JCYS Family Centers foster a love of learning while helping children develop social and emotional skills in a nurturing environment. Located in Chicago (Lincoln Square Ravenswood and Wicker Park), Buffalo Grove, and Highland Park, our play-based curriculum delivers age-appropriate lessons in math, science, and literacy while encouraging creativity and individual expression.

JCYS offers early childhood education (infant care, toddler care, and preschool), summer camps, and specialty programs year-round to serve children ages 6 weeks through 13 years.

Program Highlights

Academic Foundations

If there’s one thing children are good at, it’s asking “why.” At JCYS, every “why” is an opportunity to practice counting, learn a new letter, or find a country on the map. Children’s natural curiosity and playfulness guide our curriculum. Our teachers encourage children to ask questions and explore their interests while building reading skills, comfort with words, and a foundation in math and science.

Jewish Culture & Engagement

Families of every faith are welcome at JCYS. Children at our family centers learn about Jewish traditions and values through inclusive classroom and family celebrations like enjoying Challah bread every Friday to celebrate Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) or participating in classroom tzedakah (charitable giving) projects.

Physical Development

At JCYS, children run, jump, bounce, climb, dance, and crawl through indoor and outdoor play spaces. Our experienced teachers encourage active play during the school day to build children’s strength, stamina, and gross motor skills.

Social and Emotional Skills

Children at JCYS learn to share with peers, manage conflict, solve problems independently, and take on age-appropriate challenges. Through group play and classroom activities, children make friends and build social-emotional skills for success inside and outside of the classroom.

🌸 Last Friday, JJCYS Iris & Steven Podolsky Family Center hosted a Mother’s Day Breakfast, welcoming moms, grandmothers, aunts, and friends for a delightful morning of food, games, and fun. 🎉 To cap off the celebration, they honored the special bond between generations with a Mother’s Day Shabbat. All grandmothers were invited to light the Shabbat candles alongside their beloved grandchildren, creating a beautiful scene of love and tradition. 💖 ... See MoreSee Less
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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week ... See MoreSee Less
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In the Tiger classroom at JCYS Wicker Park, the children have been thinking intentionally about how to take care of the spaces and materials they use every day. They help wipe down tables, volunteer to get things needed from around the school, and arrange their environments to make others feel welcome. The Tigers have taken this value to the rooftop as well. Last Friday, the class was eager to use the outdoor play space but noticed it was slippery and wet from the rain. They brought towels outside to dry off the equipment, helping extend its lifespan and make it safer to play on. Way to go, Tigers! Your care and consideration are truly inspiring. 🌈👏 #jcyslearningadventures ... See MoreSee Less
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