About Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Development Center
Temple Emanuel has offered high quality early childhood programming for 60 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 150 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!
Recipient of a Five-Year Grant
ECDC is a recipient of a five-year grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and is a participant in the Pittsburgh Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (PJECEI). The founders of JECEI studied early childhood education models and chose the Reggio Emilia approach as the best means of achieving the dual goals of high-quality education and family involvement. Now in our fourth year of PJECEI, ECDC is the first Reggio-inspired early childhood program in the South Hills. We benefit by receiving intensive consultation and professional development from mentors in the fields of Reggio Emilia educational philosophy.