About Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Development Center

Temple Emanuel has offered high quality early childhood programming for over 50 years. As one of the largest preschool programs in Pittsburgh and the surrounding suburbs, we offer a wide range of flexible services to our community.

ECDC serves approximately 200 children during the school year and 80 children in the summer camp program. We are proud of our small classes with 10 children, a Teacher and an Assistant Teacher. The one to five staff ratio is above state standard and allows us to support each child.

Approximately 20 percent of our children are from families who practice Judaism in their homes. We value diversity in our school and all are welcome. We observe Jewish holidays as well as secular holidays such as Thanksgiving and President’s Day. We focus on the customs and universal lessons of each holiday. We learn about how people celebrate holidays around the world.

Our celebrations of Jewish holidays include welcoming the Sabbath on Fridays with challah, apple juice and Shabbat songs. Other celebrations include Rosh HaShana when we greet the new year with apples and honey, signifying a good sweet year; Yom Kippur when we talk about ways of being a good friend; and Sukkot, a holiday of gratitude. And these are just the fall holidays!

In the summer of 2015, ECDC received a grant through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh enabling us to be a part of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI). The main purpose of JECEI is to increase family involvement. The program is based on research demonstrating that family involvement makes schools stronger.  Though family involvement is easy to say, it is not easy to accomplish. Therefore JECEI follows the principles of Reggio-Emilia – an educational philosophy based on collaboration among teachers, families and children. Known for short as “Reggio,” the model supports our fundamental belief that children, teachers and families construct knowledge together through investigation and problem-solving.

With the support of JECEI consultants, we are an increasingly collaborative learning community, where we welcome feedback and dialogue. We hope that our website visitors will also contact us to schedule a tour of our school.