There is a Chasidic saying, “Let us be like the lines that lead to the center of a circle—uniting there, and not like parallel lines, which never join.”
For too many years, the Early Childhood Center and Family Programs were running in parallel lines. At long last, we’re becoming one unified place for everything that families with young children might need or want. We’re calling this new department Early Childhood Engagement.
By unifying our programming and better utilizing our staff resources, we’ll be able to begin offering more and varied programming for families with young children. With this new department, you’ll notice the following changes:
- Consistency in the educational philosophy and practices between the school and engagement programming
Our ECC, which will now be called the Early Learning School (ELS), is known for its play-based, constructivist educational philosophy where children learn through exploration and inquiry. This philosophy is at the forefront of best practices for Early Childhood Engagement. Our enrichment and parent/tot classes will become more aligned with the work being done in the ELS.
- Comprehensive administrative team
As a new department, we’ve restructured all of the administrative roles, utilizing the skills of each individual on the team to better meet the needs of all of our families.
- Comprehensive training and resources for all educators working with young children
The ELS provides educators with in-depth training on everything from safety protocols to best practices in educational philosophy. We’re excited to bring this same professional development to the already wonderful educators teaching enrichment and parent/tot classes.
- Expanded opportunities to connect with other families who have young children
We know there’s a lot of overlap between families who attend the ELS and families who participate in Early Childhood Engagement programming. Now, all families with young children who are involved in the J will have more opportunities to meet one another and grow their social network.
- Expanded advisory committee called the “Family Engagement Team”
Both the ECC and Family Programs have had their own parent advisory boards, and we’ll be joining together as one large group with multiple committees. This will allow any family members who would like to be involved in the planning and governance of this department to be able to do so.
- Sheva Lab Community
The ELS was recently selected to be one of eight Lab Communities for the JCC Association of North America. A function of this honor will be to serve as a laboratory for best practices in constructivist early childhood education and family engagement in the JCC movement.
- Convenient online registration through a “parent portal”
Register for all Early Childhood Engagement programs in one easy place. You can create an account and log-in at any time to view enrollment status, print invoices and tax documents, and so much more.
- “One stop shop” to answer all questions related to Early Childhood Engagement programming at the J
No longer will you have to jump back and forth between the school and family programs to get all of your questions answered. Call the Early Childhood Engagement front desk and all your questions will be answered.
We’re looking forward to inviting you into the center of our new circle.
Rachel Hagar, Early Childhood Engagement Director