Norwich YMCA Preschool Registration Is Right Around The Corner
Published: March 14th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Norwich YMCA preschool registration is right around the corner Students in the Norwich Family YMCA Nursery and Pre-K programs will have access to the entire YMCA facility, including swim lessons at the YMCA swimming pool. (Submitted photo)

NORWICH — The Norwich Family YMCA has scheduled registration nights for their 2022-23 Nursery School and Pre-K programs. Registration nights are an opportunity for families to visit the classroom and learn more about what the programs offer.

"They can come here and see the classroom, meet the teachers, ask any questions, and get the paperwork, and then that's the official kickoff for registration, and then registration will be ongoing until our spots fill up or until the school year begins," said Norwich Family YMCA Nursery and Preschool Director Katie Voss.

Nursery School is for three and four year olds, and the registration night will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 at the Norwich Family YMCA preschool classroom. Four and five year olds can be registered for the Pre-K program the following night on Wednesday, March 30, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the same location.

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For those that can't make the registration nights, paperwork will be available at the Norwich Family YMCA front desk, and online at In addition to registration paperwork, guardians are also required to submit a copy of the child's birth certificate and immunization records.

Voss said the Pre-K program is a partnership with the Norwich City School District, and is the only half-day program available in Norwich. Classes are held daily from 12:15 to 3 p.m., and there are 15 slots available for free to Norwich residents with a YMCA membership. Additional registration will be available after those spaces are filled, but will be subject to the monthly $190 tuition fee.

"We have 15 spots that are provided for Norwich residents to attend our program for free. They just need a YMCA membership for their child because we do get to use other facilities in the Y, such as the pool and the kids gym and other resources that they don’t have at the school," she explained. "Then we have some spots for other students from other districts, Sherburne, Oxford, if they want a half day program."

The Nursery School program is tuition based. Class is held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. every day, but parents have three schedule options. Tuition for a full week schedule is $190 a month; the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule is $115 per month; and the Tuesday and Thursday schedule is $80 a month.

There is also a scholarship program at the Y known as the Open Doors Campaign, which is available to families to offset tuition and membership costs. Details of the program and applications can be found on the Norwich Family YMCA website.

"There’s scholarships available for the memberships and also for tuition," said Voss. "For the Pre-K families, if we have somebody that wants to come to Pre-K and have it free, we don’t want the membership part to deter them from signing up, because it is technically free for them to attend."

Children enrolled in the preschool programs will have the opportunity for "social-emotional, academic, and physical development," as well as a "safe environment provided by trained teachers and staff," according to Voss.

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"In our nursery program we're really focusing on socialization skills and sharing, and early letters, numbers, basic skills with counting, shapes, colors, and really just learning how to share, and learning through play," she explained. "There’s a lot of focus on fine motor skills, and cutting and coloring, and just building those fine motor muscles, because at three and four and five years old ... those are muscles that they’re working to develop still, they’re not fully developed. So we do a lot of that."

Teacher's Assistant Katie Root said they also try to incorporate activities that relate to what the kids are learning about, such as when they brought in a monarch caterpillar to watch transform into a butterfly, or when a guinea pig visited the classroom when students were learning about the letter P.

The classroom also sticks to a regular routine to get kids used to a school day, and help them to develop patience and listening skills.

"Katie [Voss] has a great schedule set up, which we do follow even for the Nursery program, where we have play time, and we have circle time that includes doing some activities, and also listening to a story so they get used to sitting and listening," said Root. "Then we do some stations where we’ll break up into groups and they do a little activity, and then we get cleaned up and ready to go to Kids Gym, come back, get cleaned up again, then we have snack and then they go. So they’re used to a routine and getting used to that stamina."

Beyond classroom activities and visits to the Kids Gym, students are also able to play outside during favorable weather, and the classes utilize other facilities such as the YMCA swimming pool.

"We also offer swimming lessons to both our Nursery and Pre-K classes. So that has started and that’s going really well," said Voss. "Our aquatics director and swim instructor, the two of them tag team and teach different groups of students, based on their ability levels, within the Nursery and Pre-K programs. So we do that twice a week."

Additionally, COVID restrictions seem to be a thing of the past as masking and social distancing is no longer required in school settings.

"We still do temperature checks at the door," said Voss. "The Y has just asked that we continue to do that, just to make sure that we have healthy children coming in. Not that it’s a huge predictor, but we do that. Other than that we are not wearing masks. The kids, they can choose. It’s an option, and we do have some students that want to still wear a mask."

"What’s also nice is if they have a runny nose or a cough the parents will ask them to wear a mask," she continued. "So that might be something that will evolve positively out of this, because they can still come to school if they just have a runny nose, but wear a mask."

Root added that free COVID tests are available at the YMCA as well, for families that want to make sure a bout of the sniffles isn't COVID.

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Ultimately, the pair said the Norwich Family YMCA Nursery and Pre-K programs are family-oriented, and a great environment for kids to learn, get used to interacting with others, and adapt to a routine.

"It’s just a very loving environment, and we’re so proud to be able to help ease these kids back into a routine," said Root. "It is amazing with the half day program how much we’re able to accomplish with them, and in the amount of time allotted. And they really are just amazing, how they’ve learned and been able to adapt and jump right in and get those tasks done."

"With COVID we had to kind of limit what we could do with families, but at Christmas time we had gingerbread house making with parents, we do little music concerts that families can come in and see. So hopefully as things open up a little bit more we can do a little bit more family oriented stuff," said Voss. "It’s a great start. It’s a great first start, and I think it’s a great first experience for children."

More information on the Norwich Family YMCA and their programs can be found on their website,, or on the Norwich Family YMCA Facebook page.