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 100 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!

ECDC was a fortunate recipient of a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. As a Pittsburgh Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (PJECEI) school we chose the Reggio Emilia approach as the best means of achieving the dual goals of high-quality education and family involvement. ECDC is the first Reggio-inspired early childhood program in the South Hills.

Our Fundamental Values

The Reggio-inspired path resonates with our fundamental values, both Jewish and universal.

Kavod—Respect of self and others
Simchat Limud—Joy of learning
Hachnasat Orchim – Welcoming
Tzedakah -Sharing with others

Our Guiding Principles

Socialization and self-regulation are the foundation for healthy development and school readiness.

Pre-academic skill acquisition is embedded in all activities.

Art and music are integrated into daily school life.

Hands-on investigation and open-ended exploration provide the foundation for learning.

Our immediate and natural environment offers unlimited opportunities for learning.

Collaboration among children, teachers, parents and school community is critical to the success of the learning process.

Problem solving is exercised when children have the opportunity to initiate ideas and experiment.

Close observation ensures that topics will be based on the interests of the children and relevant to the school community.