The Nursery was founded in 2001 as a child-abuse prevention program. Protecting children is still at the heart of what we do, but today we want more than that. We want to help kids thrive, to become resilient in the face of some pretty traumatic experiences.

We accomplish our goals primarily through our three signature programs: Crisis Overnight and Respite Care, Wrap-Around Services for Parents, and Specialized Infant Day Care and Preschool.

Crisis and Respite Care

Available to newborns through 5-year-olds whenever their parents face a challenge in providing safe care for them. Ongoing respite care as crises resolve. 30 days of care over a 6-month period. Operates 24-7 all 365 days of the year. Phone 530-758-6680 to initiate care. Free and voluntary for parents.

Goals: Preventing child abuse and neglect; providing respite for stressed parents; nurturing healthy and resilient children and families.

What’s special: Trauma-informed care (staff has extensive training in recognizing and mitigating trauma in young children). One of only four crisis nurseries in California.

Wrap-Around Services for Parents:

Available to all parents/guardians who entrust their children in our care. Help in leveraging community resources for crisis resolution; assistance with day-to-day challenges. Follow-ups at 30, 60, 90 days, and at one year.

Goals: Keeping families intact and moving toward long-term stability.

What’s special: Unique among care providers in our region. Gives parents hope for the future, empowers them to make positive change, keeps families whole.

Specialized Infant Day Care and Preschool:

Available to children of families transitioning out of crisis. Also available to special-needs children. Operates 7 am to 7 pm weekdays.

Goals: Promoting the physical and emotional health of at-risk children; addressing preschoolers’ developmental deficiencies to put them on a level playing field as they enter kindergarten.

What’s special: Trauma-informed care; lower-than-usual child-staff ratios, and remarkable staff longevity. Only program in California combining crisis care with ongoing specialized day care/preschool.


Partnership With Yolo County Foster & Kinship

Day care available to foster/kinship families during the first 30 days of placement.

Goal: Supporting the program’s recruitment and retention efforts.

What’s special: Helps ensure a smooth transition for new foster/kinship children.

Family Life Skills Program

Extended to families referred by Child Welfare Services who are in the reunification process. Provides in-home parenting education.

Goal: Enabling parents to keep their kids healthy and safe once they’re home.

What’s special: Tailored to individual families’ needs; based on a research-validated program.

Care Packages

Care packages are offered to any family in need. Contents may include diapers, wipes, baby formula, clothing.

Goal: Providing essential items to those without adequate resources.

What’s special: Requests rarely denied. Package contents are 100% donations from the community.


We measure our annual progress against the goals set in our three-year strategic plan. We are proud that:

  • We provided 2,735 Safe Stays.
  • 98% of families served did NOT enter Child Welfare Services.
  • 98% of our families completed at least one referral.
  • 99% of YCN families reported satisfaction with services.
  • 98% of YCN families reported crisis mitigation and/or stress reduction after services.

We are happy to report that we far exceeded these goals.  For details, please click on the image of our 2018-19 Impact Report.*

Our success is also measured by the children and families we serve. Please read on to learn more about the lives and stories of those that we lift up.

* Early versions of the 2018-19 Impact Report contained misprints. Please follow the link for the corrected final. We appreciate your understanding and are grateful for your continued support.

Client Stories

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: They fear they won’t be able to care for their child.

The “what if’s” are as varied as footprints on birth certificates. And for some families, the nightmare comes true.

Fortunately for some, they find their way to our doors for help. Here are some of their stories. The names are changed to preserve confidentiality.

Tears at the Nursery

Alana, along and her 2-year-old son, left an abusive relationship in early 2016. She found two jobs, but she had no permanent home and no child care:

Our case manager listened as Alana cried and shared her fears. Together, they developed a plan. We cared for the boy as the mom worked, found housing and set up long-term child care.

Every so often, Alana stops by the Nursery. During a recent visit, she tearfully said, “The best gift that I can give my son is to make it. Thank you for giving me that chance.”

♥  ♥  ♥

Working Nights with No Childcare

Jasmine turned to the Yolo Crisis Nursery as her maternity leave was ending in mid-2016. The single mom works the swing shift at an assisted living center, and overnight childcare is tough to find.

She had to return to work but hadn’t yet been able to find a suitable caregiver for her 3-month-old daughter. Her baby stayed with us for a few nights till the right babysitter appeared. Crisis averted.

♥  ♥  ♥

A Change of Clothes and $100

Nicole fled her home and everything she owned to escape a violent and abusive relationship.  She took her two-year-old daughter, a change of clothes, and $100 dollars.

Soon, she was out of money and near her breaking point.  A local women’s shelter referred her to the Yolo Crisis Nursery for immediate help.  There she found a temporary safe haven for her daughter, freeing Nicole up to find a job and a place to live.  Within three weeks, Nicole had landed a job and was able to reunite with her daughter.

♥  ♥  ♥

Hiding From a Violent Ex

Rochelle left her boyfriend when he started abusing her. She and her 10-month-old son moved in with her parents. but her ex-boyfriend knew where to find them.

Seeking safety for her son, she brought him to Yolo Crisis Nursery.  He stayed with us for three days and three nights. During that time, we helped the young woman obtain a restraining order and arrange for counseling.

Today, Rochelle and her son are in transitional housing, living on their own and safe from the ex-boyfriend.

♥  ♥  ♥

Homeless at Christmas

On Christmas Day in 2015, Anthony called the Yolo Crisis Nursery in despair. He asked whether we had a voucher for a motel where he could stay that night with his wife and 5-year-old son.

The family was homeless. The temperature outdoors was dropping. The dad feared the family would have to spend the night in their car.

No, we told the dad. We had no motel voucher. But their son could stay in our warm nursery that night. Come on in and we’ll help you and your wife find a place to stay as well, we said.

At the nursery, the parents told us their story. The dad had lost his construction job. Then they lost their home. They had used some motel vouchers, but the supply was gone. They had nowhere to turn.

“In all, the boy stayed with us for five nights until they got into transitional housing,” said Heather Sleuter, executive director of the nursery. “We’ll be following up with them every three months to make sure they’re on track, and they can call us any time they need a hand.”

♥  ♥  ♥

Girl in a Helmet

Teresa, almost 2, suffered a head injury at the hands of an adult. Early on, she wore a helmet to prevent further brain trauma. She has been part of three of our programs: crisis care, foster-kinship respite care and now, specialized day care for children with special needs. She receives regular speech and physical therapy at the Nursery.

During her time with us, she was able to quite taking anti-seizure medication, and she’s gaining strength. When she was injured, she quit talking, but she has started again and is progressing nicely.


Support the Yolo Crisis Nursery

The Yolo Crisis Nursery depends upon the support of generous, caring people like you.  Please help us with our mission and protect the vulnerable children in our community.

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