Novato Youth Center

Rating: 4.29 stars   14 reviews


680 Wilson Avenue Novato CA 94947 USA


The NYC believes all youth have talents and strengths and the right to lead healthy, happy lives. Its purpose is to mobilize the community and support families to respect, nurture and guide young people, through advocacy and services for children, youth and families.

Geographic areas served:

Marin County


The novato youth center (the center) was incorporated in 1976 as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the state of california to provide various youth services primarily in northern marin county, california. Their mission is to inspire and prepare youth to succeed by supporting their development in academics and learning; health and well-being; personal enrichment through arts and athletics; and social interaction and community engagement. The center serves over 2,800 youth and their families annually through five program areas: child development and academic enrichment, including early care & education for children ages 12 months to five-years-old and the school-age programs it's all elementary! And 1-up-4 college middle school; sports leagues, offering basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball leagues; youth and family counseling, providing evidence-based individual, family and group therapy programs; adolescent health & wellness, including novato's only school-linked teen clinic, pregnancy prevention education; and community-based prevention, a collection of efforts focused on substance use, bullying and mental health through our community health advocate/promotores program, the healthy novato project and the novato blue ribbon coalition for youth (fiscal sponsor role). The center is funded from diverse sources including program fees, government grants, individual and corporate donations, and foundation grants.

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Reviews for Novato Youth Center

Rating: 5 stars  

Looking for child care is an investment of time. If you are looking for the one-stop shop, this is the place to be.

The Youth Center offers more ammenities than our local schools. They have 4 play structures. They have one for infants, one for toddlers, one for preschoolers, and one for the school-aged program. They have their own full-sized gym for basketball, indoor soccer, martial arts, and roller skating. They have their own art room, their own game room, and their own library, complete with computers.

Homework is a priority for the older children, and there is dedicated homework time. They have staff and tutors to assist with homework to ensure that it is done correctly. I'm glad I don't have to spend much time helping my daughter with homework; it has usually been completed by the time I pick her up at 4:30 p.m.. Education is also important for the younger children; even my 2-year-old son has a curriculum, consisting of circle time, art for colors and exploring senses, music, dramatic play, story time for language development, outdoor time for exercise and gross motor development.

They have their own cafeteria with full cooking facilities and large refrigerator, which allows them to store nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables. All meals and snacks are included in the fees, including snacks and formula for infants. Their food is also healthier than school lunches, often including fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. For the infants, they even wash the baby bottles! It is convenient to not worry about packing a lunch box every day; it's nice to know that I don't have to worry about missing forks, water bottles, etc..

Health and cleanliness is important. All the children wash their hands before meals. Children are dressed warmly for cold weather. In summer, the younger children are assisted with applying sunscreen. Sick policy is strictly enforced. Crib bedding, bibs, burp cloths, and pacifiers are washed daily by the staff; no need for parents to bring home laundry.

Summer field trips and movies are included in the fees, and usually all children are included.

Last, but most importantly, I feel comfortable leaving my children at the Novato Youth Center. Many of the staff members have worked at the Youth Center for more than 13 years. My first child attended the Youth Center in 2000. It is obvious that some of the staff are dedicated to their jobs; job turnover is low. The staff is willing to work with getting to know the individual needs of each child. My first child never slept in the crib; one dedicated worker often held her and snuggled her during much of her nap. As she got older, she gave up her naps, but rather than force her to sleep, yet another dedicated worker read to her, and she ended up being able to read independently before she entered kindergarten. My second child required a stroller ride to lull her to sleep; another dedicated worker kept the stroller going for nap. My third child needs frequent feedings due to his low weight; he was offered frequent bottles, frequent meals, variety of high-calorie foods, as the doctor ordered extra butter and whole milk to his foods. My third child loves his caregivers and cries when they leave their shift for the day. When I ask him, "Who takes care of you?" He doesn't say, "Mama." He instead names the workers at the child care. This is how you I know he's got a home away from home.

The only draw back is that there is no weekend care! We sometimes work weekends, and weekend care would be a huge bonus!

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