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

Check out just a few of the great things we’re doing at the JCYS Family Centers


Registration for winter, summer, and fall 2019 opens on December 2nd. Go to jcys.org/register for details.

Butterfly Science

At JCYS Lakeview, we bring nature into the classroom for exploration-based science education. We plant seeds in our classroom, keep them watered, and watch them grow. Every year, we order chrysalises for the children to watch as the caterpillars mature and turn into beautiful butterflies. Our educational guidance makes sure children get the most out of what they naturally do anyway: explore the world and learn about everything in it. 

Music Education

Music specialist Susan Salidor visits classrooms at JCYS Highland Park to introduce children to the joy of music and movement. Susan has recorded 9 studio albums and has won multiple prizes for her work; she is also well-known as an early childhood music educator and regularly holds workshops throughout the Chicago area.

Parent-tot Yoga

JCYS Wicker Park’s parent-tot yoga class, in partnership with jBaby, is a fun and interactive class that combines classic yoga poses with developmentally appropriate play! This class focuses on developing coordination, flexibility, strength, balance, and self-esteem, and provides a healthy and joyful opportunity for parent(s) and child to learn together.

Food Education

At JCYS Family Centers, we don’t just serve fresh healthy food – teachers also eat with children to build good
habits and encourage trying new foods. Our food allergy protocols are designed to keep all children safe.  


A Camp for Everyone

JCYS camps include…

Camp Red Leaf, a day and overnight camp for youth and adults with disabilities
Camp Henry Horner, a day and overnight camp for youth
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
Big City Day Camp, a summer day camp for children to explore everything Chicago has to offer

Camp Henry Horner Outdoor Education & Retreat Center

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