WJC ECC offers classes for children one to five years old and offers extended day enrichment options for children in the Threes, Fours and Pre-K programs.
Little Ones & Friends introduces toddlers ages 1-2 and a parent or caregiver to a fun, interactive class with play, socialization, music and movement. Children are introduced to the classroom environment while they and their parent/caregiver make friends, explore manipulatives like puzzles and art materials, and dance and sing during circle time. Every class ends with a snack of challah and fruit as they welcome in Shabbat with a story and songs.
Choice of 2, 3, 4 or 5 days
Our separation process is tailored to meet the needs and readiness of individual children and their families; children are given as much time as necessary to form a trusting bond with the Twos teachers in order to separate from parents.
Twos are supported and encouraged to develop their language skills to express thoughts, feelings and needs with adults and their peers. They are exposed to a rich environment of expressive art materials and tools, enjoyable sensory experiences such as sand, water and doughs, manipulatives such as puzzles and building materials, dramatic play materials and the natural outdoor environment. Children learn to explore their surroundings in a curious and comfortable manner, during which they also develop their fine and large motor skills and gain confidence in their ability to make choices and learn at their own pace. The nurturing environment fosters their development of self-help skills, including toilet training, hand-washing and dressing independently.
Our Threes curriculum stems from the children’s interest –whether it’s a study of rainbows arising from the light refraction in the classroom, or an exploration of leaves stemming from the collection of fall debris in our playground. Through this emergent curriculum, children feel valued and honored as teachers find ways to bring the students’ passions to the forefront of their learning experiences.
Children follow a daily routine which typically includes free exploration and play in the classroom activity centers, morning meeting, snack time and outdoor play, as well as participation in a weekly music class. The children learn a sense of independence while honing their motor skills as they help prepare snack for the class – cutting fruits and vegetables, setting the table, and pouring their own water. Teachers take advantage of these opportunities to incorporate numeric concepts into their natural routine. Read-alouds take place daily, and recipes, charts, and poems are used to support emergent literacy. The children feel a sense of security in the daily routine, which in turn helps them develop trusting relationships with their teachers, and increases their ability to self-regulate and assert independence.
Children in the Fours continue to learn and explore in their classroom activity centers as well as through use of outdoor learning environments, such as our outdoor STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) center. Our emergent curriculum means that a fascination with building in the block station of the classroom might lead to the creation of a box city, and in turn to a field trip to a nearby construction site to learn what goes into the production of an actual building. Fours classes continue to enjoy music class with our music specialist once a week.
A strong emphasis in our Fours program is placed on socio-emotional development, with goals for children such as learning to play cooperatively with peers in self-directed play and group activities, and understanding and following classroom routines and behavioral expectations.
As most Fours students plan to move on to a Kindergarten program the next year, we prepare them to reach academic benchmarks such as improving understanding of numbers and counting, beginning to make hypotheses regarding observations, and increasing facility with writing and drawing implements as well as scissors and tools. Fours classrooms are print rich, with attendance sign-ins, art work captions, and a fully equipped writing center for children to explore freely. Children write and illustrate books with the guidance and facilitation of the teachers.
This is the perfect transitional class for any child who has completed a Fours program but who is not quite ready for kindergarten. Children continue to learn and explore through classroom activity centers and outdoor play, and are supported to develop age appropriate social skills and self-regulation. Additionally, children are exposed to pre-academic skills in areas of math, literacy, science and social studies. Pre-K students attend weekly music class and can participate in all extended day programs.
Extended Day programming is offered to students in the Threes, Fours and Pre-K. Children eat lunch and engage with their peers in an instructor-led enrichment activity such as: Dance & Drum, Tae Kwon Do, Star Kidz Performing Arts, and Mad Science.
Led by an early childhood consultant and licensed psychotherapist, our Baby Group allows parents to engage in lively discussion on child rearing in a supportive environment.
Ellen Ferber, MEd., LCSW, has been working in the field of early childhood for many years as a teacher, director and consultant in early childhood programs, and currently has an independent clinical psychotherapy and consulting practice. Ellen also serves as WJC’s SEED consultant. An advanced trainee in the Parent Infant Program at Columbia, she is a long-time lover of babies one and all!
Throughout the school year, our vibrant school community hosts parent-only events such as the annual welcome cocktail party, as well as family events including community Shabbat dinners, Hanukkah Party, Purim Carnival and Passover Model Seder.