Philosophy

The Congregation Beth Elohim Early Childhood Center is a preschool dedicated to providing children aged 2 to 5 with a learning environment that nurtures their growth, curiosity and self-esteem. Our lively, hands-on curriculum is developed through direct observation of children’s interests and individual needs. The traditions and basic values of the Jewish culture are integrated throughout to strengthen our learning community. Established in 1978, Congregation Beth Elohim’s Early Childhood Center is one of the most highly regarded preschools in the New York Metropolitan area.

Our Early Childhood Center follows the developmental-interactive approach to preschool education. Development means we base our curriculum and interactions with the children on an understanding of sound principles of child development. As for interactive, we understand that children construct knowledge and language through active, concrete manipulation of and interaction with the people and materials in their environment. Children learn best through the hands-on exploration of materials that are part of their immediate environment and experience. We seek to explore and develop concepts, skills and curriculum in an enriched, flexible play environment.

Our curriculum emerges from the children’s interests, ideas and experiences. Children have a strong disposition to explore and discover and are encouraged to become active participants in learning. An emergent curriculum builds on natural curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem solve, communicate and reflect.

We firmly believe that preschool age children learn best through play. Dramatic play is an important part of each child’s learning experience at Beth Elohim. Through such play, children are encouraged to communicate and develop their growing understanding of themselves and their relationships. Through play, children access their world and develop important cognitive and social skills that facilitate their learning.

We are an inclusive community and are committed to maximizing the potential and participation of all types of learners in our classrooms. We believe individual differences between students and families are a source of richness and diversity.

Jewish Curriculum

Children are introduced to Jewish religion and culture through symbols and stories. We introduce Shabbat and Jewish holidays in the same way we approach our curriculum, by making it relevant, meaningful, and accessible to young children.

The arrival of Shabbat is celebrated each Friday with the sounds, sights, and tastes of Shabbat in each classroom. The Jewish holidays, with their endless variety of songs, food, fragrances, and ritual objects, provide wonderful learning opportunities. Apples are dipped in honey for Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah celebrations include songs and latkes. Our Purim carnival is a big hit with children and spring brings creative interpretations of the Passover story. The school year ends with a Shavuot ice cream celebration. The basic values of the Jewish tradition are imparted through classroom projects.

Dual Language Track

The ECC offers a dual language track for children to actively learn through both English and Hebrew. The ECC recognizes that the acquisition of a second language is a tremendous benefit to children. Our Dual Language track offers the opportunity for children to actively learn through both English and Hebrew.

Admission

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be available on November 8, 2017.

We accept children from 2 to 5 years old. Children may begin a full time or part time preschool program if they are 24 months old, as of September.

We will begin taking online tour reservations for the 2018-2019 school year on Monday, September 25th, 2017. Tours are conducted on select weekday mornings October through December. Our tours are limited to small groups to give parents a first-hand experience of our classrooms and personal conversations with the tour leader. Parents are welcome to submit applications prior to touring the ECC.

We prioritize applications according to the date they are received, so we encourage early submission. Priority status is given to CBE members and siblings of children who have attended the ECC. Incoming families will be notified of acceptance in early February.

Current students will be given the opportunity to re-register in January.

Additional Information

Schedule

We have a variety of schedule options (dependent upon age) ranging from part time on two, three, or five mornings a week (9:00 AM – 12:30 PM) to five full days a week (9:00 AM – 3:00 PM).

Two Morning Twos
Thursday and Friday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Five Morning Twos
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Five Full-Day Twos
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Three Morning Threes
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Three Full-Day Threes
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Five Morning Threes
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Five Full Day Threes
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Flexi Fours
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday and Friday
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Five Full Day Fours
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Extended Hours

Our Early Bird program offers child care before school begins, from 8:00-9:00 AM Monday through Friday.

Our Extended Day program offers child care after school ends, from 3:00-6:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 3:00-5:00 PM on Friday.

Pre-registration online is required in order to participate in the both the Early Bird and Extended Day programs. Children may begin using the Extended Day program once September phase-in is complete.

Faculty & Specialists

The ECC’s professional teaching staff includes head teachers with master’s or bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education and New York State Certification. Assistant teachers have college instruction in early childhood education and are currently candidates for teaching degrees. The ECC is often a training site for Bank Street College of Education, Brooklyn College, and Kingsborough Community College.

Our music, yoga, and art studio specialists are experts in their fields, and experienced in working with preschool-aged children. Students also benefit from swim lessons with a certified swim instructor.

Parent Involvement

An initial home visit is scheduled prior to the beginning of school each fall, and two formal parent-teacher conferences are held each school year. Constant communication is maintained throughout the year between teachers and parents through informal conferences, telephone contact, and daily class emails. The Early Childhood Committee, comprised of parent volunteers, plays an active role in our fundraising efforts and holiday planning.

Children may begin a full-time or part-time preschool program if they are 24 months old, as of September of the current year.

We begin taking online tour reservations for the upcoming school year in the fall. Tours are conducted on select weekday mornings October through December. Our tours are limited to small groups to give parents a first-hand experience of our classrooms and personal conversations with the preschool administration or administrators. Parents are welcome to submit applications prior to touring the ECC.