Kids Place

Our Kids Place programs located in the Gahanna and Westerville school districts have been shut down along with the closure of the schools. We will remain closed until schools reopen. 

Dear YWCA Kids Place Parents/Guardians:

With all of the changing messaging and direction of the last few days, we wanted to wait to correspond with you until we had some firm and concrete answers for our parents and children. Our partners at the Westerville and Gahanna City School Districts had some difficult decisions to make with regard to their facilities, which impacts our ability to provide services to your children, and those decisions were finalized over the weekend.

Our Kids Place programs located in the Gahanna and Westerville school districts have been shut down along with the closure of the schools. We will remain closed until schools reopen. Some of you have inquired about future tuition payments in anticipation of possible extended school closures. Please know that it is not our intention to charge families for any care we are unable to provide. However, the timing and length of any extended closures will determine the most effective method for handling tuition credits and drafts going forward. We will not draft April’s tuition until a return-to-school date has been scheduled, and we will be in contact with our families as we have any updates.

That said, we want to reassure everyone that all of our staff members will be offered opportunities to continue to work and receive pay during this closure. As you may be aware, the proceeds of our child care program fund temporary shelter for homeless families and their children, and that work continues despite shutdowns. Our family homeless shelter expects an influx of residents and children during this time, and additional employees will be needed to staff childcare at that location, so our staff will be fully utilized.

As you can imagine, this shutdown has taken an enormous financial toll on our organization. Some of you have asked how you may help support our continuing operations. We welcome contributions to our mission during this difficult time. With a gift, you make sure we can do what’s needed, extending our services to those who are vulnerable. You can make a donation to YWCA Columbus here.

Know that we remain committed to providing exceptional staff to care for your children, and our investment in them creates a better program for your children tomorrow. When school resumes, we will continue to practice the highest level of sanitation and take every precaution to ensure the safety of your children. Stay safe and healthy and we will communicate future updates as they unfold.

YWCA Kids Place


Upcoming registration dates:
Summer: Monday, March 2
Fall: Monday, May 4


YWCA Kids Place has more than 30 years of experience providing affordable, dependable, and high-quality year-round child care for families in the Gahanna and Westerville school districts. Our programs are conveniently located in your child’s elementary school to promote consistency and continuity for your child’s transition from school to Kids Place.

All of our programs are Step Up to Quality star-rated, using a comprehensive curriculum that includes choice-based learning, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), social-emotional development, and physical fitness. Additionally, in lock-step with the mission of YWCA Columbus, social action and advocacy are promoted by participating in community service projects that benefit non-profit programs in the community.


Our Program Focus

Choice Based Learning

Kids Place programs are planned with choice-based, student-led activities. Studies show that when students have some control over their learning they make more positive choices in the classroom due to increased confidence levels.


STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, is an all-encompassing curriculum structure that allows Kids Place programming to support students academically.

Social-Emotional Learning

We encourage individual growth and empowerment through social emotional learning. Students learn to manage their emotions, set goals, express empathy, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Physical Fitness

Every day students engage in 30 plus minutes of physical activity. Whether playing gym games, exploring different sports, or having time to run and laugh with friends, they are given the time and space to have active fun to explore just being kids.


Highly Trained Staff

Our staff are highly trained to ODJFS safety and development standards, engage in regular professional development to ensure Step Up to Quality standards, and ten hours of additional professional development. Proudly, our directors and administration has over 185 years combined experience.

Your Child’s Safety is Our Priority

YWCA Kids Place takes the safety of the children we serve very seriously. We have worked with the Gahanna and Westerville school districts to ensure doors are locked during program times. We work with local police and fire departments to provide guidance in safety measures and training for staff, including emergency drills for students. YWCA Kids Place programs are licensed by and subject to inspections through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Additionally, prior to employment with YWCA Columbus, all Kids Place employees complete a background check, physical, drug screen, and education verification.




Thank you for your support.

When you enroll your child in YWCA Columbus Kids Place Programs, you are not only receiving high-quality child care, but you are also making a difference in the lives of homeless women and families in your community. This year, because of you:

37,000 meals were served
to homeless families

506 families in crisis
obtained emergency shelter

17 women and girls graduated
from leadership programs


Staff That Care

Mandi Buchwald

Program Administrator - Gahanna


Email Mandi

Laura Miller

Program Administrator - Westerville


Email Laura

Rebecca Hartle

Curriculum Specialist


Email Rebecca

We take pride in our staff. Join our team.


The staff is great with my children. They have time to complete homework, play and do crafts. They hardly want to leave when we pick them up. We always have good communication about any issues one of the girls may be having.
YWCA Kids Place Parent
This program has been a life saver. As a working mom, it is so nice to know my child has a safe fun place to be until I can come get her from school. The staff is so kind and helpful.
YWCA Kids Place Parent

For Perspective Parents

I’m interested! Send me additional information.