Early Childhood Center
The Congregation Beth Elohim Early Childhood Center is 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.
To Contact Us
Jaci israel, ECC Director, (718) 499-6208, ext. 221 Jisrael@cbebk.org
Jennifer Dowd, ECC Assistant Director, (718)499-6208, Ext.223, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meri Tufano, ECC Department Coordinator, (718)499-6208, ext. 299, email@example.com
Bev Ackerley, ECC Administrative Assistant, (718) 499-6208 ext.222, Backerley@cbebk.org
Our Early Childhood Center follows the developmental-interactive approach to 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 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.
We address the introduction of Shabbat and the Jewish holidays in much the same way we approach our curriculum, by making it relevant, meaningful and accessible to young children. Shabbat and the holidays are explored and celebrated with great enthusiasm!
Children are introduced to the Jewish religion and culture through the symbols and stories of the Jewish tradition. The Jewish holidays, with their endless variety of songs, food, fragrances and ritual objects, provide children with many wonderful learning opportunities. Apples are dipped in honey for Rosh Hashanah, children invent new and different ways to build Sukkahs in their classrooms, and Hanukah celebrations begin with a song festival followed by latke parties. Costumes are designed, created and proudly displayed during our Purim Parade, complete with groggers of every conceivable description. Spring brings innovative classroom interpretations of the Passover story and customs of the holiday and the school year ends with Shavuot ice cream celebrations.
The arrival of the Sabbath is celebrated each Friday with the sounds, sights and tastes of Shabbat in each classroom.
The basic values of the Jewish tradition, particularly tzedakah, are imparted through classroom projects.
The professional teaching staff of the Early Childhood Center consists of head teachers with master’s or bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education along with New York State Certification, and assistant teachers with college instruction in early childhood education who are currently candidates for teaching degrees.
In addition, the Early Childhood Center is often a training site for Bank Street College of Education, Brooklyn College and Kingsborough Community College. Students from these schools become integral members of our classrooms.
Enrichment of the curriculum is provided by instructors who are experts in their fields and knowledgeable and experienced in working with young children. Music, creative movement and library specialists work with all children on a regular basis. Science enrichment is available for our older full-day classes (for four- and five-year-olds). A certified swim instructor enriches the classes of full-day children.
In recognition that parents are their children’s most important teachers, constant communication is maintained throughout the year between teachers and parents with informal conferences, telephone contact and class newsletters. 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.
The Early Childhood Committee, comprised of parent volunteers, plays an active role in our fundraising efforts and holiday planning.
We love sharing our wonderful preschool with prospective families. The Early Childhood Center welcomes families of all faiths and backgrounds.
We accept children beginning at 2.3 through 5 years old. Children may begin a full time preschool program at 2 years 5 months and a part time preschool program at 2 years 3 months as of September 2016.
We will begin taking online tour reservations for the 2016/17 school year on September 30, 2015. Tours are conducted on select weekday mornings October through early January.
Our tours are limited to small groups to allow parents a first-hand experience of our classrooms and personal conversations with your tour leader. You are welcome to submit your application prior to your tour date.
Applications will be available online for the 2016/2017 school year beginning November 4, 2015.
We prioritize applications according to the date they are received so we encourage an early submission of your child's application. Priority status will be given to Temple Members and siblings of children who have attended the ECC. All applicants will be invited for an admissions juice party. The ECC follows Admissions notification dates set forth by ISAAGNY, which is Wednesday, February 10, 2016 for the 2016-2017 school year.
Current students will be given the opportunity to re-register so there is no need to re-apply. Re-registration begins in January 2016. You will receive a notice and re-registration forms from the ECC.