Contact our center Director today to learn more or schedule a tour!


Your family may qualify for a Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship – covering 80% of your tuition until October. Visit to learn more and apply.


Early Learning Preschool Program


Welcome to Preschool at the Y!

We believe that ALL of our children will succeed and that individual interests and talents should be fostered from the very beginning. That’s why our early learning and preschool program helps your child build confidence for life while having fun with friends their age in our safe and supportive classrooms. They’ll find teachers who believe in them, pay special attention to their social and emotional needs, give them the freedom to be themselves, try something new, and make new friends.


About Us

Offering flexible half and full day options, our program can meet the needs of all families. The Forchetti Family YMCA Center for Early Learning is committed to providing affordable, dependable, high-quality child care services to families in the Duneland Community. 


Mon. - Fri. 

5:30am - 6:30pm


270 E. Burdick Road

Chesterton, IN 46304


children ages 6 weeks through
5 years of age


Building a Strong Foundation

Our center is dedicated to providing young children with a developmentally appropriate, preschool education. Offering early childhood full-day and half-day preschool program options, our early childhood learning and preschool programs enrich kids inside and out through our values—caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.


Our full-day Preschool program supports families year-round in a partnership to nurture children’s development through play-based learning. We offer preschool programs 2, 3, 4, or 5 days a week for children 6 weeks to 5 years old. You have the flexibility to drop off and pick up your child anytime between 5:30 am – 6:30 pm. Each of our full-day programs are tailored to the needs of each specific age group we serve. Every age group requires a specific approach and we strive to provide that through our curriculum, daily activities, and our small staff to student ratio.                                                                     


Our half-day preschool program welcomes children into a preschool setting that prepares them for school success and enhances the social and academic skills of children ages 3 to 5 years old. Teachers guide students in learning new motor and academic skills through activities in reading, science, and math, using the Creative Curriculum® to guide learning. The program follows the Duneland School Calendar. Children must be three years old and fully potty trained by September 1 the year you plan to enroll your child.                                                                       

INFANTS (6 weeks - 12 months)

Infants spend their day playing with sensory objects and toys, enjoying stroller walks outside when the weather permits, and participating in activities like bubbles, playing with sensory toys, listening to music, and more. Infant teachers understand the cognitive, physical, and social development of infants. Each child receives his or her own crib and cubby to store items. Mothers may choose to provide their own milk or stop in anytime during the day to nurse in our nursing room.

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open!

Contact Melissa, our Center Director, today to find out more about why the Forchetti Family YMCA Center for Early Learning is the right fit for your family.

We use The Creative Curriculum®  developed by Teaching Strategies, Inc. This allows us to provide a well-rounded early learning program for children prior to Kindergarten. Our staff members implement both teacher-developed and child-directed activities. Here, curriculum builds year-after-year centering on development of children’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, physical skills, and core subject areas such as science, literacy, and mathematics. We partner with families to create goals for their child and update families on developmental milestones through conferences and Teaching Strategies assessment tools.


The YMCA Forchetti Center for Early Learning participates in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program, which plays a vital role in the quality of meals being served. We offer a morning snack, hot catered lunch, and two afternoon snacks, following strict guidelines on all food selection, preparation, and documentation of meals. We also provide formula with iron, commercial baby food in jars, and rice cereal for infants too young to eat catered lunch. We work diligently to make sure every child is getting the nutrition needed for their growth and development.


Our teachers are selected for their expertise, enthusiasm, and experience. They look forward to working with children every morning and our staff retention rates reflect that. All of our lead teachers meet state educational requirements. They complete extensive training in child development and age-appropriate program planning, CPR/AED, First-Aid, and child abuse prevention. Reference checks and extensive background checks are performed to ensure the safety of all children.


Intentionally designed to enhance the social, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of all children, our facility features a huge multipurpose space, indoor and outdoor cafeteria, large classrooms with floor to ceiling windows, and an on-site kitchen. Outside, children are able to stay active when weather permits on two large, age appropriate playgrounds set on 5 acres of expansive outdoor space. Parents have a sense of security knowing our center has a monitored and locked front entrance for families, while classrooms and property are monitored with a state-of-the-art security system linked with an intercom system.


Our center also offers these enrichment programs. Enrichment programs are included in tuition and reinforce classroom learning in a small group setting.


Music and Motion is geared to encourage learning through songs, dance, instruments, and body movement. This fun active class teaches early learning concepts for our little ones in a fast-paced environment.

The importance of accreditation

The importance of accreditation

Our center isn't just licensed—we're a Paths to QualityTM accredited center, too! Paths to QualityTM accreditation means that we are committed to continuously improve the quality of child care and early education we provide and an outside agency visits us to verify everything we do.                                                                              

A Positive Learning Atmosphere

A Positive Learning Atmosphere

With a multipurpose room, expansive outdoor space, spacious outdoor playground, a school garden, and an on-site kitchen, our center serves a wide range of ages and activities. Our large classrooms are intentionally designed to enhance the social, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of all children in a safe and inspiring environment.                                                                  


Building Strong Beginnings for Bright Futures

Raising children is a partnership between families and educators to nourish children’s physical, social emotional, language, and cognitive development through play-based learning. Our teachers create an environment where children can feel safe to explore the world around them through the curriculum and unique enrichments that build thoughtful life-long learners.  

Rates & Tuition

To learn more about our weekly rates & tuition, please contact our Preschool Coordinator, Kayla Lee, at [email protected].

Financial Assistance

Thanks to funds from the Annual Campaign, the Duneland Family YMCA financial assistance for children and families who cannot afford the full cost of YMCA programs. Please contact [email protected] to see what assistance may be available to you.

Discounts on YMCA Membership

Full-time enrollment at the Forchetti Center includes a 25% discount on a YMCA Family Membership and no joiner fee. Visit the Duneland Family YMCA to sign-up today!

Learn, Build, Grow Scholarship

Learn, Build, Grow Scholarship

Indiana's new Build, Learn, Grow scholarship program is offering families of essential workers tuition scholarships for their children’s early care and education, summer learning and before- and after-school programs. If anyone in your immediate family is classified as an essential worker, you may qualify for these scholarships for your child(ren), beginning now.

Build, Learn, Grow scholarships are being offered by the Indiana Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning to help support Hoosier families in connecting to high-quality learning opportunities. Families classified as essential workers with qualifying income can receive scholarships for each child age 0-12 in their household. Scholarships will cover 80% of tuition for early care and education, summer learning and before- and after-school care from May-October 2021. The Forchetti Center for early Learning is accepting Build, Learn, Grow family scholarships.

Check to see if your family qualifies and begin your application at                                                       

Kayla Lee
Kayla LeePreschool Coordinator[email protected]
Melissa Griffith
Melissa GriffithEarly Learning Center Director[email protected]

We look forward to meeting you soon!

There's better way to experience the Forchetti Family YMCA Center for Early Learning than on a private tour with one of our Directors! Email [email protected] to schedule a time that works best for you. We can't wait to meet your family! 

Learn more about our Early Learning Center by viewing our Brochure here.
Fall registration is open! Ready to get registered? Contact our enrollment team at 219.926.4204, ext. 2 or [email protected] and they would be happy to help answer any questions you may have and get your family registered!

You Can Find Us At

270 East Burdick Road
Chesterton, IN 46304


Monday - Friday
5:30 am - 6:30 pm

Call Us Now

(219) 926-4204             


Currently, we do not offer online registration for our early learning program. To register your child, please visit our Early Learning Center Location or contact [email protected]