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Youth & Family

Early Childhood Center

Ages3 months - 5 years

The Leonard and Syril Rubin ECC is a warm and caring environment rooted in Jewish values. We believe children are natural learners and through play-based programming, we build a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

Teacher helping children with a arts and crafts project.

At the Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center, we are dedicated to preparing our children to be caring, responsible and independent leaders. Our small class ratios, coupled with our experienced and loving educators, allow us to offer a personalized and differentiated learning opportunity. Each child is an integral part of our community, whose creative ideas, wonder, and curiosity are valued and cherished.

We are in the unique position to utilize the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ spacious 185,000 square foot building and 21 acres of idyllic outdoor grounds. The campus features an indoor and outdoor aquatics center, 2 gymnasiums, dance studios, multiple playgrounds, fields, courts, and so much more.

Contact Us

201.408.1438

earlychildhoodcenter@jccotp.org

Philosophy

Our philosophy encourages and supports children on their journey to becoming lifelong learners. We use EXPLORE + PLAY = LEARN as a main vehicle for fostering curiosity, exploration, and discovery. Through hands-on experiences based on children’s interests, our students gain the skill sets to be successful in academics and in life.

We thrive as a school community by practicing Jewish values with respect and kindness at the forefront. We engage our children and families by offering year-round opportunities to share in the joy of practicing mitzvot and creating impactful Jewish journeys, individually and collectively.

Child playing with building blocks.
Child messily playing with paint.
Child playing on a playground.
Child walking down a slide.
Child running through water on the playground.
Children playing in a water park.
Two children working together on a project.
Child writing on a white board.
Three children playing with blocks together.

Programs

Our programs provide a unique, multi-dimensional education for 3 month to 5 year old children. We offer a variety of program options intended to accommodate your family’s needs and schedules. In each class, our experienced, professional staff work closely with each child to promote his or her social, emotional and intellectual development.

Infants

Ages 3 months to 1 year

Our warm and nurturing environment makes the infant program the perfect place for your bundle of joy! Babies enjoy a clean and bright space, coupled with a small teacher to baby ratio

Infants are exposed to an incredible array of activities designed to help them explore the world through all five senses. Jewish values, Shabbat, and Jewish holidays are celebrated in a way that makes all feel welcome and included.

Our exceptional staff cheers each baby on as they move through their early milestones and you get to experience it with them, too, through daily activity reports and photos. For ease and convenience, infants can seamlessly transition into our toddler program throughout year when they are developmentally ready.

Enrichment
Infants enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities

Toddlers

Ages 1-2

Our toddler program places strong emphasis on the social, emotional, and sensory development of young children. Through our play-based curriculum, teachers encourage inquisitiveness and exploration. Our goal is to foster independence, while also ensuring that toddlers feel part of a safe and nurturing environment.

As the they settle into their classroom and surroundings, we encourage toddlers to explore their interests and satisfy their curiosity in age-appropriate, fun, and meaningful ways. The children engage in a plethora of sensory activities such painting, tactile experiences, sand play, cooking and more. Jewish values, Shabbat, and Jewish holidays are celebrated in a way that makes all feel welcome and included.

Enrichment
Toddlers enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Athletics
  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities
  • Judaics
  • Gardening

Transitional Twos Programs

Ages 1-2

Transitional twos is a gentle separation program for children who are acclimating to a school setting. We provide an especially warm and welcome environment, with priority focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of each individual child.

Designed to ensure a smooth separation, parents, grandparents, or caregivers are welcome to remain with their child until a successful adjustment has been made, and we do not set a timeline for that goal.

Teachers guide children as they settle into their new surroundings, helping to foster independence. Interests and inquiries are explored in age-appropriate, fun, and meaningful ways. We engage in sensory activities such as painting, tactile experiences, sand play, cooking, music and movement, and more.

Twos Program

Ages 1-2

Our twos program focuses on the social and emotional development of young children. They begin to move from parallel play to cooperative interactions that teach empathy towards one another, learning how to become part of a classroom community.

Children in our twos program develop their language skills through exposure to a print-rich environment. They immerse in an environment of inquiry, allowing for opportunities to explore concepts of cause and effect, sorting, patterning, and problem-solving. Each day they engage in open-ended creative art, as well as fine motor and gross motor activities that introduce colors, shapes, numbers, storytelling, and so much more. Jewish values, Shabbat, and Jewish holidays are celebrated in a way that makes all feel welcome and included.

Our twos program prepares children for more complex learning and sets them up for success for the threes program and beyond!

Enrichment
Children enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Athletics
  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities
  • Judaics
  • Gardening

Extracurricular Classes
Families have the option of enrolling in a variety of extracurricular enrichment classes outside of their tuition, from swimming to sports to dance, and we will escort them to and from these classes!

Threes

Ages 3-4

As children enter our threes program, we focus on building independence and a sense of responsibility, with a growing emphasis on language and cognitive development.

Three year olds are exposed to a variety of pre-reading and pre-writing skills through storytelling, concepts of prints, and exploring writing their most important word – their names! We provide authentic opportunities for logical thinking and problem-solving, giving them critical skills that they will use throughout their lives.

Enrichment
Children enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Athletics
  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Red Cross Certified Swimming
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities
  • Judaics
  • Gardening

Extracurricular Classes
Families have the option of enrolling in a variety of extracurricular enrichment classes outside of their tuition, from swimming to sports to dance, and we will escort them to and from these classes!

Fours

Ages 4-5

Children in our fours program develop the necessary skills for kindergarten readiness and beyond! Our curriculum encourages them to develop higher-level thinking skills, including reasoning, problem solving, identifying complex patterns, and classifying by attributes. Social and emotional skills continue to be developed by more sophisticated negotiation and dialogue.

Our fours program also emphasizes pre-reading and writing skills. Using an approach inspired by Handwriting Without Tears, children engage in activities that help strengthen the muscles in their hands, preparing them to grip a pencil and for emerging letter formation.

Enrichment
Children enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Athletics
  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Red Cross Certified Swimming
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities
  • Judaics
  • Gardening

Extracurricular Classes
Families have the option of enrolling in a variety of extracurricular enrichment classes outside of their tuition, from swimming to sports to dance, and we will escort them to and from these classes!

Transitional Kindergarten

Our transitional kindergarten program is designed for children who could benefit from an extra year before entering a traditional kindergarten program. Whether your child’s birthday falls on the cusp of the kindergarten cutoff date, or you’re simply looking for the gift of time before the rigor of kindergarten begins, this program is for you.

The transitional kindergarten program focuses both on academic and social/emotional kindergarten readiness. Over the course of the year, true reading and writing skills emerge. We emphasize phonological awareness and decoding and expose children to elements of literature such as characters, setting, and conflict, all of which develop critical thinking skills. Extending upon the Handwriting Without Tears foundation established in the fours program, we move towards the proper formation of letters and words, and appropriate spacing between words and sentences.

Real math skills mature, including number sense, addition and subtraction using word problems, counting by two, fives, tens and ultimately moving towards telling time and counting money. In the social/emotional domain, we continue to focus on interpersonal skills and developing good citizenship.

Children enjoy special enrichment activities throughout the week, led by experts from other JCC departments. Sample activities include:

  • Athletics
  • Creative Movement
  • Music
  • Red Cross Certified Swimming
  • Skills and Thrills Occupational Therapy Activities
  • Judaics
  • Gardening

Extracurricular Classes
Families have the option of enrolling in a variety of extracurricular enrichment classes outside of their tuition, from swimming to sports to dance, and we will escort them to and from these classes!

Admissions

We hope you will join us in our Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center, where we not only create lifelong learners, but a deep and enriching community experience for the whole family.

FAQs

How early can I enroll my baby in the infant program?

Infants may begin as early as 3 months old. They must be 3 months by Sept 1, 2021 to start the school year with us, although we do accept applications throughout the year. As infants develop, they may transition to the toddler classroom with parental permission. Space is extremely limited in the infant room.

Is there a birthday cutoff date for class placements?

Yes. Children are placed in classrooms according to age. In alignment with public schools, the birthday cutoff Sept 1, 2021 for the infant and toddler programs and October 15 for the twos, threes, fours and transitional kindergarten programs, positioning them to graduate to kindergarten at the appropriate time for their age. No matter their needs, our experienced, professional staff work closely with each child to promote his or her social, emotional and intellectual development.

Age requirements for the 2021-22 school year are as follows:

Infants: 3 months old by 09/01/2021

Toddlers: 12 months old by 09/01/2021

Transitional Twos (September start): Turning 2 between 10/16/2021 – 02/28/2022

Transitional Twos (January start): Turning 2 between 3/1/2021 – 6/30/2022

Twos: 2 years old by 10/15/2021

Threes: 3 years old by 10/15/2021

Fours: 4 years old by 10/15/2021

Transitional Kindergarten: 5 years old by 10/15/2021

What is the enrollment process?

Once you contact us, we will schedule a one-on-one conversation to best understand your needs. We will place your child in the age-appropriate program once an application and registration fee are submitted. All application materials and fees are required in order to process the application.

Is there a waitlist?

We often receive applications from more families than we are able to accommodate. Returning children and siblings are given priority, and new children are placed in classrooms on a first come first serve basis. Those who are not offered a seat are added to a wait list for the age-appropriate program. There is no registration fee required to be added to the wait list. When openings become available, we will contact you by email and phone.

What are the tuition costs?

Please contact us at 201.408.1436 or earlychildhoodcenter@jccotp.org for the costs of the programs that you are interested in.

What is the registration fee?

A non-refundable and non-transferable registration fee of $975 is required. Please note that the registration fee does not get applied towards the cost of tuition. All application materials and fees are required in order to process the application.

When is tuition due?

In April 2021, you will be prompted to set up a payment plan for the school year tuition. There will be an option to pay in full or set up monthly installments using a credit card or checking account. The first payment will be due July 2021. For families starting later than the beginning of the school year, the first payment is due 2 months before your start date. All tuition payments must be paid in full by April 2022 for 10 month programs or June 2022 for 12 month programs.

Do I need to be a JCC member to enroll?

All families are required to be Kaplen JCC members to enroll in the Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center, which includes wonderful benefits. Membership affords the whole family access to endless enrichment and wellbeing opportunities, including our state-of-the-art fitness center, aquatics center, spa, and more.

New families to the JCC enrolling in full day or extended day programs receive a Kaplen JCC membership as part of their tuition for the first school year, and 50% of their membership fees for the second school year. New families enrolling in any partial day program receive a 50% of their membership fees included in their tuition for the first school year. (Membership is valid from September 2021-August 2022. Fees prorated based on start date and day length).

Are enrichment and extracurricular classes included in the tuition?

Each class enjoys weekly in-school enrichment activities as part of their tuition. In addition, families may choose to enroll in more extracurricular classes for an additional fee per class. Teachers change their clothes (as needed) children are escorted by a staff member to and from their extracurricular classes. If you are enrolling in an extended day program at the Leonard and Syril Rubin Early Childhood Center, we will include one extracurricular class of your choice for free in your tuition! Note that only extracurricular programs after 3:30 pm are available for extended day students.

What is your cancelation policy?

We want you to feel comfortable and safe at our ECC. You have the option to withdraw your child from the program at any time.

Should you decide to withdraw your child voluntarily prior to June 30, 2021, the registration fee will not be refunded.

Should you decide to withdraw your child voluntarily between July 1, 2021 and September 8, 2021 (or your initial start date in case of a later start), any tuition payments made will be credited/refunded. The registration fee will not be refunded.

Should you decide to withdraw your child voluntarily after September 9, 2021 (or your initial start date in case of a later start) our policy requires a 30-day written notice. You will be required to pay the tuition for the 30 days of notice and the registration fee will not be refunded.

Is Financial assistance available?

Yes, need-based financial assistance is available. The deadline to apply is May 3 for the following school year, and the second deadline is June 1. Please contact us at 201.408.1436 or earlychildhoodcenter@jccotp.org for application.

We are also part of the Jewish Right Start Program through the Jewish Federation of Northern, NJ, which grants scholarships for children already registered. Read about eligibility requirements and apply now.

Resources

The JCC’s infant program is beyond incredible! I can’t tell you how much my family and I love our teachers. They are amazing—simply amazing! Mila looks great and is clearly cared for with love. I am so grateful to the JCC for taking such amazing care of my little baby.

Shain Mother of Noah and Mila

It seems like my son is engaged in new messy, fun, creative activities every day! From nature walks to art projects, his day is filled with stimulating opportunities for development. His teachers are our heroes, bringing so much comfort and happiness to our lives.

Rebecca Mother of Adam

Since the first moment we stepped foot in the JCC, the teachers made us feel welcome and included in their big, loving family. My daughter acclimated immediately and then never wanted to leave! I’ve seen leaps in her development and mood since we began there.

Benjamin Father of Maya

Each day when I receive photos I am just floored, beyond impressed, with the way the teachers are keeping the children engaged, learning and most of all, happy! Their smiles literally make me so happy even after a long day of work. The creativity is truly amazing.

Brooke Mother of Miles

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A pair of adult hands and child hands holding a red heart.