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 7:00am 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. 

Preschool Room is now enrolling! Click here for more info!

Please contact Jennifer Locke, Early Learning Center Coordinator at 309-342-4315 or jlocke@knoxymca.org with any questions.


Ymca Stories Child Art Tour

Our Success Stories

The preschool classroom at the Early Learning Center is participating once again in the Adopt-A-Cow Program, in which they remotely adopt and follow the growth of a single cow. This year’s cow is named Sara and she lives on the Knebel Dairy Farm in Wisconsin. The Adopt-A-Cow Program is an opportunity for the children to learn more about animals, to follow the growth stages of their selected animal, and to grow along with her. Our children entered a video contest to win a trip to a farm, and are currently waiting to hear back about it. Through adopting Sara the cow, they can learn about ear tags, milk production, growth stages, and much more! They are also able to monitor the cow’s growth, receive updates, and learn about farms, animals and nutrition.