McGaw YMCA Children's Center

McGaw Logo

1420 Maple Ave.
Evanston, IL  60201

Northwestern University families are provided special benefits through an agreement with the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center: enrolled children receive a free youth membership to the McGaw Y, which provides a 10% discount on tuition and all McGaw Y programming, including summer camps. Additionally, Northwestern families get priority enrollment and access to the Northwestern Fee Assistance program, which eligible families may apply for, and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Benefits are offered to the child’s parents/primary legal guardians and are not transferable to other family members.



About the McGaw YMCA Children's Center

The Children’s Center believes that raising children is a partnership between families and educators to nourish children’s physical, social-emotional, language, and cognitive development through play-based learning. They create an environment where children can feel safe to explore the world around them with curriculum and unique enrichments that build thoughtful lifelong learners.

A NAEYC accredited institution, the Children’s Center offers full-day early childhood education for ages 0 to 6. After-school programming is available for children in grades K-5. Summer Day Camps are for rising 1st through 6th graders. 

The Children’s Center’s programs are research-based, age appropriate and culturally relevant. Utilizing the latest in brain and child development research, their curriculum stimulates infants and toddlers, prepares preschoolers for kindergarten, and ensures school-age students are exploring their full potential. Teachers and staff understand the cognitive, physical, and social development of children and after-school and day camp counselors serve as exceptional role-models, trained to support children as they try new things. Classrooms are intentionally designed to enhance the social, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of all children.

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.


To schedule a tour or for more information, please contact the McGaw YMCA Children's Center at 847-475-8580 or email

Complete and return the Designation Form pdf icon to McGaw Registration to be considered for Northwestern priority enrollment.

Fee Assistance

To apply for Northwestern's fee assistance:

  • Visit the Fee Assistance page to review eligibility requirements.
  • Complete and return a Designation Form pdf icon if you have not already done so.
  • Download and complete the Fee Assistance application form.
  • Contact the McGaw YMCA Children's Center Registration Office at 847-475-8580 with any questions.

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.