intellectual, and social skills. Our intent is not to teach a selection of specific skills in preparation for the academic world of the elementary school. Rather, it is to instill in children an image of themselves as capable learners. It is to provide each child an environment rich in possibilities for child-initiated and directed, teacher supported learning, through active exploration and play. At the JCC, we believe that the best preparation for the academic work of the years ahead begins in an early program that nurtures children, reinforces their natural disposition to ask questions and find answers, and strengthens children’s ability to function as both strong individuals and as caring members of a child-sized community.

The History of the JCC Early Childhood Education Program

The JCC opened its first nursery school program in 1951 and in 1989 the JCC moved to its present building. With this move, we renamed our program, JCC School for the Early Years. In 1998 we opened a second wing to our early childhood hallway with 3 more classrooms. These rooms now house our child care children, ages 18 months through 5 years. In 2015 we added an additional 3 classrooms and a motor skills room which allowed for 55 more children. We currently care for approximately 185 children in our ECE Program.

We’ve Been Voted #1 in Child Care Numerous Years in a Row


The E.C.E. program is licensed through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The School for the Early Years is also licensed through the Department of Private Schools. Both School and Child Care programs are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The JCC is also a Keystone STARS program Level 4 and Pre-K Counts site.

We receive Federal cash assistance to serve healthy meals to the children attending our facility through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. Additional information about WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children) program.


Our program offers the York community several options for structured early childhood classrooms.
School for the Early Years – for children ages 2 through 5, provides care from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. during normal school year months.
Lunch and Learn offers afternoon programming from 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM for children ages 3-6
Early Years Discovery Camp – (9 to 11:30 AM) is a summer camp for children ages 3 to 6 years old, June through August.
Child Care Program – for children ages 18 months to 5 years. This program offers a full-day, full-year care and education program with a full-day schedule during the summer
School Age Child Care – begins at 6:00 AM for before school care. After school care begins at 3:00 PM and ends at 6:00 PM.

Teaching Staff

Our E.C.E. program is staffed by a committed team of early childhood professionals. Head Teachers in each classroom are degreed at either the Bachelor’s or Master’s level. Assistant teachers must work towards a minimum of the Child Development Associate Degree within a year of joining our staff. Many assistant teachers hold degrees beyond this entry level. All teachers understand the importance of working closely with families and of meeting the emotional and educational needs of individual children.

Recognizing that the quality of our program rests to a large extent on our staff, we recruit individuals with a strong interest in supporting the growth and development of the school-age child. All staff is screened with a Pennsylvania Police Record, a Child Abuse Clearance, and an FBI clearance.

Staff complete at least 24 hours of training annually on such topics as child development, age-appropriate program and activity planning, and effective guidance for school-age children. The staff has regular meetings with the Director to review program policies, children’s behavior, and current trends. In addition, staff receives annual training on Pediatric first aid, CPR and child abuse prevention.

For more information on our policies, please refer to our Early Childhood Education program Family Handbook or Click Here.

For more information about the JCC’s Child Care, contact the Director of Children’s Education and Development, Heather Miller heatherm@yorkjcc.org.

For more information about School for the Early Years programs, contact the Associate Director of Children’s Education and Development, Kristen Nowak knowak@yorkjcc.org.

Family Handbook

For a copy of the York JCC Family Handbook, please Click Here.

Child Care

(18 mos. – 5 yrs.)

Program Operation

The Child Care program is a full day, full-year program for children ages 18 months through pre-kindergarten.

Busing is provided by all LIU programs.

Opening and Closing Information

Our childhood wing opens at 6:30 AM and closes at 6:00 PM. Our 1’s and 2’s classroom opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 5:30 PM.
Click Here for Our Scheduled Childcare ClosingsPDF

Tuition Information

Click HerePDF for our Fees & Payment Policies.

Wait List Information

Click Here – PDF for Child Care Waitlist Application and Frequently Asked Questions.

Staff Director
Heather MillerDirector of Children’s Education and Development

In 1991, Heather started volunteering with the preschool program at the York JCC. While finishing her BA degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University, she continued volunteering and working summers for the Early Childhood program. In 1995, Heather joined the newly started child care program. She obtained her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2007 and Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education in 2013. She has worked with infants through school-age children. Heather is a certified American Heart Association Instructor and PQAS Instructor.

School for the Early Years

(Ages 2-5)


The JCC School for the Early Years provides children ages 2-5 years with an environment rich in possibilities for child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported learning through active exploration and play. Our School for the Early Years (SFEY) offers socialization and education for your preschooler in the morning and now in the afternoon too, while our Lunch and Learn for 3-6 year olds provides afternoon fun and enrichment.

The school program runs from the end of August until the first week in June. The school doors open at 8:50 AM and school starts at 9:00 AM with staggered dismissals to alleviate congestion in the School Commons area at pick up time.
2’s and 3’s dismiss at 11:15
3’s and 4’s at 11:25
4’s and 5’s at 11:30.

We are excited to announce that the JCC is offering an afternoon preschool class for the 2018-2019 school year. This is a mixed age preschool class, ranging in age from 3 to 5. Class will begin at 12:30 and end at 3:00 pm each day with 2-day (T,Th), 3-day (M,W,F), or 5-day (M-F) schedules available.


Annual tuition is broken down into monthly payments and varies, based on numbers of days of attendance:
Two days (Tuesday/Thursday): Member rate is $292 and Non-Member is $371.
Three days (Monday/Wednesday/Friday): Member rate is $338 and Non-Member is $417.
Five days Monday through Friday: Member rate $442 and Non-Member $521.
(Please note that the 4’s and 5’s program does not offer a two or three-day option.)

Extended school hours are available with lunch and snacks from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The School for the Early Years runs the summer Discovery Camp from June through mid-August for children ages three through six years.

Note: The school waitlist does NOT roll-over from year to year. You must add your name to the list after the February 6 registration date. For more information about the JCC’s School for the Early Years program, contact SFEY coordinator, Kristen Nowak.

Staff Director

Kristen Nowak
Associate Director of Children’s Education and Development

Kristen has worked at the JCC since 1998. Her educational background includes a BS in Child Development and Teaching from Michigan State University and she holds a PA Early Childhood Education teaching certificate. Kristen has been working with young children and their families in both teaching and administrative roles since 1988.

School Age Child Care

(Grade K & Up)

See Registration Packet

The JCC provides care at the main JCC site and 3 satellite locations:

  • (DAIS) Dallastown Intermediate School –  This location also includes Loganville-Springfield Elementary School
  • (YARCS) York Academy Regional Charter School
  • Logos Academy

Email the 2018-2019 School-Age Registration Packet to gkapterian@yorkjcc.org

About the program

Our before and after school program provides a secure, and fun place for your child to come and play outside of school hours. Whether you are bringing them here before school or need after-school care, or both, they will be well cared for.
We provide an opportunity for your child to socialize, play outside, swim, relax, participate in sports or play board games. If they choose to tackle their homework, we provide a quiet room and guidance should they need help.


Our before school care beginning at 6:00 AM, includes breakfast and a variety of activities before the children embark on their school day. Our After Care program, operating from 3 to 6 PM, includes snack, a quiet time to complete homework or other quiet activities, outside play and other child selected activities.

About Our Staff

Recognizing that the quality of our program rests to a large extent on our staff, we recruit individuals with a strong interest in supporting the growth and development of the school-age child. The staff undergo a comprehensive background check and receive state-mandated child abuse training.

Staff complete at least 24 hours of training annually on such topics as child development, age-appropriate program and activity planning, and effective guidance for school-age children. The staff has regular meetings with the Director to review program policies, children’s behavior, and current trends. In addition, staff receive annual training on Pediatric first aid, CPR and child abuse prevention.

Our School Age Program Director, George Kapterian, is responsible for adhering to the standards set by the state of Pennsylvania for Keystone STARS-STAR 4 and Department of Public Welfare school-age child care programs. He supervises staff closely, meeting formally with the team once per week.

Schools and Transportation

The following schools provide transportation to and from the JCC: Valley View Elementary, Indian Rock Elementary, York Township Elementary, Ore Valley Elementary, Leaders Heights Elementary, Dallastown Area Intermediate School.

If your child attends East York Elementary, York Suburban Middle School, Yorkshire Elementary, or any school in Dallastown Area School District, the JCC will provide transportation for an additional fee. Please contact the Director or Billing Office for current rates.

If your family lives in Suburban or Dallastown Area School District, but your child attends a school outside of the district (Montessori, St. Joseph’s of York, etc.) or is in an LIU classroom, you may still be able to attend our program because these schools transport the children to our building. Please contact your district for more information.

Care for children attending Dallastown Intermediate (DAIS) and Loganville-Springfield Elementary is offered at the DAIS site. Transportation to and from Loganville -Springfield to DAIS is provided by the school.

School Closings

Our programs will also run when school is closed, whether it’s an inclement weather closing or a planned day off for teacher in-service.

For scheduled days off, a signup sheet will be provided at the York JCC. Please sign up at least 1 week before to allow for appropriate staffing.
NOTE: If you do not sign up, the JCC reserves the right to deny drop-in care due to staff constraints.

When there is a full day off, care is provided at the JCC for Dallastown Intermediate and Loganville-Springfield students.

On early dismissals and delayed starts, care will be held on-site at Dallastown Intermediate school.

York Academy Regional Charter School: Care is provided on-site at the School for days off, early dismissals, and delayed starts.
Logos Academy: Care is provided on-site at the School for days off, early dismissals, and delayed starts.

Staff Directors

George Kapterian –  School Age Director
George is a certified elementary school teacher (K-6).  Through hard work and dedication he was promoted from Assistant School Age Director to School Age Director in 2015.  Before accepting positions in the childcare department, he taught swimming at the JCC and he worked as a TSS for a wrap around behavioral health agency. He also owns and operates a martial arts school.

Kevin Kennedy –  Assistant School Age Director

Kevin has been a teacher at the York JCC since 2000.
He has worked at length with children of all ages, most recently as a preschool teacher in the School for the Early Years at the JCC. Previous to the JCC, he has worked as a summer camp counselor and administrator at Kingswood Camp for Boys in N. H. and as an assistant athletic director at York Catholic High School.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Join Our Family

We aren’t just “a gym.” We are a community. When you join the J, you join a place created for our members and the needs they may have, whether that be fitness, educational or cultural. We provide a supportive, inclusive environment that many of our members call “a home away from home.”

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