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YWCA of the USA

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the YWCA?

Founded in the 1850’s, the YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural organization in the world. Currently, the YWCA represents approximately 2 million women, girls and their families in the United States and 25 million women worldwide. The YWCA has nearly 300 associations throughout the United States. YWCAs can be found in more than 100 other countries.  Racial justice and women's economic empowerment are the hallmark programs of the YWCA.

Q: What does YWCA stand for?

YWCA stands for Young Women Christian Association.  Just as in 1858 when the YWCA was first established, members of the YWCA stand for the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women.

Q: Is the YWCA a Christian organization? Do I need to be a Christian to be a member?

The YWCA is an independent, non-religious organization.  The name YWCA stems from roots in the Christian faith. Today, the YWCA embraces members from all faiths who are committed to creating opportunities for women's growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people.

Q: Are you part of the YMCA?

Despite the similar name, the YWCA and YMCA are independent organizations with distinct missions.

Q: Do you have a gym?

Some YWCA organizations do have fitness facilities. The YWCA of WNY does not have a gym.

Q: I am a parent. Can I be involved in my child’s program?
The YWCA has an open door policy for all of our child care programs and parents are encouraged to stop in any time or volunteer to help with activities.  Monthly lesson plans will be posted in the room for parents and regular newsletters are provided.  Each site has an annual Parent’s Day in May and surveys are completed in November and May.  Parent feedback is welcome at all times.

Q: Does the YWCA of WNY accept Department of Social Services Childcare Approvals? 
Yes.  All Department of Social Services Childcare Approval Letters must be current when enrolling in the program.  

Q: What do I need to enroll my child in the YWCA Extended Day Program or Early Childhood Program?

DSS Parent/Guardian:

  • Completed Enrollment Package
  • ECDSS Childcare Approval Letter
  • $3.00 YWCA Membership Fee
  • Registration Fee is waived
  • 1st week Co-pay Fee (If Applicable)

Private Pay Parent/Guardian:

  • Completed enrollment package
  • $30.00 EDP Registration  Fee or $20 Daycare Registration Fee
  • $35.00 YWCA Membership Fee
  • 1st month Program Fee or 1st week Daycare Fee




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Racial justice and women's economic empowerment are the hallmark programs of the YWCA.


The YWCA of WNY is a United Way Agency.
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