The Early Childhood Program at Temple Emanuel

The Early Childhood Program at Temple Emanuel believes children are natural learners and it is the job of educators to provide hands-on, meaningful learning experiences for the children in our school. Our early childhood program is designed to meet the unique individual needs of each child. Our Curriculum is designed around Creative Curriculum, focusing on the four domains of development; cognitive, social and emotional, motor skills and language in order to look at a child as a whole.

Our journey toward a progressive approach of early childhood education begins by taking a closer look to what it really means to be child centered. Classroom studies are based off the interests of the children in each classroom while meeting developmental goals. This concept allows for meaningful, invested learning opportunities. Our goal is to create lifelong learners and creative, innovative thinkers.

The Jewish values that Temple Emanuel lives by inspires the work of our educators. We use these Jewish lenses as a framework and the foundation in our everyday practice. We celebrate Shabbat weekly, as well as the Jewish holidays. The partnership we have with the Temple Rabbis and Cantor strengthens our relationship with the religious school, enabling our children to feel part of the larger Jewish Community.

It is our goal to meet the needs of our families and our community. We offer parenting center classes, classes for twos, threes, fours, and summer camp. We are pleased to be offering new extended hours as well as vacation program options.

Our 2 year old program puts a strong focus on the social/emotional development of young children. For many children, this is their first time transitioning into a school environment. Learning to trust other adults besides their primary caregivers, learning to be part of a classroom community, as they transition from parallel play to cooperative interactions, teaches empathy for their peers.

Motor planning – Working with manipulatives such as peg boards, geoboards and beads enhances the muscles in their fingers, allowing them to strength their dexterity for a proper pencil grip.

Cognitive – Children will be exposed to an environment of inquiry allowing for opportunities to explore concepts of pre-math skills such as counting, cause and effect, sorting, patterning, and problem solving. By the guided interest of the class as well as predisposed ideas and concepts, children will explore the natural world around them.

Language – Children develop their expressive language from the exposure to rich language in order to build their vocabulary and string words together to form sentences. They have the opportunity to practices these skills during group time. Reading books as well as literacy labels around the room expose children to pre-reading skills as well and showing letter symbols have meaning.

Our three year old program allows opportunities for children to gain their independence and the ability to manage and understand their own feelings and emotions as well as empathy towards others. Self-esteem is built as they become capable of completing tasks and having classroom responsibilities.

Motor planning – Coordination and balance continues to develop as children learn about spatial awareness. Children begin to manipulate smaller objects such as large buttons on their clothing and using scissors to make snips. Children hold a marker or crayon with thumb and two finger grip, making simple strokes.

Cognitive – Children at this age examine with attention to detail, noticing attributes of items as they sort by shape, color and size. This allows for the opportunity to create patterns. Three year olds show awareness of space, using positional words in, on under, over etc. They show basic math skills and an understanding of one-to-one correspondence as they count their peers.

Language – Children continue to enjoy and appreciate rhymes; three year olds will begin to create their own. They expand on their sentence development and follow multi-step directions. During story time, whether using picture or letters, children begin to understand that print carries a message. Children may begin to recognize and identify a few letters. This usually begins with the beginning letter of their own name and that of their peers.

Four year olds function with increasing independence in school. They are able to manage own feelings, calming down and explaining their emotions. Four year olds take reasonability and ownership over their classroom tasks, cleaning up after themselves understanding classroom expectations. Children at this age can enter play cooperatively, negotiating play with their peers.

Motor – Having control over their bodies is developed. Children this age can run quickly, change direction, ride toys with control and climb with ease. Four year olds throw objects with smooth overhand motion, and kick a ball with fluid motion. Children are learning to manipulate materials in a purposeful way, planning and attention to detail as they create tall structures that balance. They copy and draw simple shapes, letters and words including their names.

Cognitive – Four year olds observe attentively and are able to describe key features, recognizing differences in logos, models and sink and float experiments, testing out different ideas. They can find alternative solutions to problems for example; using a block as a door stop. Children this age can work on a Lego structure for a significant amount of time and continue working on it for 3-4 days. The concept of measuring is understood by using unit blocks to measure a rug or other objects around the room. Imitating complex patterns increase by imitating clapping patterns, or 3 color pattern using colored inch cubes. Time becomes more relevant and understood, “Tomorrow is Saturday, and we will not be in school.”

Language – Four year olds are able to answer questions with more detail. They can describe a family trip when asked about their weekend. They begin to ask increasingly more complex questions to further their own understanding. Children this age know each spoken word can be written down and read. A child will touch a written word for every spoken word in a story. They begin to make letter sound connections by writing a big M to represent “mommy”. They continue to make meaning out of written print through sounds, anticipating what comes next based on patterns and books with repetition.

ECP Parent Child Programs – Winter/Spring 2019

MUSIC WITH ME – Mondays 9:15 – 10:00 a.m.
Join Mr. Shant in this entertaining music class where children will sing, wiggle, explore, and have fun grooving and moving.
Music for children is a great foundation for instrumental readiness, language development, and social interaction. The class will end with a snack class and the opportunity for both caregivers and children to socialize with one another.
Class begins January 7 & ends June 3

ON MY OWN – Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:15 – 11:00 a.m.
This class is for children turning 2 from October 2018 – February 2019. This SEPARATION CLASS allows for a gradual transition where children will participate in play time, circle time, art experiences, story time, music, movement and a snack.
Class begins January 8 & June 6 – twice/week

TODDLERS TO BE – Wednesdays 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
This class is for children ages 16 – 24 months and their caregiver. In this class, the children & their caregivers will participate in circle time, art experiences, story time, music, movement and a snack.
Class begins January 9 & ends June 5

COME PLAY WITH ME – Wednesdays 11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
This class is for children 9 – 15 months and their caregiver. It offers the best combination of experiences and nurturing to provide the very young child a strong foundation for learning; it includes circle time, gross motor opportunities, playtime,
music, & snack.
Class begins January 9 & ends June 5

TOT SHABBAT SOCIAL – Fridays 9:15 – 10:00 a.m.
Join Morah Lisa in celebrating a meaningful Shabbat experience with music, movement, stories, playtime and a chance to socialize with one another. Let’s not forget the challah and juice!
Class begins January 11 & ends June 7

All classes are held in the youth Lounge at the Temple.  For more, please call us at 201-391-8329 or email or

Download the registration form here

Our new parenting center offers baby and toddler classes for young ones to enjoy with a caregiver. These classes are a wonderful way for young children to begin socializing with their peers. We have a pallet of Parenting Speaker Series as well that we offer throughout the year.

We are pleased to announce our 2018-2019
Parent Speaker Series

Spread the word! These programs are also available to members of the community.

To register for any these program please contact the ECP office at 201-391-8329 or

What’s for Lunch?

September 21st 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Call for details.

Apps for Tots & Beyond
October 15th 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

In today’s technology rich world the IPad is a wonderful tool to be used with your child enhancing and enriching their language development. Come and view select apps that offer such skills as direction following, memory skills, associations and categorization. Leave with a complete list of current app choices ready to be tried with different age levels. Come prepared with all question ready to learn how to fully enjoy the iPad with your child!

Bio: Ilene Refkin, M.A.,CCC is a PROMPT-certified Pediatric Speech Pathologist seeing children in Bergen County in both her office in Tenafly and in a variety of school settings. She writes a blog providing current app recommendations at and regularly list current speech/language development articles on Facebook at IM Speech/Language Associates.

Child/Infant First Aid & CPR Training

November 21st 9:15 – 11:15 a.m.
January 8th 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
$20 per person

Learn prevention, recognition and treatment of first aid emergencies. Topics covered will include Infant/Child CPR and choking, common first aid emergency handling; it will include hands-on on practice on mannequins. This non-certifying course is perfect for parents, grandparents, caregivers, or anyone who is around children and wants to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Dream Sleeper

March 14th 9:15 – 11:15 a.m.

Every child has a great sleeper inside waiting to enjoy a good night’s rest. With the right approach, a clear plan, and a positive attitude you can discover what your child needs in a short period of time. Jennifer will discuss the “big picture” phenomenon and the impact of outside influences that affect your child’s sleep. She will go over age appropriate daily schedules that will result in a good night sleep for your child.

Jennifer Babich is an Infant and Toddler sleep consultant with Dream Team Baby. Jennifer works under the philosophy that sleep is truly a “big picture” phenomenon. When working with a family, Jennifer digs into all areas of the baby’s life to figure out what exactly is getting in the way of a good night’s sleep

Taming Their Tantrums & Beyond

April 29th 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
Dr. Allison Shale May 16th 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

“Taming Their Tantrums and Beyond” will explore some of the reasons why children have tantrums while also talking about the importance of teaching emotional awareness, expression, and regulation. We will review various coping strategies and will also discuss appropriate rewards and punishments that when used consistently can lead to changes in behavior. At the end of the talk, there will be time for questions and open discussion.

Dr. Allison Shale is a Licensed Psychologist in New York and New Jersey who currently works in private practice in Ridgewood. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University and earned her Masters and Doctoral Degrees from Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Shale’s work has been primarily with children and adolescents and she has specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and play therapy. Dr. Shale provides therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and families; she particularly enjoys dyadic work with children and their parents.