JCYS is currently open and operating our core early childhood education programs, and will be holding school-age camps this summer.

We hope the below answer your questions and provide you with information that will help guide your decisions.

2021-22 Hours, Programs, and Classroom Q&As

What hours is JCYS open?

JCYS Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Lincoln Square Ravenswood, and Wicker Park are open from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday.

What programs are being offered at JCYS this school year and when?

We are offering full-day, half-day, and extended-day (select locations only) early childhood education for the school year.

Will classrooms be combined?

We will continue the practice of maintaining pods through the 2021-22 school year. We will not combine groups of children.

    • We will, when necessary, allow vaccinated staff to move between groups of children, for instance, when we need a substitute teacher in a classroom.

Protocols, PPE, and Other COVID-19 Related Q&As

Are masks/face coverings required?

As of March 1, 2022, JCYS Family Centers are mask-recommended. This is in accordance with Governor JB Pritzker lifting the state’s indoor masking requirement, including the use of face coverings in early childhood settings, on Monday, February 28, 2022.

We will continue to follow the Health Department guidance released on February 3, 2022, concerning isolation times and masking for COVID-19 positive individuals and close contacts.

Is your staff vaccinated against COVID-19?

JCYS implemented a mandatory vaccination policy on July 8, 2021. This policy required all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of the 2021-22 school year, Monday, August 23, 2021.

Do you perform COVID screenings?

We stopped performing COVID screenings of staff, students, or visitors prior to their entering the building in Summer 2021.

It is important to remember to continue to monitor your children for fever and COVID-19 symptoms each morning before school. If your children exhibit any of the following symptoms, please do not send them to school.

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fever of 100.4 or higher or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When you sign your child in every morning, you self-certify that your child does not have a temperature and exhibits no known symptoms of COVID-19 by indicating so in a column on the sign-in sheet. Staff and visitors also self-certify.

What are your exclusion protocols?

The JCYS Notification, Isolation, and Quarantine Protocols can be found here.

What if a child becomes sick while at JCYS?

Children will be isolated from their class with a staff member until picked up within a one-hour timeframe. The child will have to remain at home until they are healthy and for the time specified in the sick policy.

Is JCYS following the Travel Advisory?

JCYS recommends that individuals follow the county-level guidance from the CDC. The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels (CCL) map tool places counties into three categories:

  • If areas are low risk (green), no additional action must be taken. Continue to follow standard guidance related to travel.
  • If the areas are medium risk (yellow), consider wearing a mask in indoor public places.
  • If the areas are high risk (orange):
    • Wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • Travelers aged 5 or older who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines are advised to avoid travel to high-risk (orange) counties.
    • Unvaccinated individuals aged 5 or older who travel to high-risk (orange) counties, upon returning to Chicago are advised to follow CDC guidance:
      • Stay home and quarantine for 5 days after travel
      • Take a COVID test 3-5 days after return – if it is positive, stay home and follow CDC guidance.
  • ALL travelers are also advised to:
    • Ensure you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines (including boosters) beforeany planned travel.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Consider packing an at-home COVID test in case you develop symptoms while traveling.
    • Bring a mask with you. Remember that masks are required at airports, on airplanes, and on all public transportation at this time. Businesses may also still choose to require masks.

JCYS continues to follow CDC guidance for all travel – including international travel.

What if someone at the center, or within a household tests positive for COVID -19?

If someone at the center, within a household, or if there has been definite exposure to COVID-19 in relation to someone at our Center, we will immediately contact the local health department. At that time, they will instruct us with next steps and how to handle the situation. We will then follow all measures and instructions and notify DCFS and families accordingly.

What are the cleaning protocols?

Children and staff will continue to practice and observe safe handwashing practices. Throughout the day, all door handles, and high-touch points will be cleaned. All cleaning practices will continue to be observed within the classrooms. In addition, we will ask that children do not bring in any additional toys or lovies into the classroom. Blankets that can stay at school will be stored in their inside cubbies. There will be 30 minutes between each classroom’s use of outdoor areas per DCFS.

Additionally, as an added precaution and cleaning measure, we will be using an electrostatic sprayer once a week when no children or staff members are present. Electrostatic spray surface cleaning is the process of spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto surfaces and objects. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, they cling to and coat any surface they’re aimed at. For awkwardly shaped objects or hard to reach places, cleaning staff only have to point and spray; the nature of the mist allows it to coat surfaces evenly, and envelope objects—even if the mist is only sprayed from one side. After the spray is applied, the sanitizing agent works to disinfect the covered surfaces.

Tuition and Financial Policies Q&As

Financial Policies — Where can I find the Parent Financial Policy?

The Parent Financial Policy can be viewed here.

Financial Policies — What about COVID closures?

Mandated COVID-19 Related School Closures
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present such significant hardship for our families that JCYS
has decided to address it differently from our regular policy toward tuition/fee reductions. These
COVID-related policies are designed to do the best we can to ease the burden to families while still
ensuring we can continue to operate. We recognize this will still be difficult for some of our families.

We are doing what we can both to support our families and pay our fixed costs including, to the
degree possible, employee pay.

Definition of “closure”
For the purpose of this policy, a closure will consist of either a single classroom closure or multiple
closures, each within 30 days of the prior closure. For example, a ten-day period will consist of either a single classroom closure for ten consecutive days or multiple closures totaling ten days, each within 30 days of the prior closure. Likewise, a two-month period will consist of either a single classroom closure of two months or multiple closures, each within 30 days of the prior closure, totaling two months.

Short-term closures
For a classroom closure, as defined above, that is ten days or less in duration, no credits or refunds
will be given. Any subsequent COVID-related closure that is more than 30 days after the last one will
count as the beginning of a new ten-day period.

Long-term closures
If a classroom closure, as defined above, is greater than ten days, families will receive a 60% tuition
credit for every paid week beyond the first two weeks. If the classroom must remain closed longer
than two months, families will be credited in full for any tuition paid for any part of the period of
closure thereafter. Credit will be issued to your family’s account for the applicable time frame, which
may be refunded if not used for future programming or the credit may be donated back to JCYS.
The table below summarizes the guidelines laid out in the above paragraphs:

Closure Duration Tuition Discounts/Credits
Two weeks or less None
From two weeks to two months No refund or credit for the first two weeks, 60% credit for the remainder of the period
Longer than two months After the first two months, 100% discount until reopening

Other Q&As

Can my child start at any point during the year?

JCYS has open enrollment and will accept your child at any time throughout the year. However please be aware that we will not be able to “hold” a spot for your child unless you pay the tuition to save that space.

Policies and procedures will continue to evolve.

Please share your concerns with us if you haven’t already. We are here for you and will work with you to support your decision. You can reach out to: