West Seattle YMCA to open new preschool space at Westwood Village

(Added: WSB photo)

After losing some space in Seattle Public Schools facilities, the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) has been working to find more new preschool space – and is finally ready to announce it’s planning a new Early Learning Center at Westwood Village. Here’s the Y’s announcement:

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is expanding early learning programs in King County with a new center in West Seattle, expected to open in January 2021. The YMCA Early Learning Center at West Seattle, located at 2600 SW Barton Street in the Westwood Village Shopping Center, will serve 124 families from birth to five years.

For over 30 years, the Y’s values-based preschool program in West Seattle has helped kids learn essential cognitive, social, and physical skills that are the building blocks for successful adulthood. The Y is proud to build on their tradition of empowering our youngest learners.

The YMCA of Greater Seattle thanks the Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Department of Children Youth and Families for funding $800,000 of the construction costs through the Early Learning Facilities Program. The Early Learning Facilities program supports Washington’s commitment of developing high-quality early learning opportunities for children across the State of Washington.

“We already know the impact that quality early education can have on kids, it means they start reading earlier and begin to grasp math and science concepts before they start elementary school so they can hit the ground running.” said Loria Yeadon, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “We believe that child care shouldn’t bankrupt families, and that child care can, and should be integrated into the family and community circles. By expanding child care in West Seattle, we’re expanding opportunities for kids for years to come.”

The Y is where everyone is welcome. The YMCA of Greater Seattle is committed to access for all kids regardless of financial circumstances and stands behind that by raising funds annually to bridge the gap for families. The Y accepts State of Washington Working Connections Child Care and City of Seattle subsidies with no enrollment caps.

The Y is a leader in youth development and in helping to ensure all kids have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For more information on the new YMCA Early Learning Center at West Seattle or to sign up for the interest list, please visit seattleymca.org/ws-elc

The space they’re moving into is the two-story former eye-clinic space on the north end of the mall.

21 Replies to "West Seattle YMCA to open new preschool space at Westwood Village"

  • Alki resident February 13, 2020 (2:24 pm)

    That’s the last place I’d want my kid. 

  • Jim P. February 13, 2020 (3:06 pm)

    Good to see at least one long vacant space being taken. The Village gives signs it is dying: A number of stores and office spaces have been vacant for years.

    I’d have rather had some more medical or retail resources move in but this sure beats an empty place.

  • WSB February 13, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    This is in keeping with a trend around West Seattle – the preschool business is booming, and more than a few preschools have expanded/moved into spaces that formerly housed other types of businesses in commercial-district locations – Delridge, Alki, Admiral, north Morgan Junction come to mind immediately.

  • I don't get it February 13, 2020 (3:46 pm)

    Interesting choice of spaces given the configuration and previous tenant improvements.   I’m guessing there is no outdoor play area either so the kids will have to walk through WWV to the lovely environs of Roxhill Park.    WWV is definitely a dying place.  Even QFC has a  dwindling variety so we skip it unless it’s a quick pick up.     I find myself going to WWV now for Target only – and avoiding the rest of the place.  I’m not sure having little kids and families walking through an incredibly difficult to navigate parking lot is a good idea either.    But alas, they’ll pay rent…so I guess it’s a deal for the landlord.    <Shaking my head>

    • KM February 13, 2020 (4:14 pm)

      I don’t think that the lack of an outdoor play area is a big deal for a lot of families. There’s a new trend of businesses catering to parents who will pay to have their kids play indoors.

      • WW Resident February 13, 2020 (7:31 pm)


        • KM February 14, 2020 (8:39 am)

          There are businesses like MyGym. The Little Gym, Outer Space, etc where parents pay to take their kids to play (structured sessions or not), and they are indoors. I was suggesting that based on the trend of these indoor play places & gyms, some families might not care about outdoor options.

    • Courtney Whitaker February 13, 2020 (7:45 pm)

      We are so excited to bring a vibrant center for learning and discovery to Westwood Village. The property is a great fit for our classroom needs with lots of plumbing and open spaces. We will also use some of the smaller spaces for STEAM exploration classrooms. The Center will have an outdoor playground in the area between the Post Office and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The playground will be developed as a natural play environment and be fully fenced. At the Y we are committed to kids having outdoor play everyday. For more info,  please visit seattleymca.org/ws-elc. 

      • WS Mama February 13, 2020 (9:17 pm)

        Sounds awesome! 

      • HS February 13, 2020 (9:26 pm)

        That’s a great use for that space! A natural play area is such a good idea and is an excellent direction for this “urban village“ zoned area. I’m really happy to see this opening up as a large number of the comments about B&N closing were from parents who enjoyed having a safe place for their children to play and read. Let go of the antiquated red-lining. That area is a family neighborhood with lots of sport activity at the nearby sport fields, excellent newer tennis courts, an open field for soccer, community p-patch with outdoor pizza ovens, and a within walking distance river with salmon. Westwood homes sell between 600-975k and it’s only going to get denser with the zoning changes. I’m sure there will be lots of families happy to utilize such a great service.

        • KM February 14, 2020 (8:42 am)

          I agree! That area of the parking lot is so underutilized, great to see it repurposed for active use.

  • Buttercup February 13, 2020 (5:01 pm)

    Where is the playground to be? To chill Park? Not secure, to much other ” activity” happening there. Is the park play areas up to state codes according to Department of Early Licensing. ? According to the State requirement children must be outside 2 times a day Gor 20 minutes each time. I feel sorry for teachers who will have to deal with this. Should build their own out of playground. Wouldn’t enroll my child there.

    • Courtney Whitaker February 13, 2020 (7:40 pm)

      We are so excited to bring a vibrant center for learning and discovery to Westwood Village. The new YMCA Early Learning Center will have an outdoor playground in the area between the Post Office and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The playground will be developed as a natural play environment and be fully fenced. At the Y we are committed to kids having outdoor play and recreation. For more information please visit seattleymca.org/ws-elc. 

  • MacJ February 13, 2020 (7:47 pm)

    Bunch of grumps in the comments here. The Y is a great organization, and more childcare access is needed all over Seattle. Malls are dying, and good riddance, the car dependence they encourage plundered our neighborhoods and endanger more kids than have ever gotten hurt in Roxhill. By the way, my kindergartener specifically requests Roxhill all the time, and we go there, and have fun with the other parents and kids. I’m pretty sick of this cloistered suburban attitude that the existence of poverty is somehow threatening and impure.

    • JRR February 13, 2020 (8:04 pm)

      Agree completely! This area has historically been very undeserved by all sorts of programs and the city through the lingering legacy of redlining. Let’s break these ideas.

    • AJP February 15, 2020 (1:04 pm)

      Yes, thank you! I go to Westwood all the time. Lots of shops I frequent. I think the Y having a preschool there is a great addition. I take my kids to Roxhill all the time too. The playground is really cool!

  • WSB February 13, 2020 (7:58 pm)

    Thanks to Courtney (who is with the Y) for clarifying the outdoor-play-area concern – I was going to ping her to ask tomorrow since it came up here. – TR

  • 1994 February 13, 2020 (8:34 pm)

    This is a good thing! even though heavily subsidized by tax dollars. Better to have the property used than sit empty. It may even spawn other new business ideas for WWV.

    • Herongrrrl February 14, 2020 (8:40 am)

      So wait, shouldn’t  good things be subsidized by tax dollars? 

  • Westwood Neighbor February 14, 2020 (11:54 am)

    Excited that this could also help parents who may work at Westwood Village by having a preschool basically onsite. Happy to see space as Westwood Village be utilized by people from our community.

  • Thistlemist February 14, 2020 (12:43 pm)

    Does anyone commenting here realize just how long the wait lists are for daycare?  It is truly a huge, ongoing situation for families who cannot afford direct in home care (nanny) but can juggle daycare costs and still need the two parent income to make it all work.  We currently drive our child to a center in Burien because it literally was they only place that had an opening and that was after 13 months of wait list time (we placed our names on lists while pregnant). Granted, newborn care is one of the hardest to find, but we know families with toddlers in the same boat and we are not the only West Seattle families with kids in care centers that are not close to home or work due to space.  Our current place is a wonderful center, but honestly, the moment something closer to home comes up we are snagging it.  This is fantastic news and will be a huge lift to those families lucky enough to get a spot. 

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