Early Childhood Education

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Success Starts Here

CYC’s Early Childhood Program engages children early and works with families so children enter kindergarten ready and eager to learn and successfully transition through all phases of their academic experience.

What children learn before they enter kindergarten has a significant impact on future academic and professional success. Children ages 3-4 who attend a half-day early childhood education program are more likely to have economic success and own a home by the time they are 40 years old.* This is particularly critical for children in underserved areas, where such programs have an even greater impact. 

CYC’s Early Childhood Education Program  enables children to develop the cognitive and socioemotional skills needed to persist and succeed in school. Through our expert staff, commitment to research, intentional program delivery, and collaborative partnerships, we provide transformative education and support so children can begin to experience their possibility and promise. Our youth workers have established clear school readiness goals to ensure that children are progressing, developing, and learning in a way that improves their readiness for kindergarten. We consistently measure children’s progress toward meeting goals, engage families, deliver innovative curriculum, and continue to refine our professional development and teaching practices so our children begin to build the skills to stay on track to success.

Family Engagement

At CYC, our parents and families are partners in their children’s education. We empower families to create a sense of well-being at home and nurture strong relationships between parents and children. We work with a Parent Policy Committee to ensure that we are meeting the most pressing needs of our families and communities. We also conduct home visits, host parent conferences, and work with parents as volunteers at our Centers. Throughout the year, we offer a variety of parent engagement activities and workshops, addressing topics including:

  • Developing Parent Leadership
  • Educational “At-Home” Activities
  • Inspiring Literacy Among Your Children
  • Parenting Programs (YOU Program)
  • Goal Setting with your Children
  • Family Nights
  • Financial Literacy
  • Health and Nutrition Classes

Commitment to Results

We have been an expert in early childhood education since 1956 and are proud to offer Head Start programming to children ages 3-5. Today, we offer Early Childhood Programs in six CYC Centers and numerous partner sites throughout the city. 

In 2015, we are proud to report that:

99% of Early Childhood children (ages 3-5) met or exceeded standards in social and emotional development.

98% of Early Childhood children (ages 3-5) demonstrated gains or maintained high achievement in their cognitive, language, and mathematics development.

100% of our children (ages 3-5) advanced to the next grade level.

We were able to provide full funding for 655 out of 807 children served. We also served 772 parents and family members.  All children in the Head Start Program were eligible for services and the average daily attendance was 80%. During the past year, 86% of the children enrolled received medical exams and 97% of the children received dental exams.

To learn more, or enroll your child today, contact Wanda Doucet at 312-913-1700, ext. 425 or wanda@chicagoyouthcenters.org.

To make a gift and support our children, families, and communities in need, contact Kate Tillotson, Vice President of Development and Communications, at kate.tillotson@chicagoyouthcenters.org or (312) 913-1700 x440. Or click here to make your donation now.

*Lawrence J. Schweinhart, Jeanne Montie, Zongping Xiang, W. Steven Barnett, Clive R. Belfield, and Milagros Nores (2005), Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study through Age 40 (Ypsilanti, Mich.: HighScope Press)

The mission of Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) is to empower children and teens to recognize and experience their full potential.

Featured Sponsor

Featured Sponsor: ArcelorMittal

Featured Sponsor: ArcelorMittal

Thank you to ArcelorMittal for its support of CYC’s Maker Lab and STEM program at CYC-Rebecca K. Crown Youth Center in South Shore. Thanks to the support of ArcelorMittal, CYC-Crown  Full Article »

Jun 1, 2017 Ξ

Summer at CYC

For children in Chicago’s south and west communities, summer can be a time of food insecurity, learning loss, and escalating violence. CYC makes summer a season of possibility for these children. Learn how.