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. 


A Program for Everyone

Infant Care – JCYS offers care for infants (ages 6 weeks–15 months), at our Buffalo Grove and Highland Park locations. Even the youngest children are welcome to learn and grow with the JCYS family.

Toddler Care and Preschool – JCYS toddler and preschool classrooms (ages 15 months–5 years) are full of energy, laughter, and learning! We offer toddler and preschool programs in Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Lincoln Square Ravenswood, and Wicker Park.

Before/After School Care – For older children (K-5th grade), JCYS provides a home-away-from-home at Buffalo Grove (for children enrolled in District 96 and 102 schools) and Highland Park (for children enrolled in D112 schools). Our family centers offer a comfortable space to relax, explore a new book, try a science project, or just run around and burn off some extra energy.

Circle of Friends

6 hours ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Did you know JCYS Northwest Family Center has an Outdoor Nature Specialist? Each week classrooms visit Mrs. Lindsey and engage in hands-on learning. They explore her room, the outdoors, and do fun projects! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 day ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Yesterday was National Play-Dough Day! With the wide array of developmental learning and sensory benefits, play-dough is part of active exploration in every classroom at JCYS Wicker Park. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 days ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Teachers at JCYS Lutz Family Center build on the curiosity, excitement, and joy each individual child experiences as they interact with the world around them. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

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!