JCC Chicago Early Childhood at Beth Emet Synagogue

1224 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60202


Kaitlin McGahey, Director

Kaitlin McGahey has been with JCC Chicago since 2014. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Nursing from Western Michigan University and Certificate in Early Childhood Teaching from Ashworth College. She is calm, caring and dedicated to the wellbeing of both our children and her colleagues. During her time with the J, Kaitlin has participated in numerous professional development opportunities including being chosen for a Jewish Community Centers Association panel discussing incorporating inclusion into the classroom. She has also traveled to Colorado to visit The Boulder Journey School, participating in a 4 day immersive training on the Reggio Emilia approach.

Programs at Beth Emet Synagogue

Full Day for ages 6 wks-5 yrs


6 weeks – 23 months
Our infant care provides a caring, peaceful and trusted environment where your little ones are loved and nurtured.


2 – 5 years
Students make friends while building the social, emotional and academic skills needed for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Early Childhood + Apachi Day Camp Combos

3 – 5 years
New scholarship provides FREE day camp this summer for all full-day, year-round 2023/24 students!

What Makes Us Different?

It is our passion and our privilege to provide your children with endless opportunities to learn, grow and explore. Deep understanding, love, support and care of every child is paramount to what we do. Our days are filled with music, creativity, outdoor playtime, celebrations of Jewish values and continuous exploration of the world around us.

Classrooms are the first community and we are so proud of those we build together every day.

Learn More


Classroom Spaces

Our classrooms are thoughtfully designed for each specific age group using natural elements and great attention to detail. Each space becomes a home away from home, a place where children can learn and explore the world around them.

Virtual Tour


Registration & Pricing
2023-24 School Year


All ages are as of Sept 1, 2023

5-Day Infant/Tot6 wks-14 mosM-F8:30am-5pm$2,06512
5-Day Toddlers15-23 mosM-F8:30am-5pm$2,06512



Full-Day Preschool

8/28/23-6/7/24 (3s & 4s)
8/28/23-8/16/24 (2s)
All ages are as of Sept 1, 2023

5-Day 2s2 yrsM-F8:30am-5pm$2,06510 or 12
5-Day 3s3 yrsM-F8:30am-5pm$2,06510
5-Day 4s4 yrsM-F8:30am-5pm$2,06510



Before & After Care

5-Day Before CareAllM-F7:30-8:30am$242
5-Day After CareAllM-F5:00-6pm$242


Camp/Preschool Combos

Camp: 6/12/23-8/4/23
Preschool: 8/28/23-6/7/24

All ages are as of Sept 1, 2023

New Camp Scholarship starting in 2023-2024!

Starting with the 2023-2024 school year, full-day Early Childhood students who are age-eligible for camp and choose to spend their summers with Apachi will receive a discount equal to the camp fee. The new Camp Scholarship is intended to bring the joys of Apachi to our littlest learners while providing significant financial relief for families against the costs of full day Early Childhood. Half-day students will receive a 20% discount of the camp fee on their final payment.

Apachi Evanston +
5-Day 3s (Full-Day Preschool)^**
3 yrsM-F$1,96412
Apachi Evanston +
5-Day 4s (Full-Day Preschool)^
4 yrsM-F$1,96412
*For full day 3s and 4s ONLY, the camp portion will be discounted on the end of the payment schedule.
**Drop-off and Pick-up for 3s Combo is at Apachi Evanston and before care/after care is not included in combo rate
^Before and After Care is available to Full Day Combo Programs. See section above for pricing.




All ages are as of Sept 1, 2022

5-Day Infant/Tot6 wks-14 mosM-F7:30am-6:00pm$2,14012
5-Day Toddlers15-23 mosM-F7:30am-6:00pm$2,14012



Full-Day Preschool

8/29/22-6/8/23 (3s & 4s)
8/29/22-8/18/23 (2s)
All ages are as of Sept 1, 2022

5-Day 2s2 yrsM-F7:30am-6:00pm$1,92010 or 12
5-Day 3s3 yrsM-F7:30am-6:00pm$1,82010
5-Day 4s4 yrsM-F7:30am-6:00pm$1,82010



Half-Day Preschool

All ages are as of Sept 1, 2022

3-Day 2s2 yrsM/W/F9:00am-Noon$4359
4-Day 3s3 yrsM/T/W/F9:00am-Noon$5809
5-Day 3s3 yrsM-F9:00am-Noon$6909
5-Day 4s4 yrsM-F9:00am-Noon$6909

Register for Half-Day


Camp/Preschool Combos

Camp: 6/13/22-8/5/22
Preschool: 8/29/22-6/8/23

All ages are as of Sept 1, 2022

Combo With…ProgramAgeCamp Days |
Preschool Days
Apachi EvanstonCamp + 5-Day 4s (Full-Day Preschool)4 yrsM-F | M-F$1,69712
Apachi EvanstonCamp + 5-Day 4s (Half-Day Preschool)4 yrsM-F | M-F$69812
*20% off camp fees will be taken off your final payment

Please note: Due to record inflation there will be a one-time surcharge of $25/week per camper for the camp portion of your combo to support a rise in direct costs including counselor pay. Given the important role of our summer staff, we have increased their pay to ensure our ability to hire the very best team for our campers.

Incentives, Policies & Forms


Learn More


After Registration

You will need to complete various forms electronically. At the link below you can find the following:

  • Intake Forms
  • Parent Guide
  • Early Childhood Code of Honor
  • Summary of DCFS Licensing Standards
  • Late Pick-up Policy

Get The Forms


Registration Policies

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. We are unable to guarantee spots. If a class is full, you will be notified and placed on a waiting list. If your class is closed or cancelled, JCC Chicago staff will contact you to help you choose another class. Registrations are not processed on Shabbat.

New children will incur a non-refundable $500 registration fee; $250 of this fee will be applied towards first installment. Families applying for fee assistance will incur a non-refundable $250 registration fee.

Returning children do not pay a registration fee.

A $25 processing fee will be assessed for changes in program registration.

A $20 fee will be automatically charged to your account for any returned payments.

Payment Policy

Billing occurs on the 20th of each month, or the following business day. Educational services must be paid for by automatic bank draft or credit card. For anyone choosing to pay for programming by credit card, a 3% non-refundable convenience charge will be applied.

Half-Day Preschool

Program fees are due in 9 equal installments beginning in June 2022 (for the 22-23 school year). Other payment options may be arranged by contacting Customer Solutions at support@jccchicago.org.

Childcare, Full-Day Preschool

Program fees are due in 10 or 12 equal installments beginning in June 2022 (for the 22-23 school year). Other payment options may be arranged by contacting Customer Solutions at support@jccchicago.org.

Early Childhood/Day Camp Combo

Program fees are due in 12 installments in April 2022 (for the 22 camp season and 22-23 school year). Other payment options may be arranged by contacting Customer Solutions at support@jccchicago.org.

Refunds are not given for illness, covid room closures, vacation, holidays or temporary child care arrangements and participants may not switch days due to illness or school closure.

What is the refund policy if a classroom or the school has to close for longer than a two week period?
JCC Chicago will not be offering credits/refunds for classroom closures or absence from school due to COVID-19.

Childcare, Half-Day Preschool, Full-Day Preschool; Early Childhood + Day Camp Combo Programs

All cancellations must be made in writing up to one month (30 days) before the desired cancellation date (last date of attendance). Payments made prior to the cancellation notice will be retained, and payment obligations will continue until 30 days before the cancellation date. Your $500 registration fee ($250 if you applied for financial assistance) is non-refundable. The cancellation will be processed 30 days before the last day of service if notified in advance (more than 30 days).

For combo program cancellations, you may incur additional fees as combo pricing will no longer be valid.


For full day sites with core hours, what if I don’t register for additional coverage and later need coverage at the beginning and/or end of the day?

Registration for the time before and/or after the core day will be accepted through August 1, 2023 for the 2023-24 school year. For families who later identify the need for early morning or late afternoon care, rolling registration will be accepted based on staffing levels. Should additional staff be required to meet your request, coverage will begin within a 30-day period of the request (pending available staff).


For full day sites with core hours, what if I no longer need coverage at the start and/or end of the day?

Optional coverage is subject to the same cancellation policy that has been in place for many years; 30 days written notice is required for all cancellations, during which time no additional payments will be drawn.

If we determine that continued participation in JCC Chicago programs or services is not appropriate, JCC Chicago reserves the right to discontinue services. In such circumstances, any unused portion of program fees paid to date will be refunded. JCC Chicago reserves the right to cancel the enrollment of a child for reasons not limited to the following; failure to observe the rules of JCC Chicago as outlined in the Parent Guide and Code of Honor, special needs of a child that cannot be adequately met with current staffing, physical and/ or verbal abuse of staff or children by adult or child, or non-payment of fees.

If your child is new to JCC Chicago Early Childhood programs, you must bring their original birth certificate to verify age. We will make and retain a copy, and return the original to you. Please note this policy is mandated by The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

JCC Chicago may videotape or photograph participants enrolled in programs, classes and events or while enjoying JCC Chicago facilities. These photographs are for JCC Chicago publications, flyers, publicity efforts, brochures, web use, other electronic communications or video usage. However, for Early Childhood, a program permission form must be signed to allow a child’s picture and name to be used for publicity purposes by JCC Chicago. This policy is mandated by DCFS. All photos and videos are for JCC Chicago use and become the sole property of JCC Chicago. Please contact the Program Director for photographic exclusions.

In the event of an emergency closure due to weather or other unforeseen causes, you will be notified through Kaymbu. Updates will also be available on our website(s) at jccchicagoearlychildhood.org and jccchicago.org. Refunds will not be given for weather related or other closings that are out of our control.

IL Dept. of Children and Family Services requires all licensed programs to have a policy in place regarding immunizations. For each child enrolled in JCC Chicago Early Childhood programming, the parent (or legal guardian) must provide a current immunization record appropriate for the child’s age and a health form signed by the child’s physician or health department representative prior to the first day of the program. If the physical condition of the child is such that any one or more of the immunizing agents should not be administered, the examining physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant responsible for the performance of the health examination shall endorse that fact upon the health examination form. No other exceptions to scheduled immunizations are permitted within JCC Chicago Early Childhood programming. It is the responsibility of the parent (or legal guardian) to update their file when the health records change. JCC Chicago requires evidence of immunization against diseases including polio, measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis, tentanus, HIB, hepatitis B, and varicella.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not currently required, JCC Chicago is requesting proof of vaccination if your child has been vaccinated. If your child is fully vaccinated and not showing symptoms of illness, they will not have to quarantine if there is an exposure.



While returning to our school is an adjustment for all of us and things will be different, the love, attention, and care will always remain indelible. Once cleared to enter the program, a staff member will bring your child to the classroom where they will wash hands and begin their day. Throughout the day there will be frequent handwashing and all high touch surfaces will be cleaned regularly, (more detail below.)

We will be following a staggered arrival/pick-up schedule. All essential workers, children and parents/caregivers dropping off at our facility will have their foreheads scanned to confirm a temperature under 100.4. These daily temperatures will be recorded. Additionally, you will be asked general health questions. Anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 or greater or exhibits symptoms related to COVID-19 will not be permitted entry; children with temperatures over 100.4 must be fever free without fever reducing medication for 72 hours prior to return. A doctor’s note will be required upon return. JCC Chicago Early Childhood reserves the right to determine re-entry into the program. In accordance with DCFS, CDC, IDPH and the local health department, additional days to stay home may be required.

In accordance with DCFS, JCC Chicago Early Childhood shall require students, employees, and other individuals who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when on premises. Children seem to be more comfortable when they wear their own masks that they are familiar with. We ask that you send your child with a clean mask each day. The school will have extra masks for children to use if needed. Approved face coverings include masks and face shields. When children can be safely kept at least 6 feet away from others, they do not need to be encouraged to wear a face covering. Masks will always be removed for snacks and lunch, napping, and outside play. We are all going to work on this together. Teachers will always wear face coverings or face shields unless they are outside.

Children under 2 years old.

Children who cannot safely and appropriately wear, remove, and tolerate face coverings.

Children who have difficulty breathing with the face covering or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.

Children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments that may have a hard time tolerating a face covering.

Children for whom the only option for a face covering presents a potential choking or strangulation hazard.

Children who, due to a behavioral health diagnosis or an intellectual impairment, are unable to wear a face covering safely.

Individuals who need to communicate with people who rely upon lip-reading.

Individuals who have medical conditions or disabilities that prevent use of a face covering.

JCC Chicago will provide antibacterial hand sanitizer for adult use outside each classroom. Children and staff will continue to practice and observe safe handwashing practices. Throughout the day, throughout the building and in classrooms, all door handles and high-touch points will be cleaned regularly according to IDPH and DCFS guidelines. All cleaning practices will continue to be observed within the classrooms. The children will go outside daily, and playground time will be scheduled to allow 30 minutes between groups; if less than 30 minutes, playground equipment will be disinfected between groups.

Children who become ill at school will be moved to a designated care room within the center with a staff member and must be picked up within one hour. If there is a positive case of COVID-19, the affected classroom will be closed, and those students and educators will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days during which the space will be fully sanitized. In addition, all siblings of COVID-19 diagnosed children will also need to quarantine with their family for this 14-day period. In the instance of a positive case of COVID-19, a doctor’s note will be required to return.

For any closure longer than a two week period, JCC Chicago will provide credit on your account for fees paid.  No further payment collection will occur during an extended closure.