Early Childhood Center


The JRC Early Childhood Center provides a nurturing and stimulating environment to support children’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth. 

Class Descriptions | About Our Program | Being a JRC Member | Visit Us | Save Money

Register for Early Childhood

Program Year

Our September through June classes run for 36 weeks with two vacation weeks in December and one week in the spring. 

Class Descriptions: 2019-2020

Sprout Shabbat Morning Program

Birth–2 years

This class provides time for toddlers and parent/caregiver to spend a relaxing morning together in a warm, stimulating setting, with other children and a nurturing teacher. Art experiences, songs, and stories are offered, as well as an opportunity for exploration and play in a classroom and playroom. Jewish holiday songs and Judaic theme activities are introduced. This class offers a great opportunity for families to meet each other and share experiences. Shabbat is celebrated each week. 

Day: Fridays

Time: 9:30-11:00am

Class size: 6-10 children with caregivers & one teacher

Tuition: $888


2 years old by September 

Parent/caregiver and child attend together at the beginning of the year until children feel secure and comfortable in the classroom and with their teachers. We then begin a gradual and respectful separation process. We introduce Judaic themes and holidays through simple songs, play activities, finger-play, process-art experiences, stories and puppets. We celebrate Shabbat every Thursday with challah, songs and movement. 

Day: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Time: 9:30-11:45am

Class Size: 6-14 children with two to three teachers

Tuition: $3,120


3 years old by September

Social interaction and exploration through play are emphasized. Jewish holidays become the framework for an immersion in a rich, nurturing environment for experimentation with dramatic play props, art materials, literature, music and movement. Our classroom activities develop in partnership with the children’s interests and learning styles. We celebrate Shabbat each week on Friday morning with our JRC clergy.

Day: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Time: 9:30am-Noon

Class size: 10-16 children with two to three teachers

Tuition: $4,500


4 years old by September

Social interaction and exploration through play are emphasized. Judaic values and themes are woven into a stimulating environment giving children the time and support to develop their own interests and ideas. Children’s peer relationships and their relationship to the larger community are nurtured through projects, exploration and dramatic play. The children’s growing interest and experimentation with reading and writing are supported with diverse materials and a rich environment of children’s literature. Children participate in our monthly intergenerational program, and the class celebrates a joyful Shabbat each week with our JRC clergy. 

Day: Monday through Friday

Time: 9:15am-Noon

Class size: 10-20 children with two to three teachers

Tuition: $6,200

Additional Childcare 

Additional childcare is open to all enrolled preschoolers, Monday through Friday.

Early Bird 
8:00am till the beginning of class - $10 per day

Lunch Enrichment
Lunch programs have seperate registration forms and payments. Parents provide lunch

Learn About Enrichment Classes

Camp JRC

Summer program for 3-5 year olds

Camp JRC offers a fun, creative and educational program for your children during the summer. Each day will combine indoor and outdoor exploration activities and is designed to help develop an appreciation of nature and to learn about our environment. Teachers will alternate active and quiet play time that will include art, cooking, games, water and sand play, science, stories and singing.

Dates: June 8 - July 24

Time: 9:15am - Noon


Registration for Summer 2020/5780 coming Spring 2020

Printable Class Descriptions

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About our Program

The JRC Early Childhood Center provides a nurturing and stimulating environment to support children’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth.

Everyone is Welcome 

Classroom activities are developed by early childhood professionals who are in tune with our children and their families, and who are responsive to their diverse needs and interests. Our students and families come from all walks of life and diverse family structures. 


Based on Progressive Jewish Values

Judaic values and traditions are woven into daily activities of fun, experimentation, creative play, and discovery. Jewish holidays and festivals provide a framework for exploration throughout the year, integrating traditions that promote kindness, giving, and justice. Through this exploration in our program—in activity centers, with art materials, songs, movement, playmates, teachers, parents, nature, and more—your child can construct the knowledge to interpret new experiences, develop Jewish identity, and, with their families, build a foundation for lifelong learning.

Relationship-Based Program

At JRC, our classroom practice is based on strong relationships with our students and families. Parents and family members are integrated into their child's preschool experience. Teachers rely on relationships with each other as education professionals to create a compassionate, safe, respectful environment in which children can thrive. The relationship between the Early Childhood program and the JRC community is a vital one, and Early Childhood registration includes membership in the congregation. Students and families can build a relationship with the Rabbi and Cantor as well as other members of JRC. 

Reggio Emilia-Inspired

Children learn in an environment  that is designed to foster exploration, inquiries, and curiosity using an emergent curriculum based on ideas and inspiration from the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  


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All of Our Early Childhood Families are Members of Our Congregation

Our intergenerational community embraces diversity, mutual support, heartfelt communication, and the incorporation of Jewish values and traditions in everyday modern life. JRC is proud to count all Early Childhood families as part of that community.

Financial pledges are an individual choice, and your contributions support not just the Early Childhood Center, but also important progressive programming and social justice initiatives. By supporting the congregation, we hope you will feel a sense of belonging in a vibrant, active community.

Some of the benefits of membership include: 

  • Access to JRC’s clergy for life cycle events for you and your immediate family, such as baby naming ceremonies 
  • The ability to make tuition payments and donations in our secure online system
  • Eligibility to enroll your children in JRC's Religious School for Pre-K through High School students 
  • Free High Holiday tickets for the adults in your household (children don’t need tickets) and children's programming during services
  • Invitations to festive social occasions, like our annual Hanukkah family service and potluck, kid friendly concerts, and summer beach Shabbat services
  • Parents are encouraged to join committees and social justice task forces. You’re also eligible for election to our Board of Directors and have voting rights

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Schedule your tour of our Early Childhood Center today! 

One of the best ways to make decisions about an early childhood program is to visit the classrooms and spend time talking with the teachers and the director.  If you would like to schedule a visit, please contact Shelli Patt, Early Childhood Center Director, at [email protected] or 847-328-7678, x2227. 

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Save Money through JUF Gift Vouchers

If you are enrolling your child in a Jewish Early Childhood Program, you may be eligible for a JUF Gift Voucher, ranging from $500 to $2,000, depending on how many days per week your child attends. The gift vouchers are made possible by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Learn More and Apply

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JRC Early Childhood Center

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Our enriching and diverse preschool program is based on progressive Jewish values, is open to families of all religious backgrounds, and focuses on the importance of relationships between students, teachers, and families. 

Early Childhood Center Registration


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The Religious School provides JRC children with the building blocks they need to engage throughout their lives in Jewish exploration, community and activism.

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The Green Synagogue and the Pillars of Chai


In 2008, we built the first platinum LEED-certified green synagogue in North America. The construction required 18 pillars - the number in Hebrew that also means "chai" or "life." 

Now, more than ten years later, JRC has launched the Pillars of Chai Campaign to raise $4.4m to wholly own our beloved building. 


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