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Early Childhood Center



JRC Early Childhood Center provides high-quality early childhood education, with relationships as the foundation of a nurturing, joyful, and stimulating environment that supports children’s unique abilities to explore through play in order to build positive self-esteem and successful patterns of learning and problem-solving, and to develop empathy and appreciation for others. By responding to diverse backgrounds and interests, the JRC Early Childhood Center gives children and families the opportunity to explore Jewish identity and ritual, and to build life-long foundations for learning. 

Early Childhood Class Descriptions 2020-2021

Early Childhood Enrollment for 2020-2021

About Our Program | Class Descriptions | Camp JRC 

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Register for Early Childhood

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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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: 2020-2021

3 - Day Preschool (3 years old by September)
5 - Day Preschool (3 or 4 years old by September)

Three and four-year-olds learn through play and exploration, and build positive self-esteem, successful patterns of learning and problem-solving, and empathy and appreciation for others. Teachers create a play based, developmental, emergent curriculum in partnership with the children’s interests and learning styles, and integrate literacy, math, science, art, music and movement into daily activities and projects. Children experience Jewish holidays and explore Judaic values throughout the year, and joyfully celebrate Shabbat each week.

3-Day Preschool:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tuition: 3-day (9/9/20-6/2/21) - $4500/yr

5-Day Preschool:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Tuition: 5-day (9/8/20-6/2/21) - $6200/yr

Time: 9:15am - 12:00pm

Preschool for Twos

(2 years old by September) 3 Day*


* Due to current recommendations on health precautions and size of gatherings, enrollment for 2-year-olds will be postponed until later in the school year. For more information, please contact Shelli Patt, Early Childhood Director, at

Two year-olds’ separation process is individualized to support the transition to preschool and the development of relationships with teachers and peers. 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. Through play, stories, and songs children explore Judaic themes and holidays, celebrate Shabbat each week, and participate in activities that support social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. 

Day: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Time: 9:15-11:45am

Tuition: 3-day (9/8/20-6/1/21) $3500/yr will be prorated to reflect start date

Additional Childcare* 

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

Early Bird Drop-Off (8:00-9:15) *
Lunch Extended Day (12:00-1:30) *

* Due to current DCFS requirements for grouping and staffing, Early Bird and Lunch Extended Day will not be offered at the beginning of this school year. Enrollment for these programs will be made available when conditions allow.

Parents can extend their child’s school day by registering for Early Bird Drop-Off and/or Lunch Extended Day. These programs provide children with the opportunity for additional play time and participation in extended projects and rotating activities focused on science, art, music, and movement.

Contact Shelli for more information


Camp JRC - In an abundance of caution, Canceled for Summer 2020

Summer program for 2.5-5 year olds

Summer fun at Camp JRC includes indoor and outdoor play in a multi-age group with familiar classrooms and friends, and is led by early childhood teachers. Children spend much of the day outside in our nature playground, participating in water play, movement and art activities, nature explorations, and social interaction. When the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activities, children play inside our Reggio-inspired classrooms, engaging in science, cooking, music, and other activities. 

Early Bird Drop Off and Lunch Extended Day options ARE available!

Dates:  In an abundance of caution, canceled for Summer 2020, Summer program for 2.5-5 year olds 

Time: 9:15am - Noon

Printable Class Descriptions

Download PDF

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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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Find Out More About JRC Early Childhood Center!

To find out more about JRC Early Childhood Center, and Preschool enrollment for Fall 2020, please contact Shelli Patt, Early Childhood Center Director, at

You can also view the preschool’s Facebook page at

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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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Tue, September 29 2020 11 Tishrei 5781