First Experience

The First Experience class is designed for children ages 14 months to two years to experience a fun, structured school environment while accompanied by a parent/caregiver.

This class meets for two hours once a week. It offers a wonderful opportunity for toddlers to be enjoy experiences in a small group setting.

Our day includes:

  • Classroom time with a wide range of materials to explore, including art materials
  • Circle time with songs and a very short story
  • Snack
  • Movement Time where we dance, sing and play games

The class provides an opportunity to socialize – both for children and adults. Class size is limited to seven children and their respective caregivers.


The ECDC teaching staff recognizes that two-year-olds need loving support to help them to separate from their parents and make a positive adjustment to school. We therefore offer a warm and home-like environment where the children can quickly feel welcome and comfortable. Though the separation process may be stressful at first, most two-year-olds adjust well and grow to love school. They enjoy a relaxed environment that includes art, music, story time, and play opportunities on a daily basis. It is a joy for us to watch them thrive!

Three, Fours, Fives

painting water lillies davidECDC offers classes for Threes, Fours and Fives. Our class size is small with 10 children per group with one teacher and one assistant teacher. The small group enables our staff to provide each child with individualized support and attention. The adult to child ratio of 1 to 5 is well above the state standard of 1 to 10 for preschoolers. The daily schedule follows a consistent routine that includes snack, circle time and gym or playground time. Each group has special opportunities to explore art and music with the help of our art and music teachers, who are on staff. Plenty of time is spent in the classroom where the rooms are set up with interesting materials, including natural materials, to invite children to wonder and to test their theories in ever changing manner. Will a tower of three small blocks hold one larger heavy block? What if the block is large and light? With skillful facilitation of teachers, exploration allows for building cognitive, language, motor and social skills.

Children gain a complex set of skills as they progress through the preschool years, and in fact we maintain a detailed checklist of emerging skills for each child. It is our responsibility to provide a joyful experience for children where they can gain skills for success in kindergarten and beyond. It is important for children to acquire skills, including number and pre-reading skills, in meaningful ways and for real purposes. We therefore embed skill practice in everything that we do.

Kindergarten Enrichment

The Enrichment class is offered to children who are currently attending a half-day kindergarten program. The program offers rich experiences embedded with opportunities to practice skills including: vocabulary; fine and gross motor; drawing of generalizations; following of multi-step directions; higher level reasoning skills; and social interaction.

Some of the units offered this year are Space, Native Americans, Exciting Experiments, Snowflakes, The Orchestra, Human Skeletal System and Endangered Species. The teachers plan an interdisciplinary approach which includes language arts, math, science, social studies, music and movement.

Extended Day

ECDC offers programs to supplement your child’s preschool experience.

Extended Day AM and PM is offered from 8:00-9:00 am and from 3:15-4:00 pm for families who need child care at these extended times. Care is provided by a member of the ECDC teaching staff.

Our lunch program is offered at 11:30-12:45 for children ages three and over.

Let’s Explore! is an Arts, Science and Social Studies program that allows for collaborative learning, scientific experimentation, problem solving and artistic expression. The main focus is on exploration of the outdoors. Teachers and children together spend time on the grounds of Temple Emanuel to experience plant and animal life. The findings are then “brought inside” with further investigation. The program is offered Monday through Friday from 12:45-3:15 pm. Children may participate one or more times per week, as the specific activities will change throughout the week. Let’s Explore! is offered for children in our 3s, 4s and Transition classes. Children may be enrolled at regular times throughout the school year or on an occasional basis when space allows.