A Warm, Supportive Environment for Your Child
B’nai Tikvah’s preschool program allows young children to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually in a loving Jewish environment. Our Early Childhood Center (ECC) is operated by the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago (BJE), a highly respected organization that has been providing and developing Jewish preschool education programs since 1972.
Our curriculum is based on the most current research in child development, early childhood education and Judaica. Our philosophy is to encourage children to express themselves in a variety of ways and to actively engage in this first step of their educational journey. Our goals are to:
- Provide children with a well-balanced program blending social and cognitive, creative and structured, and individual and group activities.
- Teach children how to develop a positive self-image.
- Encourage children to be curious and explore.
- Guide children to master new concepts geared to their developmental level.
- Help children become comfortable interacting with peers and adults.
ECC instructors are not only highly trained and certified in both general and Jewish education, they are enthusiastic, dedicated, nurturing and caring. All teachers are required to participate in an extensive, ongoing education program to ensure they are up on the latest developments in early childhood education. We maintain a ratio of 7 kids to 1 teacher, so children receive an optimum amount of individual attention that encourages their growth.
B’nai Tikvah’s Early Childhood Center offers the following programs for children ages 18 months to 4 years:
New Steps – Age 18 months by September 1 – Meets 1 hour, 1 day per week with parent. New Steps is a physically active and developmentally stimulating program designed to help toddlers and their parent or caregiver discover their world together in a Judaic environment. It includes songs, finger plays, musical activities, explorations of art media and social dramatic play.
More Steps – Age 2½ years by September 1 – Meets 2½ hours, 2 or 3 days per week. More Steps emphasizes social development and an introduction to Jewish holiday celebrations. Circle times expose children to songs, felt-board stories, and rhythm and movement. Because this is a first step of independence for young children, we carefully plan separation so it is a positive experience for each child.
Kadima (Let’s Go Forward) – Age 3 by September 1 – Meets 3 hours, 3 or 4 days per week. This in-depth, well-balanced and engaging program blends social, cognitive, creative and structured activities, all integrated with the full celebration of Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. Children work on early literacy and pre-math skills that prepare them for educational success, as well as social development and problem solving skills. Family highlights include an evening Chanukah party, a Family Pretend Trip to Israel, and a Family Shabbat Dinner celebrated with a complete kit of Shabbat ritual items made by each child.
Bonim (Builders/Pre-K) Age 4 years by September 1 – Meets 3 hours, 5 days per week. Children continue their exploration of themselves, their classroom, and the larger Jewish community. Bonim emphasizes more extensive group projects to involve children in meaningful cognitive and social learning. The Jewish social values of tzedakah and mitzvot are introduced and integrated into our early literacy and pre-math programs. Family highlights include a Hebrew Name Reaffirmation program, an evening Tu B’shvat Seudah, and a Pesach mini-seder.