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.


Connect with Mara on Facebook Connect with me on Facebook and visit our Y Beginnings blog!

Y Beginnings Programs

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

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.
2018 DATES, Winter/Spring: Thursdays, January 11, 25; February 8; March 1, 29; April 19; May 3, 17, 31. Any changes to the schedule will be posted here. The New Moms Group alternates Thursdays with the Breastfeeding Cafe. Summer dates will be posted closer to June.    
Note: There are no groups on February 22, March 15, April 5. 
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

The Y's Breastfeeding Cafe is a gathering spot for nursing moms and their little ones. Join us with your babies, your breastfeeding questions (whether or not you have any!) and your new-nursing-mom stories. Babies play 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 open to both pregnant women and nursing moms. Group is led by Mara Bragg, CLC.
2018 DATES, Winter/Spring: Thursdays, January 18; February 1, 15; March 8, 22; April 12, 26; May 10, 24. Any changes to the schedule will be posted here. The Breastfeeding Cafe alternates Thursdays with the New Moms Group. Summer dates will be posted closer to June.    
Note: There are no groups on February 22, March 15, April 5. 
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

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  
SPRING SCHEDULE: returning for a free trial class on March 23rd (Eventbrite RSVP required, click here), followed by a six-week session from April 13 to May 18, on Fridays from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm. Drop-in classes for $20 or save with a six-session series for $100. 
REGISTRATION FORM for April/May session: click here 

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!

Spring Semester 2018 is full! Email (mbragg@ywashhts.org) to be placed on a waiting list for this semester, or on a notification list for next semester, beginning in September 2018.
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 also present. Throughout the semester, children enjoy the freedom to play, grow and gain confidence in a classroom setting. 
AGE RANGE: for children from 1 year (walking) to 2 years 3 months by December 31, 2017.   
SPRING 2018 SCHEDULE: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 am, from January 30, 2018 to to May 24, 2018. Note holiday cancellations on February 20 and 22; April 3 and 5. 
FALL 2018 SCHEDULE: Toddler Exploration will return in September 2018 for the Fall Semester, which continues through January 2019. Class will be open to children who are walking and between the ages of 12 months, and 2 years 3 months, before 12/31/18. Registration will open over the summer. Please EMAIL Mara with any questions.
FEE for Spring 2018: $400 for the Tuesday OR Thursday session (15 classes); $675 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
WINTER SCHEDULE: Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:15 am, January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 28, March 7, 14, 21, 28. NOTE: Due to a snow day cancellation, the March 21 class is now rescheduled for April 11 at 9:30. 
Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:15 am, April 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; June 6, 13, 20 
REGISTRATION FORM: click here for the Spring Session registration form
FEE: $250 

The Y is thrilled to partner with Super Soccer Stars to introduce the game of soccer to the youngest residents of Upper Manhattan. Classes will return for our spring season. More details will be posted in March on our Super Soccer Stars page

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.