About Youth Development Company/PAL

Youth Development Company/PAL was developed with one main focus, to provide support to local youth!

We cater to children from newborn to 18 years old and provide a range of age-appropriate resources and activities to encourage their development and support their ongoing educational journey.

Our Mission

Empowering for success and developing dreams while providing a safe haven for youth to grow socially, emotionally, and intellectually.

Our Vision

For every family and child aged birth to 18 to know that they have a safe place they can count on to celebrate who they are, develop their dreams, and be empowered to achieve success.

Youth Development Company will serve as the ultimate resource for youth and families in communities as we help connect family and academic needs with solutions.

Who We Are

South Haven Area Youth Development (SHAYD) was founded in 2005 and offered a low-cost after-school program to families and included over 200 youth, spanning from 4th to 12th grade. 

In 2009, we began serving dinner and a snack to after-school program participants every night, providing more than 10,000 meals in the first year.

The fusion of these two organizations in 2010, established the Youth Development Company/PAL (YDC). Our newly developed organization, with combined resources, provides us the position it needs to pursue broader resources and continuously support the mission of the organization. In 2011, Youth Development Company/PAL achieved State of Michigan Licensing for non-school aged and school-aged child care, allowing state-funded reimbursement for approved parents.

Our Journey


Youth Development Company/Police Athletic/Activities League was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (under the name, Youth & Company) to create a place with activities and support services that would cater to the specific needs of youth (5 years- 14 years old).


Youth Development Company becomes YDC/Police Activities League becomes a National chapter (sub-grantee) of the National Police Athletic/Activities League, a recipient of a Federal Grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide mentoring and preventative services to youth. To meet the conditions of the grant, the name was changed to Youth & Company/PAL.


South Haven Area Youth Development (SHAYD) was founded. It offered families a low-cost after-school program for over 200 youth, spanning from fourth to twelfth grade.


SHAYD leased a 9,000-square-foot building that is now The City on 76th (VanBuren Senior Services). It was in the same year that ShaYD and Youth & Company/PAL merged their missions to create Youth Development Company/ Police Athletic/ActivitiesLeague (YDC/PAL). This allowed the two, to share resources, pursue broader grant funding opportunities, and expand the youth outreach and mentoring.


YDC/PAL began serving dinner and an afternoon snack to after-school program participants five days a week. The evening meal program created two jobs in the community and grossed additional dollars for South Haven Public Schools.


The after-school program was relocated to take place in the schools for added convenience and to meet state child care licensing compliance.


YDC/PAL recognized the overwhelming need for care for children ages newborn - 5 years old and opened South Haven Childcare Center. The first child care (YDC Learning Center) emerged as the Premium Learning Center in Covert, located in Covert school, soon after relocating to the First Baptist Church as South Haven Child Care Center (SHCCC). 


The child care established a capacity of 22 children ranging in age from newborn to 12 years old. In an effort to grow and become a self-sufficient organization YDC utilized our immediate resources and focused our efforts on the quality of the programs being delivered.


YDC Learning Center SH had achieved an increased capacity of 64 and established a Great Start to Quality (GSQ) rating of a three-star! Providing Mentoring, After School, and Summer Camps!


The child care center employs 13 full-time and 2 part-time staff. Scholarships are provided to low-income families who are unable to afford child care otherwise. YDC/PAL South Haven Childcare Center provides affordable, high-quality child care, and preschool services for up to 64 children. Providing Mentoring, After School, and Summer Camp! 

Building A Better Tomorrow

We are the largest independent youth organization in Van Buren County, MI, and play a vital role in the lives of children and young adults in Bangor, Covert, and South Haven school districts; which account for 10% of Van Buren County’s total youth population.

We are committed to growing and adapting our services to meet the emerging needs of students and communities, and we consistently monitor the needs of the children in these three cities as a matter of priority.

Year after year, YDC/PAL continues to carry on the legacy by providing high-quality, focused, and well-rounded youth programs. For instance, participants that attend our out-of-school program will receive access to a variety of enriching activities and an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with peers and adults. These have both been proven to be socially, emotionally, and academically beneficial in health development and we encourage this in our safe and nurturing learning environment.

Studies suggest that youth who spend their out-of-school hours in project-based programs are at significantly less risk for truancy, emotional stress, poor grades, substance misuse, and crime.

As evidenced by our 98% approval rating from our school districts, families, and youth, our programs are making a positive impact. Thus far, our success and growth have been achieved through the development of successful partnerships, impactful programs, and a consciousness of the changing demographics in our service areas.  We plan on continuing this and working to build a better tomorrow for the youth growing and developing today.

What to expect from Youth Development Company

Our mission is to provide the highest quality youth program in South Haven, if not the world!

  • Healthy chef-prepared meals each day that meet dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, etc.

  • Flexible hours to accommodate parents with busy schedules (including date nights and weekends).

  • The opportunity to explore the surroundings with field trips.

  • Events that allow kids to learn more about the world around them like career day, guest speakers, etc.

  • A music room that has kid-friendly guitars, pianos, etc.

  • Outdoor play that teaches little ones how to respect Mother Nature and interact with her in a meaningful way.

  • A diverse, all-inclusive environment where all cultures and traditions are honored and respected.

About Our Team

The Youth Development Company team includes a diverse team of passionate educators who are committed to your child’s success.

We facilitate the positive and dedicated environment of our program with the help of our fantastic team which is comprised of highly-qualified individuals with a passion for empowering youth. 

All staff have credentials and expertise appropriate for the positions and sufficient staff is planned for the number of registered students, in compliance with the Department of Health and Human Services licensing requirements. 

Our employee focus includes high-quality staff who have been trained in positive youth development strategies including paraprofessionals, who work within the schools, high school, and college students. All staff also receive extensive training to facilitate programs where students can gain valuable transferable skills and develop employable work ethics and integrity.

Would You Like To Join The Team at YDC/PAL?

At Youth Development Company/PAL, we are a close-knit team that goes above and beyond to create a family feel in our organisation.

If you would like to join our family, take a look at our open vacancies and apply to join our team today!

1635 76th St, South Haven, MI 49090, USA

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