St. Thomas Church hosts The Strawberry Patch, a daycare/preschool operated by the Greater Pittsburgh YMCA. Fully certified, this program runs year-round.

Grow, learn, strive

You can feel good about how and where your child spends time outside of your home. With so many demands on today’s families, parents need all the support they can get. That’s why child care at the YMCA Strawberry Patch is about more than looking after kids. It’s about nurturing their development by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. We strive to meet the developmental needs and temperament of each individual child by working in partnership with families.



The Y provides a safe and nurturing environment for infants to blossom and grow at their own pace. Activities are focused on the development of mobility, motor skills and socialization. The infant environment:

  • Accessible shelving with baskets of small sensory balls, stacking cups and rings, soft cloth books, swatches of bright colors, soft dolls and animals
  • Mirrors for self-recognition
  • Space for rolling, crawling, and practicing walking
  • Singing and soft music
  • Close individual attention given by adult caregivers


The toddler’s world is full of discovery as he/she begin to master walking, talking, and following their curious instincts. The Y program celebrates each child’s unique way of learning. By fostering a sense of exploration, toddlers in our programs begin to build self confidence and life skills that lead to increased independence. The toddler environment includes:

  • Exploration of materials: feely box, finger paint, non-toxic modeling materials, soap bubbles, snow
  • Dramatic play activities including activities including small kitchen and dress up clothes and costumes
  • Large manipulative foam blocks, stacking toys, balls for development of fine motor skills
  • Soft foam climbing shapes, small lofts with opportunities to climb, slide, crawl, trikes and simple riding toys for development of gross motor skills
  • Puzzles and puzzles and more puzzles
  • Beginning experiences with scissors, paste, paint, tape


Friends, laughter, jumping, and exploring is a day and a life of a YMCA preschooler. This coming from the framework of the “creative curriculum” in which our teachers provide a well developed and planned program for our preschooler aged children. Through this playful learning, children are prepared for a lifetime of active leaning.

  • Accessible Learning centers with: art supplies, recyclable collage materials, paint, clay, easels, magnifying glasses, ant farms, caterpillars and butterflies
  • Writing center with markers, crayons, pencils, stationary and envelopes, stamps and stamp pads, stencils
  • Reading centers with stories on disc or tape, related to themes, books created by the children, family picture books
  • Music and dance
  • Gross motor and fine motor play
  • Learn group games and begin to learn games with rules

To Register:

Request our registration packet by calling 412-402-8936 or emailing You will receive a letter of confirmation and a full registration packet once your request has been received. For more information, please call the church office.

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