Play. Learn. Grow
At BTEE Early Childhood Center we believe that a high-quality early childhood program should promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children in a safe and nurturing environment that responds to families’ needs.
Every child in the BTEE Early Childhood Center is a unique person with his or her own pattern and timing of growth, personality, learning style and family background. Our teachers use this knowledge to create an environment that meets each child’s developmental abilities, while still challenging their interests and understanding.
Play is how children learn and grow—physically, emotionally and socially. Children learn by thinking about and interacting with materials, ideas and people, and child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported play is the foundation of our program.
Children learn self-control when adults treat them with dignity and make expectations clear. The BTEE Early Childhood Center staff uses positive techniques of guidance such as redirection, anticipation and elimination of potential problems, positive reinforcement and encouragement. Consistent, clear rules are explained to children in ways they can understand. Limits are set in an environment with a minimum of “No”s, particularly for very young children, and we nurture self-esteem by respecting, accepting and comforting children regardless of their behavior.
We believe that responding quickly and directly to children’s needs and desires helps them to know that they are understood. Children acquire communication skills through hearing and using language and, as teachers, we listen and respond to what they say. Teachers facilitate children’s successful completion of tasks by providing support, attention and verbal encouragement. Through the use of dictations in the classroom, we teach children that their words are valued and we encourage their skills of observation and communication.
Encouraging children’s cooperation and other positive social behaviors, such as helping, taking turns and talking to solve problems, is one of our program’s primary goals. These behaviors are fostered through modeling and encouragement. Through an emphasis on mitzvot, such as bringing food for the food bank and coins for the tzedakah box on Shabbat, we also incorporate the teaching of Jewish values into our curriculum.
Our staff helps make children comfortable, relaxed, happy and involved in play and other activities. We understand and expect that, at times, children will express strong emotions such as anger, frustration and sadness, and all children are encouraged to verbalize their feelings and ideas. While pre-verbal children will naturally communicate physically, staff members redirect their actions constructively and encourage verbal expression.
At Burbank Temple Emanu El we value our community of parents and feel that it is their right and responsibility to share in the decisions about the care and education of their children. We encourage parents to observe and to participate and parents are always welcome to visit the school. Opportunities for parents to participate include attending PTA meetings, helping in the classroom, volunteering as mystery readers, joining us for Shabbat, chaperoning field trips, and participating in holiday programs.