With all the options out there for early childhood education, making any kind of decision can feel overwhelming. Daycare? Preschool? Jewish? Secular? To help deal with the latter question, Kveller asked The Alliance for Jewish Early Childhood Education why they recommend Jewish programs. Here’s what they have to say:
Values. Children develop long-lasting, positive emotional connections with Shabbat, Torah and Jewish values, strengthening their Jewish identity.
Community. Children make friends and become a part of the Jewish community locally and world-wide.
Celebrations. Jewish holiday and life cycle celebrations are experienced in a way that is complementary to each family’s practice.
In other words, it develops a foundation for Jewish identity that can last throughout your child’s life. Not bad. There are all different kinds of Jewish schools and you need to find one where the level of observance is a good fit for your family.
If you choose to go with a Jewish school, here’s a list of 10 questions that the Alliance suggests asking the director. Print it out and bring them along with you when you’re going on a tour. Good luck and have fun!
Ten Questions to Ask the Director
1. What makes your school an excellent Jewish early childhood program?
2. What is the educational philosophy of your school?
3. What Jewish concepts and values will my child be exposed to in your program?
4. How does the school view diversity in Jewish practices among its families?
5. How are parents involved in the school?
6. What types of adult learning and family programming exist outside of the classroom?
7. In what ways will clergy and Jewish professionals be involved with the school?
8. How is your program inclusive of children with special needs?
9. How will we communicate about my child’s development?
10. What accreditations does the school currently hold?