Early Learning Center Explorations


Taryn Kyle
Program Manager
425.882.1313 (fax)

Rachel Keinath
Family Advocate

Kayla Olsen
Family Advocate


Early Learning Center staff


Family Village Redmond
16601 NE 80th Street
Redmond, WA 98052

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Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 6 p.m.




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early learning center explorations:

Read our blog to find out what's happening at the YWCA Early Learning Center.

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Capturing a moment in time

“Picture day is one of my favorite mornings at the YWCA Early
Learning Center!” exclaimed YWCA family advocate Rachel Foster. “The children are dressed to the nines with their hair all fixed-up.  It’s so cute!” 

Most of the students at the Early Learning Center love getting their photos taken on our bi-annual picture day. They hold their picture cards and wait patiently in line as the photographer coaxes an innocent smile out of the child in front of them.

This is also a special day for parents, who love having a hallmark of their children’s growth. These photos capture a moment in time that will someday pass – something that will happen sooner for those students getting ready to graduate into kindergarten. On picture day, these students get a special treat: photos taken in a traditional cap and gown.

Thanks to Lifetouch for partnering with the YWCA to offer this service to all of our families. We appreciate their support and love showing-off our class photos in the Early Learning Center!


End of the Year Party

The end of the school year is always a bittersweet time at the YWCA Family Village Child Care, and this one was no different. 

We bid farewell to our graduating students and families at the annual end-of-the-year party. Almost everyone came out to help us celebrate a fun and productive year with face painting, art projects, a photo booth, piñata and lots of laughter. On this beautiful day, we filled our tummies with yummy food and our brains with memories of good cheer and close friendships.  

We wish all our graduating students the best of luck in kindergarten and look forward to another fantastic year with a new group of families. 


Annual Woodland Park Zoo Field Trip

On August 26th, our preschool classrooms took their annual field trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. 

 As in years past, there was a plethora of parents in attendance. This created a low student-to-adult ratio and helped create a more more intimate and personalized experience for the kids.  They had plenty of up-close interactions with the animals that were being fed breakfast and enjoying the sun. 

Thanks to all the parents who came and supported our children and staff; we loved having you along! 



Springtime Garden Party

Click here to to see more pictures from our Springtime Garden Party.

Due to some typical Seattle rain, our garden party had to be postponed a few days – but wow, did we finally luck out with some beautiful weather! Held on June 5, it was the perfect day to spend in the garden at FVR child care. 

The festivities started with a picnic-style dinner, where families mixed, mingled and shared stories about their children. We went to the playground after dinner, where a variety of plants were waiting to find their new home in our garden.

Each family helped plant the flowers, perennials, annuals and vegetables. Some kids got very involved with helping in the garden, while others preferred just running around outside and enjoying the playground with their parents. 

This hands-on, fun family event helped instill an understanding in the children about how plants grow and how we have to take care of them so they can flourish.

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of the families and staff who came out to help with our garden party. We look forward to what the kids will discover as they watch the plants grow and grow!

Volunteer Appreciation Week Spotlight: Penny Amsler

Penny has been a longtime volunteer at YWCA Family Village Redmond child care. For as long as anyone here can remember, every Wednesday she has been in all three of our classrooms, providing extra care and support to the children.

She is always there to help out with circle time and leads us in an arts and crafts activity on most days. She loves reading with the children and really engages with them on their level. She even rearranges her schedule on field trips days to provide extra care. Penny is not only generous with her time – she also supports the families we serve as an Adopt-a-Family sponsor and with Christmas-time donations to the child care center.

The children always look forward to seeing her and so do our staff. We love our volunteer Penny!


Each year, Family Village Redmond child care staff take 20 hours of training through Washington State Training and Registry System (STARS), so they can stay up-to-date on news from the field of early childhood education. When two of our staff recently brought back information on becoming an Eco-Healthy Child Care, we were excited to use what they had learned and hit the ground running.

We immediately started to implement the recommendations and were pleased to discover how much we were already doing right! We recycle, run the faucet for 30 second each morning to keep lead out of the drinking water, cook only with cold water, clean with a water and vinegar solution, and maintain a smoke-free center and parking lot.

Our facility needs to meet 24 out of 30 requirements to be endorsed as an Eco-Healthy Child Care. Our goal is to register as an environmentally friendly preschool by the end of April, and we are well on our way!

Lots of these changes are simple enough to bring into your own life. Here are a few ideas you can try at home to improve the air quality, reduce harmful chemicals and benefit your whole family:

  1. Go natural. Scented candles and artificial air fresheners contain many chemicals that pollute the air and irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Try a natural alternative: an essential oil mist, a dish of vinegar or baking soda, or boil a pot of water with cinnamon and cloves. 
  2. Let the air in. To avoid excess moisture, which contributes to mold and mildew growth, naturally increase ventilation by opening windows and using fans.
  3. Avoid aerosols. This includes hair spray, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, etc. These release tiny drops of chemicals into the air that can be inhaled and trigger asthma or allergies.
  4. Quit smoking. Smoking is bad for all of us, but it’s especially harmful to children. If you can’t quit, put on a smoking jacket when you go outside for a cigarette and remove it as soon as you return. Also, wash your hands immediately after smoking.

To find out how we are improving our preschool at Family Village Redmond, click here to download the Eco-Healthy Child Care checklist or ask a staff member for a copy of the checklist.



How to get your preschooler to love the library

The children vibrate with barely contained excitement as they watch the ABC Express bus pull into the parking lot. They wiggle and chatter as they wonder what will happen today: Which book will they choose? What stamp will they get? And will they see Jim the bus driver?

Every month, the ABC Express brings the library to our own backyard at YWCA Family Village Redmond Child Care. This is a truly unique experience that all the children in our preschool classrooms enjoy.

Each child boards the bus to pick out one library book of their own. They take their coveted book to Jim for check-out and he gives each one a sticker on the back of their hand.  Jim also sets aside several books each month that fit our lesson plans and support the growth and development of the children. 

We have participated in the King County Library2Go! outreach program for more than four years and have never been let down.  This is a special treat that everyone looks forward to and we appreciate the time and attention Jim gives to the kids.

Thanks to Jim and the King County Library System for helping our children develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life!

End-of-Year Celebration


Friendly YWCA Child Care staff celebrate the end of the year. To see more pictures from our celebration click here.

Last Wednesday we celebrated the end of our 2011-2012 school year and said goodbye to those who were transitioning to kindergarten. Parents joined us in the outside picnic area, where we enjoyed a variety of food and sweets. After dinner, families and children moved to the playground, where games and activities were set up. The fun included face painting, making picture frames, spin art and taking a picture in our homemade photo booth. Our party ended with the children taking their turns at two piñatas.

Thanks to all our wonderful families! We will miss all our graduates who are moving on to kindergarten. And a big thanks to all of our amazing teachers for their hard work throughout the year and for helping to throw the end-of-year party. We look forward to another bright, exciting year!

Animal adventures: Preschool classes visit Woodland Park Zoo

Our preschool classrooms recently made our annual trek to Woodland Park Zoo! Some students visited the African Safari exhibit to see the crossing of the giraffes, while others headed for the farm animals. We found many zoo keepers in different locations, and the children were able to ask questions about the animals or have the keepers point out where the animals were keeping cool.

Our groups met up for a sack lunch and the children talked about what they had learned and discussed what they were looking forward to seeing next. It was a busy day of exploration. The bus ride home was very quiet due to some exhausted children!

Please click here to see the pictures we took along the way.

See you next year, Woodland Park Zoo!