Greater Burlington YMCA Early Childhood Program


The Burlington YMCA has three locations and 12 classrooms for children ranging from ages 3 months to 5 years. I primarily work with the Cub and Bear rooms

266 College Street, College Street Congregational Church and First Baptist Church


Each classroom has two teachers, the lead teacher and the associate teacher. Lead teachers are in charge of planning curriculum and handling parent-teacher conferences.

Lead Teachers have a starting salary of $15.00 an hour and Associate Teachers have a starting salary of $11.00 an hour.

A number of afternoon help and substitute teachers are employed to lend helping hands to teachers when needed, they earn just above minimum wage.

All teachers receive benefits along with a free membership to the Y

The Director of all infant/toddler programs at each Burlington location is Kristen Hakey.

The Cubs and the bears

Ages 18 months to 3 years

Client U

2 year old female student in the Cub Room


Children arrive during this time, they are invited to participate in free play throughout the classrooms.

The kitchen/dress-up area is one of the many places the children like to play in to start the day

My client especially loves this area and takes on a motherly role when playing with baby dolls. However, she becomes possessive of certain toys and tends to take control over her peers when it comes to dramatic play.

9:00am-9:30am--Morning Snack

Teachers set the table with the children's lunch boxes and call them over when they are set up, my client is very social during this time and loves to tell stories to teachers about her family--she is the oldest of three, her two younger sisters are twin 10 month olds in the Y infant classroom

10:00am-11:30am--Morning Activity

During this time the Cubs and Bears take part in an activity all together. This can be a walk, bus ride, trip to the park, or inside games during bad weather.

My client thoroughly enjoys this portion of the day, being active with friends. She still has her moments of frustration when things do not go exactly the way she wishes and often throws tantrums as a result.

11:30am-12:00pm--Potty Time/Books & Puzzles

After the morning activity the children use the potty with the assistance of a teacher and are then invited to read books or do puzzles. Client U is very independent which shows during this time as she chooses what books she wants to be read to her and works hard to solve puzzles on her own.

Teachers often spend this time reading to the children as a group to cause less of a chaos in class as other teachers prepare for lunch. Most of the time the students are great listeners and extremely engaged in readings.


Each child brings a packed lunch to school and teachers set them all up while the kids are reading or doing puzzles. They are then called over to the table to eat. Teachers sit at the tables with the students and have a family-style lunch. Client U is very talkative and enjoys taking this time to chat with her friends and teachers.


After they are finished with their lunches the students pack up and head over to their individual nap mat set up around the room. Some children need extra help falling asleep like my client yet some have no trouble falling asleep on their own.

3:30pm-5:30pm--Free play and Dismissal

After nap, the children go to the table to eat a healthy snack that the school provides. As they finish they are invited to participate in free-play around the room such as blocks, dramatic play, play-dough and sensory tables.

Between these hours parents begin to show up for dismissal and the last student is gone for the day by 5:30pm. My client enjoys free-play but is always excited when her parents come to pick her and her sisters up to go home for the rest of the night.

Interning at the y

Being an intern at the Y infant/toddler program means engaging with the children's learning and development as well as being extra hands for the teachers

I tend to mimic what the teachers do when it comes to guiding the children in order to learn more about the development and behavior of children at this age

As it often is with working with young children, no day is exactly the same as the one before, this is the same for teachers and interns. Some days I am merely background help to play with and keep kids occupied and some days I have to take on a more leadership-like role based on that days happenings

Interning here has taught me so much about working with children in the early stages of their development, I am more confident now in the ways I deal with behavior issues and developmental struggles.

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