Child and Youth Services

Child and youth services offer opportunities and supports for children and youth across various domains. These services can include youth employment programs, mentoring programs, out-of-school-time learning programs, college and career readiness programs, after school care, and more.

In a child day care center, a child is taken care of by a person other than the child's legal guardians. Child care means attending to the needs of infants, toddlers, preschool children, and school children outside of school hours by persons other than their parents. Daycare centers can be a more convenient choice for working parents because they usually provide full-time care, even during school breaks. And they typically accept a wider age range, from infants through pre-kindergarteners.

Programs designed for three and four year olds that focus on School Readiness. Though sometimes used interchangeably with “Preschool” and "Nursery School," Pre-K programs are typically government funded and stipulate compliance with quality and accountability standards that exceed regulatory requirements for other types of early learning settings (e.g., by requiring specific advanced qualifications for teachers). Pre-K programs are commonly operated in conjunction with public school districts, but also exist in various early education settings

Out of School Time (OST) is a supervised program that young people regularly attend when school is not in session. This can include before- and after- school programs on a school campus or facilities such as academic programs (e.g., reading or math focused programs), specialty programs (e.g., sports teams, STEM, arts enrichment), and multipurpose programs that provide an array of activities (e.g., 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs).

Youth employment programs offer opportunities to help young people, especially disadvantaged youth, gain the financial knowledge, skills, and access to resources necessary to effectively manage finances through adulthood.

Youth employment programs address a broad range of vocational skills. They help youth gain the abilities and training necessary to be successful in transitioning to adulthood and careers.

Mentoring is a development strategy for a youth’s successful path to adulthood. In a structured mentoring program, a supportive individual works with a youth to build a relationship by offering guidance, support, and encouragement to cultivate the youth’s positive and healthy development. Often, mentoring programs are designed around specific goals, such as academic achievement, career preparation, and behavior modification

Mentoring programs also often focus on youth perceived to be at risk in a number of domains such as education, workforce development, and juvenile justice. The risk factors that place youth along a low- to high-risk continuum include, but are not limited to, being disconnected from school and/or work, lagging in academic achievement, lacking positive role models, being involved in the justice system, and transitioning out of foster care.

College and career readiness programs can provide successful transitions between high school and college or work by helping students gain the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed for their postsecondary success.

Students who are involved with or have family members involved with the juvenile courts system may benefit from specific supports. Check out the link above for resources and ideas to support students.