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Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC)

Please call our office at 212-249-5001 for more information on admission for Temple Israel ECLC 2020-2021 .  Students must be 2 years old by August 31 to enter school in September.

Welcome to the ECLC! We are excited to share more with you about our program and our commitment to innovative, child-centered and play-based learning.

The Temple Israel ECLC provides a warm and welcoming learning environment for children between the ages of two and five years old. We strongly believe that a child’s early experience in school should cultivate a love of learning and nurture the development of foundational skills across the cognitive, social, emotional and physical domains.

Philosophy and Mission Admissions Frequently Asked Questions|ECLC Parent Portal| Family Engagement Events

Philosophy and Mission

The child is at the center of all we do in the ECLC. Our goal is to nurture each child’s natural sense of curiosity, creativity and persistence and to help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to become independent and enthusiastic life-long learners.

Our philosophy and curriculum are based on our understanding that each child develops at an individual pace. We are deeply immersed in the developmental stages and needs of young children, and seek to create a secure and exciting place for children to expand their imagination and grow confident in their abilities. Every child participates in daily discovery based, hands-on learning experiences through a range of large group, small group and individual learning activities. Our classrooms are filled with play, art, music and literature; and our expert faculty works to help children develop the abilities to create, ask questions, problem solve, express themselves and work well with others.

Our curriculum is planned so that children are consistently exposed to the foundational concepts of literacy, math, writing, science and social studies in ways that are meaningful for them. This means that teachers build curricula around the interests of the children in the class, giving them the opportunity to co-construct along with their teachers.

Community and inclusion are values highlighted by building relationships for children, for our families and within the Temple. We offer opportunities for parents alone – and for families to come together outside of school hours for education, social programming and community service.


  • Warm, caring and highly trained faculty
  • Low child-staff ratio
  • Emergent Curriculum model
  • Print and literature rich classrooms
  • Gorgeous, sun-filled classrooms that open up onto outdoor play spaces


Please call our office at 212-249-5001 for more information.


Students must be 2 years old by August 31 to enter school in September.

Admissions Tours

Tours are a required step in our admissions process. We schedule them for October – November at 9:15am and they are for parents only. During this approximately 90 minute meeting, you will have the opportunity to meet with our Director, as well as a current parent and member of our clergy team. It is a comprehensive tour that should give you a sense of who we are as a school and as a community.

Although both parents are not required to attend the tour, we do need to meet all custodial parents as part of this process. Parents that are not available for the tour should plan to be there for the Admissions play visit in January or February.


Applications are due by November 22, 2019. We do have an early notification program for ECLC siblings and for families who have been members of Temple Israel for more than 2 years. If you think you might qualify for this program, please contact our office.


Our fees for the 2019-2020 school year are below. There may be changes to class schedules and pricing for the 2020-2021 school year.

Young 2s 2 mornings/week 9am – 12pm $11,400
2s 3 mornings/week 9am – 12pm $16,300
Older 2/Young 3s 5 mornings/week 9am – 12pm $24,000
3s 5 days/week 9am – 1pm
(Fridays until 12pm)
Young 4s 5 days/week 9am – 2pm
(Fridays until 12pm)
4s/5s 5 days/week 9am – 2:30pm
(Fridays until 12pm)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine who is accepted to the preschool?
We strive to create classrooms balanced on several factors – including gender, age and personality. Priority consideration is given to siblings of current and alumni students, as well as long-time Temple members.

Do you have to be a member of Temple Israel to attend?
You do not need to be a member to apply, but if you do come here, you will be required to join the synagogue.

Does my child need to be potty trained?
We do not expect entering 2s and young 3s to be potty trained. We are ready to assist you and your child in this process during your first year.

Do you provide snacks and lunch?
We provide some snack basics. Parents also sign up to provide “healthy snack” one or two weeks a year for your class. Lunches are brought from home.

Are you a nut-free school?
Like many schools, we do not allow nuts or foods made with nut products in our school. All foods provided by the school will be nut-free. However, since we cannot always be sure about the source of food that families bring in from home, we have a strict “no sharing” policy. Other food or environmental allergies or sensitivities are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

How do you determine in which class my child will be placed?
We look at the incoming class of children and group them generally by age, with consideration for gender mix and social dynamics. For children moving “up” from one classroom to another, we always group them in a class with some classmates from the previous year.

Will my children learn the ABCs and 123s at Temple Israel?
Yes! Though perhaps in a different way than you would expect them to learn. Our classrooms are immersed in print and literature, giving children constant exposure to letters and numbers. Tasks in the classroom will further that intellectual curiosity and growth. Research has proven that this more organic methodology is much more effective in fostering children who love learning and truly understand the math and language concepts we introduce.

We’re an Interfaith family and consider us more “spiritual” than religious. How “Jewish” is the school?
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and open community – both in the preschool and in the Temple. Our curriculum is Jewish in values, culture and holiday celebration, but appeals to a wide range of observance and spirituality.

What is the Parent community like?
Our parent community, like our school, is warm, supportive and diverse. Our Parents Association is committed to supporting every aspect of our school and our parent body. They organize a multitude of opportunities for parents, grandparents and siblings to be involved in the school and to build community themselves.

When it’s time to apply to Kindergarten, what type of support is offered?
In the spring before your final year in the school, we host a meeting to outline the process and walk through the various options and opportunities. A panel of parents who have already graduated from the ECLC are on hand to share insights, advice and suggestions. Our director meets with each family to discuss their child, their options and to help craft the application plan

Where do children go on to Kindergarten?
Our students go on to some of the most competitive public and independent schools in and around Manhattan. In the last few years, children have been accepted to a wide-variety of traditional and gifted and talented public schools, as well as Allen-Stevenson, Avenues, Bank Street, Birch Wathen Lenox, Browning, Buckley, Chapin, Columbia Grammar, Dalton, Dwight, Ethical Culture, Fieldston, Friends Seminary, Hewitt, Heschel, Horace Mann, Mandell, Nightingale-Bamford, Packer, Riverdale, Rodeph Sholom, St. Bernard’s, Spence, Town, Trevor Day School and Trinity.

More questions? Email us at or call us at 212-249-5001.


Mon, March 30 2020 5 Nisan 5780