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Where Nurturing Comes Naturally

JCYS serves children and families of all faiths through our four preschool/family centers and multiple summer camps.
Serving children age 6 weeks through grade 5, JCYS Family Centers foster a love of learning through exploratory play and one-on-one attention from our caring staff members. Our play-based curriculum encourages creativity and individual expression while guiding children to practice key social and emotional skills. JCYS teachers use a child-centered approach that lays the foundations for success in math, science, and literacy as children learn to describe and understand their world.

Program Highlights

Academic Foundations

At JCYS, pre-literacy skills are reinforced in every classroom through a child-centered approach that builds on story time, music, and art activities to develop children’s verbal fluency and reading readiness. Our curriculum also cultivates the pre-math skills and other capabilities that children will need to succeed in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) classes.

Physical Development

Building children’s physical abilities is an essential part of the curriculum at JCYS. Children develop strength, stamina, and gross motor skills through active play and enrichment activitiesEach Family Center has a number of spaces–like gyms and dance rooms–dedicated to children’s physical development. 

Jewish Culture & Engagement

JCYS programs are open to families of every faith. Children at our family centers learn about Jewish traditions, culture, and values through inclusive celebrations. We organize family events around major Jewish holidays and connect cultural activities to academic and social goals. 

Social and Emotional Skills

The creative, play-based learning environment at JCYS incorporates individual and group activities to encourage children to develop key social and emotional skills, such as sharing, conflict resolution, independence, and problem-solving. Our staff is there to help and guide the children every step of the way. 

Girl on slide at The Lil'

A Camp for Everyone

Big City Day Camp, a summer day camp for children to explore everything Chicago has to offer
Camp 21, our NEW end-of-summer camp experience for children entering Kindergarten through fifth grade. Operated out of Buffalo Grove
• Camp STAR, a summer day camp and therapeutic program for children with ADD/ADHD
Champ Camp, a sports-focused program for youth in the Highland Park and Highwood communities
Horner Grove Day Camp, Campers participate in Red Cross swim lessons at The Lil’, weekly local field trips, in-house field trips, arts, and crafts
JCYS North Suburban Day Camp, our NEWEST day camp option for campers in the northern Chicago suburbs
Sunflower Day Camp, the perfect day camp for our youngest campers. Operated out Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, and Wicker Park

JCYS Camp 21

11 hours ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Sunflower Campers at JCYS Lutz Family Center are having a great time at camp! ... See MoreSee Less

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There is just one week left to register for the JCYS Annual Golf Outing! You’re not going to want to miss this year’s event and the Golf Ball Launcher Contest. On the contest hole, golfers will be able to shoot their ball out of a cannon and onto the fairway. Register for the outing today: jcys.org/golf-outing/ ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Come visit JCYS Iris & Steven Podolsky Family Center's booth at Square Roots Chicago today! ... See MoreSee Less

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Support JCYS

Donate today to help JCYS provide affordable, high-quality programs to over 7,000 individuals throughout Chicago

Ready to join one of our programs?

Register online today!