Y Beginnings Parenting Center

Hi, there! We’re thrilled to welcome you to the Y Beginnings Parenting Center!

This is your invitation to come out and play‑-with new babies, parents and caregivers from the neighborhood--together at the Y. We’ve got a full roster of classes, programs, and events planned (and always in the works!) for expectant families and those with babies, one year olds and two year olds.

At Y Beginnings, we’re your uptown home for new families. This is where your daughter might meet her first best buddy, your son might take his first steps and where your confidence as a new parent grows. All within a framework of local living at its best—no schlepping downtown to find activities or community.

The Y Beginnings Parenting Center debuted in 2014. We’re still growing and we’d love feedback on what you’d like to see offered at the Y. Let us know what appeals to your unique family, by TAKING OUR SURVEY or EMAILING ME.

As the Coordinator for Y Beginnings, I’m looking forward to meeting you and welcoming your family. By way of introduction, I’m a certified lactation counselor, a mom since 2008, and a local resident active in our neighborhood for more than a decade. I know firsthand what a wonderful community we’re building, together, here uptown.

We extend a warm welcome to families of all types and all backgrounds, while also offering special celebrations of Jewish culture throughout the year. 

Whatever brings you to the Y, we hope you find a welcoming home here.


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Y Beginnings Programs

Parenting Workshops
Moms Groups
Classes for Babies and Caregivers
Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers
Jewish Engagement
PJ Library
Samples of Previous Workshops and Classes

Parenting Workshops

"Changing Emotions of Parenthood"
Along with a new baby, parenthood brings big changes in relationships, responsibility and identity. Yes, it can be an emotional roller coaster. Join Meredith Elson, LCSW, and other parents to talk about managing the emotional ups and downs of becoming, and being, a new parent. Moms, dads, babies and expectant parents are welcome and invited to attend this free talk, which is offered periodically. 
WHEN: early 2019, please email Mara to be notified when the next date is announced (mbragg@ywashhts.org)
FACILITATOR: Meredith Elson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in a private psychotherapy practice on the Upper West Side for over twelve years.


Moms Groups

Congratulations on your baby! As you find your way along this new mom journey, we invite you to join our supportive community of fellow moms and babies at the Y. Together we'll share our experiences, or just listen, ask questions if we have them, and learn from one another, all in a welcoming and inclusive environment that honors the unique path of each family. Drop in and say hello! 
FALL 2018 DATES: Thursdays, September 13, 27; October 11 and 25; November 8; December 6. The New Moms Group alternates Thursdays with the Breastfeeding Cafe, so there's usually a group for moms happening most weeks (see Cafe dates below). 
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30ish pm, late arrivals okay ("baby time"), FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 201
QUESTIONS: Not sure what to expect at the group? Feel free to reach out to Mara before you come, mbragg@ywashhts.org or 646-738-6093

CANCELLATIONS: Any last-minute changes to the schedule will be posted here. Note: There are no groups on November 15 and 22.   

The Y's Breastfeeding Cafe is a gathering spot for moms and their little ones. Join us with your babies and your breastfeeding/pumping/feeding questions--whether or not you have any questions. Babies snuggle or snooze while moms chat and gain valuable support and community from each other and the group's facilitator, a Certified Lactation Counselor. The Breastfeeding Cafe is inclusive, and open to pregnant women, nursing moms, pumping moms, combination feeding moms, and those still trying to figure it out! Group is led by Mara Bragg, CLC, and strives to help moms meet the feeding goals that work best for their family. For help beyond a support group setting, parents should consult their pediatricians for all medical questions, and an IBCLC for an individual lactation consultation as desired.   
FALL 2018 DATES: Thursdays, September 6, 20; October 4 and 18; November 1 and 29; December 13. The Breastfeeding Cafe alternates Thursdays with the New Moms Group, so there's usually a group for moms happening most weeks (see Moms Group dates above). 
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30ish pm, late arrivals okay ("baby time"), FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 201
QUESTIONS: Not sure what to expect at the group? Feel free to reach out to Mara before you come, mbragg@ywashhts.org or 646-738-6093
CANCELLATIONS: Any last-minute changes to the schedule will be posted here. 
Note: There are no groups on November 15 and 22.   

Classes for Babies and Caregivers

Be Baby: Discovery Zone 
From tummy time and beyond, increasingly mobile babies explore and discover in a classroom setting, including circle time with live ukulele music and story time with PJ Library. Grown-ups enjoy a supportive environment to build their own community. 
AGE RANGE: for babies from 6 to 12 months old, with parent or caregiver  
SCHEDULE: Be Baby debuted this year and is now on hiatus for the summer. If you'd like to see Be Baby return in the fall, please let us know by sending an EMAIL. 

Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers

Are you a parent looking for activities and socializing for you and/or your child? The Y's Toddler and Parent Programs offer something for every stage to explore this pivotal time of life!

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Children explore and discover through play-based centers, and enjoy music and creative movement during circle time. The 75-minute class is designed to emphasize play, socialization and learning the rhythms of the classroom, while the child's parent or caregiver is present and actively involved. Throughout the semester, children enjoy the freedom to play, grow and gain confidence in a classroom setting.
AGE RANGE: for children who are walking before class starts in September, and who will be between the age of 12 and 27 months by December 31, 2018. This same age range applies to both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. 
NOTE: Students attend the entire 15-week semester; this is not a drop-in class. Seats are reserved for enrolled children only; class is not designed to be joined by younger/older siblings, including babies (unless both siblings, for example twins, are within the age range and each enrolled).   
SCHEDULE: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 am, for two 15-week semesters, from September to January, and then January/February to May. Each semester enrolls separately; fall students receive priority re-enrollment for spring semester. Class is cancelled during winter and spring breaks. 
REGISTRATION: Class is full for Fall semester. Please EMAIL Mara to be placed on the waiting list for Fall and Spring semesters. 
FEE: $400 for the Tuesday OR Thursday session (15 classes); $725 for both days (30 classes)

Children build a strong music foundation through singing, dancing and jamming to a mix of musical instruments. Class is led this session by Zack from Tkiya.
AGE RANGE: for babies and toddlers (through 35 months) with their grown-up
FALL SCHEDULE: Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:15 am, October 24 to December 19 (Note cancellation on November 21). 
REGISTRATION FORM: Yes, you can still join us, late in the session! We will pro-rate the fee for the remaining classes. Plase click here and return completed forms via email to mbragg@ywashhts.org.  
FEE: $200 per 8-week session 

Welcome to your Sunday morning escape during the winter months! The Y's gym is open to young walkers through age 5, with their parents/caregivers, for our popular kids' gYm. Click here for all details, including pre-registration, membership discounts, and a mutiple pass discount!  

Jewish Engagement

Join us on Friday mornings to welcome shabbat! We'll sing, read a story, say blessings, and enjoy challah together with our Y Beginnings community. Program features live ukulele music from the Y's own Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, plus Todah, our amazing Sloth (a real puppet!). All families are welcome at Ukulele Shabbat, which is designed for babies through age three(ish), with their parent or caregiver. Visit our Ukulele Shabbat page to learn more, including the full schedule of dates, including holiday cancellations.  

Want to see these previous workshops and classes offered again?

Let us know by sending an EMAIL.  





The Y Beginnings Parenting Center focuses on families who are expecting and those with newborns, babies and toddlers, up to 2 years of age by offering fun, enriching, and educational opportunities.