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Jewish Community Center

Early Childhood Curriculum: Whole Child Approach

Learning is a lifelong process

With a basis in individual instruction, our students graduate from the Early Childhood Center at the J ready for kindergarten-cognitively, emotionally, physically and socially.

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A typical day at the Early Childhood Center includes a balance of active and quiet activities and group and individual or small group learning opportunities. The morning begins with an all-school assembly called Ruach, where children and teachers start the day with a song and activities to prepare for the day. After Ruach, children have breakfast in their classrooms. Each classroom is able to create a schedule that meets the unique needs of the children it serves. Children are given ample time to explore and investigate their environment throughout the day including outdoor play.

Classrooms participate in a variety of activities including music, intergenerational programming, gym classes and swimming for the pre-school aged children. Lunch and snack are served daily, and children are given the opportunity to rest in the middle of the day.

Project Construct

The J’s Early Childhood Center uses the Reggio Emilia Approach®. The Reggio Emilia Approach® is an educational philosophy based on the image of a child with strong potentialities for development and a subject with rights, who learns through the hundred languages belonging to all human beings, and grows in relations with others..

To learn more about Reggio Emilia, visit

Conscious Discipline

The J’s Early Childhood Center uses the Conscious Discipline Curriculum, an emotional intelligence and classroom management program consisting of Brain Smart strategies for responding to life events. Conscious discipline is a proven, comprehensive approach that empowers our teachers to provide a safe, connected and problem-solving school family. Through our teacher’s response, conflict moments are transformed into cooperative learning opportunities. Conscious Discipline is a research-based program proven to increase academic achievement and improve quality of relationships, including student to student, teacher to student and parent to child.

To learn more about Conscious Discipline visit


One hundred percent of our pre-K graduates are prepared for kindergarten, as measured by developmental checklists.

Activities & Services

Only at the Early Childhood Center at the J do children participate in year-round swimming, gym class, intergenerational and value-based, character development programming. The J’s ECC benefits from being part of the Jewish Community Center. The children enrolled in our program enjoy year-round swimming and physical education classes with trained instructors in our state-of-the-art fitness centers. We offer additional, extracurricular activities through our Sports & Recreation Department and Family Centers, including dance, sports leagues, gymnastics, and academic enrichment classes. The Early Childhood Center in Creve Coeur has a relationship with the Adult Day Center and NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community), which allows for regular intergeneration programming. Because we are located on a large campus, children may take field trips without leaving the grounds!

The J’s Early Childhood Center partners with the Belle Children’s Services of St. Louis Arc, Jewish Family & Children Services, and The Learning Disability Association to provide additional support for children, teachers and families. We are open to receiving children with a wide variety of abilities. We believe inclusive programs benefit every child.

Creve Coeur/Staenberg Family Complex

Melissa Burgess, 314-442-3224

Chesterfield/Marilyn Fox Building

Kathy Coldiron, 314-442-3450

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