Early Childhood Department Philosophy

It is during the formative preschool years that children learn to navigate the world. Creating a safe and nurturing environment based upon the enduring foundation of Torah and mitzvot, Emek’s ECC staff focus on providing all the tools necessary for success in life, academically and personally.  We work to provide an environment of  absolute and unconditional love and acceptance, respecting the individuality of each child and encouraging growth and learning through age-appropriate experiences.

The term ”curriculum” is used to describe everything that takes place during the day at Emek’s Early Childhood Center. Activities are based upon a developmentally appropriate model, encouraging “whole child” growth in social, emotional, cognitive physical and spiritual arenas.  Learning is accomplished through a variety of educational components: exploration, creative thinking, socialization, problem-solving, language and literacy acquisition, math readiness, physical skill development,  peer-modeling and, perhaps most importantly – play.

The importance of play for young children cannot be overemphasized.  It is through play that children learn about themselves and the world around them.  Play ensures growth in social and communication skills.  It helps develop self-esteem, feelings of competency and emotional and social abilities.  Play allows children to experiment with different roles and to learn to work with others.  The role of the teacher during such activities is to guide, facilitate and narrate children’s play, allowing for effective communication.  Through play, Young children learn to become part of the “group,” to think beyond the “self,” to handle frustration, and to problem-solve in a creative and constructive manner. Play learning is based upon a safe, fun, non-competitive, and self-motivating environment.

Our “curriculum” is broken down into activity centers or areas of interest. Each of these interests is re-visited on a daily basis, integrated into the seasonal or curricular theme. The centers are geared developmentally for the appropriate stage of play for each particular class; these centers provide fun and exciting means for the children to experience new skills and learn new information.

Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of a child’s experience at the  Emek ECC is its existence as a community of caring, respectful adults and children. A feeling of warmth and mutual respect between staff, students and parents engenders a sense of connection essential to our children’s success. Consistent and clear communication with our parents represents the primary bridge between home and school.  Through daily interaction, weekly newsletters, parent conferences, and special parent-child events at school, the ECC faculty and staff work to create and maintain open lines of communication in a warm community environment.  


To contact the Nursery School or to set up a school visit, please call Mrs. Bernice Zachariash at 818-980-0155.