McGaw YMCA Children's Center

McGaw Logo

1420 Maple Ave.
Evanston, IL  60201

Northwestern University families are provided special benefits through an agreement between the University and the McGaw YMCA Children's Center.

  • Priority enrollment/wait list status at the Center is available to faculty, staff and students.
  • The YMCA youth membership fee is waived for NU families enrolled in the child care program, as well as the summer camp programs.
  • The University funds enhancements to the YMCA Children's Center programs in the fine arts.
  • The University awards need-based fee assistance to eligible families on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Access to Northwestern dedicated backup care spaces is available on a first come, first served basis.

Program brochures are available at the McGaw YMCA Children's Center.

Center Programs

The curriculum is based on the core belief that the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life and future success. The infant/toddler, preschool, and school-age programs are staffed with teachers who are trained to understand the cognitive, physical and social development of kids.

There is a commitment to respect and nurture a child's needs to feel connected and supported in trying new things. Babies develop trust and security, preschoolers experience early literacy and learn about their environment, and school-age kids make friends, learn new skills, and receive homework assistance. There is a strong focus on building confident kids today and bright futures tomorrow.

The center offers infant and toddler care, full day preschool, part day preschool, an after school program, as well as various summer camp options.

  • Strong, diverse community where children can grow through a continuation of programming
  • Lead teachers with bachelor's degree and education course work
  • Center accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children 
  • Bright and spacious classrooms
  • Music, art, gym and swim enrichments built into the program


  • Contact The Children's Center receptionist at 847-475-8580 or at to schedule a tour, complete registration paperwork and secure a space or a spot on the waiting list.
  • Complete and return the Designation Form pdf to be considered for Northwestern priority enrollment.

Fee Assistance

  • Contact the YMCA Children's Center registrar at 847-475-8580 to apply for scholarship funds. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. School year awards are determined on a first come first served basis. Please apply early.
  • Fee Assistance Application pdf
  • See the Fee Assistance page for more information.

What Parents Are Saying… pdf icon

The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life & Family Resources does not endorse or recommend any particular school or child care center and encourages all parents to carefully evaluate any provider they are considering to care for their child.