Yolo Crisis Nursery

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Helping Children and Families Thrive

The Yolo Crisis Nursery was founded after a foster teen named Arty asked a poignant question. He asked “Why didn’t anyone help my mom when I was little? If they had, maybe we could be together now.” 

Arty’s words still resonate today. Nationwide, 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse or neglect last year. Yolo County is not immune: since 2001, the Crisis Nursery has served almost 9,000 children and their families. 

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is a crucial piece of the safety net in Yolo County providing nearly 3,000 safe stays and over 5,200 care packages last year alone. Crisis Nursery staff support, educate, and empower parents so that they create lasting change in their families and so that their children thrive.

These numbers are powerful, but the stories truly illustrate the Nursery’s impact on children and families. Here is one Mom’s story. 

“We encounter some of the most dire situations imaginable 
and work alongside our clients to develop strong and stable home 
environments,” said, Executive Director, Heather Sleuter.  
“Our ultimate goal is to strengthen families and keep them intact. 
There is no greater purpose than helping families heal and thrive.”

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is the only overnight respite care for children under 5 in Yolo County. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide emergency childcare and wraparound services for families experiencing the trauma of domestic violence, mental or physical health emergencies, substance abuse, homelessness, sudden job loss, and other profound adversities. For almost 25 years, our preservation-oriented wraparound approach has helped prevent 98% of the families we serve from being referred to Child Protective Services. 

Sadly, abuse and neglect are often cyclical and generational. Children who are abused or neglected are more likely to enter into violent relationships as teens and adults and to grow up to abuse their children, making early intervention essential. The Nursery’s approach helps break this cycle by preventing and stopping irreparable harm to children by working with families to empower them to become stable and thrive.


The mission of the Yolo Crisis Nursery is to provide early intervention services in a safe environment to nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents, and preserve families.


NEED: Programmatic Support

WHAT: Overnight Care and Early Childhood Education

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is the only overnight respite care for children under 5 in Yolo County. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide emergency childcare when children are at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect. Coupled with the emergency childcare is trauma-informed early childhood education.

WHY: Children thrive when they are in a safe and stimulating environment. Our early childhood education programs deliver developmentally sound and emotionally supportive care and education. This results in improved cognitive, social-emotional, behavioral, and physical health, as well as increased school readiness, academic achievement, and earnings in adulthood.

NEED: Unrestricted Funds

WHAT: Funds to help families’ unique needs

Every family that the Yolo Crisis Nursery serves is unique as are their challenges, which range from domestic violence, grief, mental or physical health emergencies, substance abuse, homelessness, food insecurity, or sudden job loss.

Unrestricted funds will help provide transportation to keep children safe and parents employed, clothing, diapers, formula, hotel vouchers for intermediate safe housing, or additional on-call staffing to help when there is an increase in cases.

WHY: A family’s basic needs are constant: safety, food, clothing, and housing. Creating transformational change to break the cycle of abuse and poverty cannot happen unless these needs are met. The Nursery staff works to stabilize families by helping to secure these necessities temporarily so families can begin the work to become stronger, and break what are often generational cycles of crisis and abuse to become independent.

Equity Statement

At Yolo Crisis Nursery, we strive to ensure that all children are free from child abuse, are thriving, and in a safe, nurturing environment. We recognize that child abuse and neglect occur when families and communities experience challenging life circumstances, and we acknowledge that challenging life circumstances more often impact families and communities of color and those with limited resources. We are committed to improving our services, programs, and resources to ensure greater equity for all we serve, especially communities of color and communities without resources, by taking the following actions: we will intentionally recruit board members that share our commitment to DEAI and that represent the communities we serve; we will include DEAI principles as part of our recruiting, hiring, and onboarding and ongoing training of all staff, especially staff who directly support our community; we will annually review and update our program and service materials to ensure full accessibility by the community members who use them; and we will intentionally and consistently engage in conversations with our partners and communities on topics of DEAI. (Draft statement under final board review.)

Organization Data


Organization name

Yolo Crisis Nursery

other names

YCN, Crisis Nursery

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Human Services

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Unrestricted

Demographics Served

Youth & Children

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


1107 Kennedy Place Suite 5
Davis, CA 95616

Service areas

Yolo, CA, US





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