Early Learning Center

Program Purpose & Description

The YMCA Early Learning Center is a private not-for-profit faith based childcare center that provides affordable high quality child care for children 6 weeks through 5 years of age.

The Early Learning Center is licensed by the State of Illinois for up to 44 children and managed by a community Board of Directors, some of whom are consumers of the services provided. The Early Learning Center is affiliated with the United Way of Knox County and receives financial support from that organization. It is housed in the same location that the Knox County Day Nursery used to operate, which has provided childcare services in the Galesburg area since 1915.

Early Learning Center Mission

The Knox County YMCA Early Learning Center aligns with the Knox County YMCA mission statement to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The ELC does this by providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment for the children and the families it serves.

Hours of Operation

The Knox County YMCA Early Learning Center is open 6:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday, with the exception of major holidays. Please allow enough time to arrive at the center to get your child ready to leave and signed out before 6:00pm closing time. Children who are picked up after the regular closing time of 6:00pm will be charged a late fee of $5.00 per each five minute interval and is to be paid upon arrival at the center. 

Full-time and part-time care is available. Part-time must be on a regular basis and a minimum of four half days or three full days per week. Infant care is full time only. 


Please contact Amy Okrzesik, Early Learning Center Coordinator at 309-342-4315 or aokrzesik@knoxymca.org with any questions.


Ymca Stories Children Classroom

Our Success Stories

We continue to build our relationship with Knox College through hosting student volunteers in our After School Programs. There are over 30 Knox student volunteers who help our programs thrive and help us meet our overall goal of providing a wonderful before and after school experience for our participants. This partnership is mutually beneficial for the Knox County YMCA and for Knox College; our Before and After School Program participants gain role models in the form of college students they can look up to, while Knox students gain an impactful experience working with children, and get to do meaningful service in their community. Volunteers help the kids with homework, play alongside them during free time, and assist the YMCA instructors by creating new, fun programming ideas.