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 JCYS

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…

JCYS North Suburban Day Camp, our NEWEST day camp option for campers in the northern Chicago suburbs
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
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
Sunflower Day Camp, the perfect day camp for our youngest campers. Operated out Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, and Wicker Park
Camp 21, an end-of-summer camp experience for children entering Kindergarten through fifth grade. Operated out of Buffalo Grove

JCYS North Suburban Day Camp

12 hours ago

JCYS: Jewish Council for Youth Services

Mazel Tov to JCYS Lutz Family Center and JCYS Wicker Park Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute Fellows, Meghan, Marissa, Liz, and Ray! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We had a great time at Stars Cook for Kids at Benihana this past Thursday and hope you did, too! Thanks to all who attended and helped us raise money for the JCYS Scholarship Fund. Special thanks to our star cooks for dedicating their time: Elliott Bambrough, Tony Cogan, Charlie De Mar, Lisa Fielding, Nina On The Air, Marley Kayden, Jesse Kirsch ABC7, Meghan Kluth, Lisa Kosty, Gabe Ramirez, Lauren Scott TV, Marc Silverman, Anna Valencia, and Corey Wootton. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Opening day for JCYS Lillian L. Lutz Recreation Center (The Lil') is Saturday, June 8! Visit jcys.org/thelil to learn how you can have a summer full of easy family fun! ... 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!