About Our School
Our thoughtfully prepared learning environments reflect the children’s interests and challenge their mastery of emergent skills. Our rooms are set up in learning centers that allow self-directed, small group play. Additionally, teachers plan guided learning experiences that develop skill building and comprehension. A love of learning flourishes in an inviting setting that is safe, nurturing and stimulating. We have developed reassuring routines that promote the development of social, emotional and physical skills.
- Our Staff
- Our Facility
- Learning Philosophy
- Curriculum and Standards
- Jewish Learning
- Afterschool Enrichments and Vacation Camp
Here at the Blaustein Early Childhood Center (BECC) we work on building partnerships with families. We know that you are entrusting us with your most precious gifts. While your children are here, they will be in the loving care of our experienced and enthusiastic teachers. You will find a picture and short bio outside of every room so you can learn a little bit about more our amazing staff. We look forward to learning about you as well.
When you choose the Blaustein Early Childhood Center for your child, you’re choosing a school within an incredible facility. Yoga in the gym, planting in the garden, exploring the campgrounds, swimming in the pools, and specials throughout the multipurpose rooms in the building make our school experience different and exciting. We use all of the indoor and outdoor facilities to enhance learning, playing and growing. We suggest wearing sneakers and socks daily, as they are safer and more comfortable for use in the playground and gym. We have two indoor heated swimming pools that are used year round by our children. Beginning with our Toddler Program, children will have instructional and recreational swim time. The pool and surrounding area are heated to comfortable levels and children enjoy the shallow water with Red Cross certified water safety instructors. Children will need a swimsuit and towel on the days that they use our pool. Children who use swim diapers will require plastic swim pants as well.
A child’s early school years are incredibly important as they work on emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. Our goals are to support each child along that journey. We value play as an important component of learning, so we plan and encourage activities for children that inspire curiosity and a sense of wonder. They learn how to interact with their teachers, play with their peers and discover what they are interested in as they develop their individual personalities. We recognize that each child has their own timetable for development. Our program provides an environment that stimulates learning and social growth within the framework of each child’s developmental needs. We believe children thrive in a safe, nurturing, healthy and respectful environment with teachers that are well trained in child development. Our child-centered curriculum integrates literacy, mathematical thinking, science, social skills as well as gross and fine motor development into all parts of your child’s day. Children are given opportunities to make choices, to work together cooperatively and to express themselves in many ways.
Our program is shaped by the NJ State Core Standards for Infants, Toddlers and Preschool aged children. Below is a list of some common goals we have while working with your child. For more information on the standards we use to guide our practice, you can visit: http://www.nj.gov/education/ece/guide/standards.pdf
- We believe that young children are capable and competent. Our work is to discover individual strengths and enhance learning through a variety of topics and themes that expand upon those skills.
- We encourage children to try and accomplish tasks on their own before asking for help so that they can begin to feel a sense of confidence and pride in their achievements. Everyone has something that makes them unique and special. Our work here is to celebrate that together.
- Relationships are central to our program and to the success of each child. Each of our teachers work to create a comfortable, loving, respectful relationship with each student. Additionally, teachers work to develop and nurture positive social relationships within the classroom. Similarly, strong and open relationships between teachers, directors, and families are vital.
In each of our classrooms you will find:
- Manipulatives (small table toys) that help children learn about abstract concepts in concrete ways. These toys can also help with math skills like sorting and counting, or science skills like balance and weight.
- Art expressed in a variety of ways. We work with children to ensure that the experience is about the process of creation and not just the end product. We use a variety of materials that offer different sensory and visual experiences.
- Dramatic play areas that support imagination and exploration with open ended materials like blocks, babies, and kitchen foods. Often you will find a teacher in that area asking questions, scaffolding play, and encouraging teamwork.
- Quiet space that gives time away from the noisy excitement that sometimes happens with lots of playing and lots of kids. This area may change throughout the day and during the course of the school year to reflect the children’s growing needs for rest or quiet time.
- Lots and lots of books, posters, labels, and other materials that support emergent literacy in the classroom. Although we are not focusing specifically on phonics, learning to read is supported through the curriculum and the classroom environment.
The Blaustein Early Childhood Center welcomes children of all religious backgrounds, nationalities and cultures. We recognize that many of the children in our program are not Jewish; the foundational ideas of kindness, respect and responsibility for one another are the types of Jewish values we teach. We welcome children and families of other beliefs and denominations, and believe that children learn from one another. Understanding that people have different beliefs is an important concept for children, and it is openly discussed and validated in the classroom.
Curricula also emphasizes “tzedakah,” the Hebrew word for “doing good deeds” and sharing with those less fortunate than us. Our yearlong commitment to tzedakah will be structured around activities that emphasize acts of kindness not only to their classmates and teachers, but also to the outside community. We celebrate Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) every Friday with a school wide celebration and sing-a-long. Throughout the year we will learn about Jewish holidays by discussing the stories and traditions. Jewish holidays provide opportunities for learning through many different kinds of activities such as cooking, costumes, and crafts.
A variety of after school enrichment classes are offered during the school year. Our offerings can change, and some typical classes include: Dance, Karate, Sports and Nature. There are additional charges for participating in these programs. During Winter, Spring, and June breaks, there are camp programs available from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Prior registration is required. There are additional charges for participating in these programs.