February 11, 2016   2 Adar I 5776
Registration Forms 2016-2017  
Early Childhood Learning Center  


Temple Beth David

Early Childhood Learning Center


Our Philosophy

The Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) is a New York State Licensed Preschool that develops the whole child: socially, intellectually, emotionally and physically. We encourage the growth of each child’s curiosity, creativity, imagination, independence, love of learning and self-esteem. Learning to play cooperatively and build positive relationships with friends are fundamental components of our program.

Purposefully small class sizes help students thrive. Academically, they receive one-on-one attention during key developmental years. Socially, they build peer relationships in a comfortable, safe environment.

Classes at the ECLC are infused with Jewish tradition through an exploration of the cultural, spiritual, and ethical aspects of Judaism.  We offer a Jewish environment that fosters the love of our traditions and heritage and allows each family to express Judaism in their own way.

Because the physical environment is an integral partner in the learning experience, our classrooms are designed to serve as an extension of the home environment with engaging centers of learning and stimulating experiences.

We Are A Welcoming And Inclusive Community

Families are regularly invited to join in events throughout the school year - from Tot Shabbat with the clergy to our Thanksgiving Feast to the Passover Experience.  All ECLC students and their families are offered complimentary synagogue membership so they can fully take part in the Temple Beth David community. 

We Apply Developmentally Appropriate Practice

We provide a learning experience that recognizes and appreciates each child’s place in the developmental continuum. Teachers receive ongoing training in the field of early childhood education and support one another in applying best practices in the field.

We Work With Parents As A Team

We believe a child’s success depends on a close relationship between our staff and each child’s family. Daily reports, email communication and parent-teacher conferences help us stay in constant communication.

Meet Our Director

Michelle Finkel has been in the field of education for more than 25 years. She joined the ECLC family in 1993 as a teacher in our Pre-K program and became Director in 2001.

Michelle received her Masters of Science in Education with a specialization in Literacy from C.W. Post University and continues to keep current in all aspects of Early Childhood Education. She lectures and leads professional development workshops related to early childhood education throughout the Tri-State Area.

Michelle is proud to be an integral part of the daily lives of the children and families in our program.

Michelle has lived in Commack since 1983 with her husband Alan, where together they raised their four children.

To schedule a visit, please contact Michelle at 631 499 0915 ext. 316 or mfinkel@tbdcommack.org.

Ask about our FREE temple membership for our ECLC families. We look forward to working with both you and your child in providing a successful and enriching learning experience.

Our Program

We help children acquire social competence and the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners. Children will be provided with opportunities to learn and practice newly acquired skills in an environment where they are safe and valued, where their physical needs are met, and where they feel emotionally secure.

Our program embraces developmentally appropriate practices so children will be taught in the ways that best match the manner in which they develop and learn. In developmentally appropriate classrooms, the children's interests are identified and activities are planned accordingly. This gives each child an opportunity for exploration and self-direction. Each child has an individual learning style as well as an individual timetable for development.

We mark time "Jewishly" by observing life's significant moments as well as the Jewish calendar.  Every Friday morning, all classes celebrate Shabbat in the Sanctuary.  Each class designates a "Shabbat Child" of the week and 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 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.

Baby & Me: For children under one year, this program provides an opportunity for early socialization, learning and stimulation for your baby. Parents & Caregivers will meet others to share their experiences, make friendships and offer support to one another. Weekly parenting topics will be discussed. 45 minute class.

Mommy & Me: For children 12 months & older, this program is an ideal first step in a preschool environment for your child, with the reassurance of “someone special” by their side. This is a transitional program that supports caregiver and child as they move towards separation. Caregivers are welcome. 1 ½ hour class.

Stay & Play Separation Class: For children turning 2 between January-June 2015, this class offers a warm and nurturing experience where children are encouraged to explore, create and grow alongside their peers in an intimate setting. Our program offers a gradual separation for those who need it and a drop-off for those who are ready. This is a stepping-stone into our 2’s program beginning the upcoming school year. 1 ½ hour class, twice a week.

Two Year Old Program: 9:30am-12:30pm. We begin with a concentration on developing the process of separation. While supporting the child through this sometimes 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 children, gradually guiding each child toward group activities. Our two year olds have great fun in their initial school experience. They have varied opportunities to further develop, expand, and strengthen fine and gross motor skills. They begin to hone their social skills by experiencing social interaction with peers and adults. They also begin to build a foundation of knowledge and vocabulary through a variety of Jewish and secular experiences.

Three Year Old Program: 9:30am-1:30pm. We 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 children through their day. Teachers watch closely and take advantage of opportunities to extend the play and challenge children'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.

Pre-K Program: 9:30-2:30pm. Our four year olds embark on a yearlong learning adventure that includes progressively challenging language and math experiences, as well as science, social studies, technology and Jewish life activites . Our program is designed and aligned with NYS Common Core Learning Standards to prepare your child for Kindergarten. We continue to work toward developing fine and gross motor skills.  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.


We strive to accommodate your busy schedule and offer early drop-off and extended day for all students. Activities are tailored to match your child’s interests and can include playground time, crafts, games and music.

Weekly Specials
All classes participate in the following weekly programs:

Learning our Letters - As director of the ECLC, Michelle is directly responsible for this program. Being the facilitator enables her to develop a personal relationship with each child. This weekly program focuses on promoting phonological awareness and building letter identification in a fun, educational way.

Library - As part of own Lifelong Learning Commitment, retired educators from our temple community volunteer to be weekly readers in this program. Children have an opportunity to hear a story, complete an activity related to the story, and borrow a library book to share with their families.

Music - Music is an integral part of our program. Children have an opportunity to use musical and rhythm instruments and sing and dance to the beat each week.  The music curriculum consists of songs written in Hebrew and English.  As each holiday approaches - both Jewish and secular - children learn relevant songs and often put on performances for their families.   

Movement – We believe our small group movement classes are a critical 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.

ECLC Upcoming Events  
February 2016
March 2016
03/24 to 03/25 - ECLC Closed
April 2016
04/22 -  ECLC Closed
04/25 -  ECLC Closed
May 2016
05/27 -  ECLC Closed
June 2016
06/16 -  ECLC Last Day

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