November 23, 2014   1 Kislev 5775
Quick Links to ECLC Forms  
Early Childhood Learning Center  

Temple Beth David, a Reform Jewish congregation in Commack, New York is home to the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC).  The ECLC is a small, yet sophisticated program providing all children with the highest quality care available.  As part of a larger congregation, children and families are able to join the Temple's clergy and other families to learn about and celebrate Jewish holidays.  Our educational program is unsurpassed utilizing a variety of methodologies to engage and excite all students.  Each preschool class is is led by a NYS certified educator.  Accommodating the needs of today's families, the ECLC offers the added benefit of an on-site before and after care program.  Currently the ECLC offers a music class for babies, a Movers & Shakers "Mommy & Me," a 2's, 3's & 4's program, before and after care and a variety of enriching afterschool activities. From the moment your baby is born until the time they go into kindergarten, the ECLC has all you'll ever need.  Come and see what we are all about!  


Call Michelle Finkel, ECLC Director at 631.499.0915 ext. 316 or at to schedule a private tour.


New Full Day Child Care Program  

The Temple Beth David Early Childhood Learning Center is pleased to offer a full-day Child Care Center in our community. We  provide extended hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on school days for children aged 18 months through four years. Our program is unique in that it integrates the children starting at age two into our existing Early Childhood Learning Center classrooms. Various scheduling options are available to meet the needs of our community and families.


All of our classrooms and Child Care rooms are newly renovated.


The full-day Child Care Center came to be through the efforts of the congregation's leadership and professional staff and through the vision and support of Marv and Sonny Thal. As long-standing members of Temple Beth David, the Thals are now helping to lead us into the future.


Additional information and registration material are available in the ECLC Office. We invite you to visit our facilities and meet with Michelle Finkel, Director of the ECLC and the Child Care Center.


ECLC Upcoming Events  
November 2014
December 2014
12/05 -  ECLC Tot Shabbat (6:30 PM)
12/11 -  ECLC Hanukkah Party (6:30 PM to 8:00 PM)
January 2015
01/25 -  ECLC Daddy & Me (11:30 AM to 12:30 PM)
February 2015
02/06 -  ECLC Tot Shabbat (6:30 PM)
02/23 -  ECLC Resumes
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
About the ECLC Program  

We mark time Jewishly by observing life's significant moments as well as the Jewish calendar. Every Thursday or Friday we welcome the Shabbat with the children. The "Shabbat Child" of the week invites his/her parents to school for part of the day. They participate in candle lighting and have the opportunity to share a special story with the class. We strive to be partners with God through the performance of Jewish rituals. By incorporating age appropriate crafts and songs, we encourage the children and their families to bring these rituals and traditions into their homes, thereby transmitting the language of our faith and forging a partnership between the school and the home.

Once a month we celebrate Shabbat with the Rabbi in the sanctuary, with songs and stories. Several times throughout the year we hold a "Tot" Shabbat on Friday evenings and all families with young children are invited. Our combined focus of socialization and academics will support our overall philosophy of "allowing children to be children". Your children will have plenty of hands on learning experiences; be exposed to many new activities, sing new songs, play new games, interact socially with other children and have lots of fun.
Different Programs in the ECLC  

Mommy & Me Programs - For parent and child 16 months and older. This one and a half hour session has parent and child working and playing together in a typical classroom setting. In addition, the children will spend a half hour in a gym while the parents participate in a group discussion with a facilitator. The parents are in the same room as the children, but we work on encouraging separation. Class maximum size is 10 children.

Two Year Old Programs begin with a concentration on developing the process of separation. While supporting the child through this difficult process we offer individual guidance to help foster a growing sense of independence and trust. Classes are kept to a maximum of 12 children to allow the teachers to help each child negotiate their day. Teachers work one on one with the children gradually guiding each child toward group activities.

Three Year Old Programs continue to foster independence in a safe and secure environment. Children are given opportunities to learn and develop through exploration and play. The daily predictable routines help guide the child through their day. Teachers watch closely and take advantage of opportunities to extend the play and challenge the child's thinking and reasoning processes. Teachers set clear limits about acceptable social behavior. Teachers act as guides, helping each child develop a sense of self-discipline through positive, predictable and constructive ways.

Four Year Old Programs concentrate on an integrated curriculum in which our teachers facilitate activities which develop the four year olds' pre-reading, math and writing readiness skills, while continuing developmentally appropriate activities in science, dramatic play, music, art and technology. Teachers provide meaningful classroom activities that challenge children to move forward. While accepting this challenge, children are able to successfully complete many of the tasks encountered so that they gain self-confidence, feel proud of their accomplishments and learn to love learning.

Daily Activities. We Invite New Learning Through:  
  • Circle Time: Meet and plan day weather/calendar
  • Free play & Exploration: non regimented peer interaction
  • Individual/Group Projects
  • Gym/Outdoor Play
  • Snack/Lunch
  • Story Time: individual, small group, class
  • Show & Tell, Class News, Magic Circle
  • Music/Dance:  spontaneous learning experiences are incorporated into the daily schedule as a means to further children's growth and development.  Concepts are presented to children via hands-on material.
Weekly Programs  

Weekly Specials 
All classes participate in the following weekly programs: 

Let's Begin With The Letter People: The director of the Early Childhood Center, Michelle J. Finkel, is directly responsible for this program. Being the instructor enables Mrs. Finkel to develop a personal relationship with every child enrolled. 

The Letter People focuses on promoting phonological awareness and building letter identification. These special friends get children talking, moving, interacting, experimenting, and ultimately ready to read and write. Each Letter Person has an engaging personality, a special identifying characteristic, and a memorable personal song. Each Letter Person will help each child learn something new. The engaging, motivating nature of the Letter People draws the child into the learning process and makes it fun. 

Library - as part of own Life Long Learning commitment, retired educators from our temple community have volunteered to be weekly readers in this program. Children have an opportunity to hear a story, use the flannel board for an extended activity and borrow a library book to take home and share with their families. 

Music - Music is an integral part of our program. The children have an opportunity to use musical and rhythm instruments and sing and dance to the beat. The musical curriculum consists of songs written in Hebrew and English. As each Jewish holiday approaches children learn songs relating to that specific holiday.

Movement - Our small group movement classes lead by Mrs. Donna Cohen are an integral part of our program. The class promotes physical fitness and development of the whole child, as it contributes to the enhancement of a positive self-image, self-confidence, creativity, and self-expression. Part of the curriculum focuses on developing gross motor skills, team building, balance, coordination and basic knowledge of good sportsmanship.

Monthly Themes - Throughout the course of the school year some of the following themes are integrated into the curriculum. Teachers revise their plans for an activity if they recognize it is not in keeping with children's current needs.

Curriculum Areas include...  

Social Science
Creation o All About Me 
Jewish Values o Family 
Jewish Life Cycle Events
Getting Along With Others/Tzedakah 
Community/Tikkun Olam 

Numeral Recognition 
1 : 1 Correspondence
Shapes o Patterns 
Calendar Science 
Sky & Space 
Our Earth 
My Wonderful Body 
Dinosaur Science
My Senses 
Living Things Are Everywhere 
The Life of A Butterfly 
Nature All Around Us

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