Early Childhood Center

A Welcome from the Director

Shalom!  I am so excited to begin our partnership in the role of Director of the BJBE’s Early Childhood Center at the Chava Center.  I come to BJBE with a variety of experiences in early childhood, having served as Nature Educator, Lead Learner and Classroom teacher at Moriah Early Childhood Center.   Over the years, I have had the honor of presenting at national and local early childhood conferences as well as leading a variety of parent education programs.   Prior to entering the field of early childhood, I utilized the Master’s in Social Work I had earned at Jane Addams in my roles as Youth Outreach and Family Educator at the Village of Niles and as an adolescent social worker with Omni Youth Services.  Early in my professional life, I served as the Director of Youth and Family Programming for the Hyde Park JCC.  My undergraduate degree in Psychology was earned from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  In addition to my professional involvement, I have been an active volunteer in the Deerfield community.  I serve as Chairperson of the Manpower Commission for the Village of Deerfield, the co-President of the District113 Education Foundation, and am a member of the Boards of Parents.The Anti-Drug and my synagogue.  I live in Deerfield with my husband Dave, our three children – Matthew (who is studying at Michigan State University), Jonathan (a senior at Deerfield High School) and Allison (a freshperson at DHS), and our dog, Dunkin.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of the tradition of excellence at BJBE.  As an educator, a community member, and a mom I strive to forge partnerships with the aim of supporting, nurturing and educating each member of our community.  With a Jewish foundation and the best practices in early childhood education as guides, it is my aim to create an environment where each child can grow to be his or her best self.

I look forward to partnering with each of you,

B’Shalom,

Susie

ECC Programs Offered


Early Childhood Programs offered at BJBE’s Chava Center

At BJBE, we believe children are capable and creative individuals.   Each child is encouraged to be their best self.  A foundation of strong relationships allows each child to develop socially, emotionally and cognitively at their own development level.  Our children gain self-confidence and problem solving capabilities as their ideas and observations are validated within the classroom community.  Using the Jewish calendar as a guide, our staff follows best practices in early childhood education to create a high quality Jewish school. Inspired by the teaching practice of Reggio-Emilia Italy, children and teachers are partners in the learning process where children help to create the curriculum in the classroom based on their curiosity and interests. 

 Parent/Tot: This program offers toddlers the opportunity to learn and explore in an environment that enhances all areas of development including social/emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor. The structure of the class gives toddlers a “snap-shot” of the preschool experience. This weekly seventy-five minute class weaves Judaic values, traditions and songs into each class session which includes a short circle time for songs, finger-plays and instruments, and time to explore all learning areas of the classroom including art, dramatic play, manipulatives, and block play, sensory and gross motor activities. 

2 Year Old Program With a trusting relationship between students and teachers providing a foundation for exploration, this introduction to school program allows for growth and development of socialization and independence in a warm and nurturing environment.  Activities are designed to stimulate curiosity and engage early learners based on best practices in early childhood research.  The morning’s structure allows for a circle time, free play, fine and gross motor activities that encourage developmentally appropriate growth. Jewish holidays, customs and traditions are explored including weekly Shabbat celebrations with challah-baking, visits to the sanctuary, song sessions and traditional blessings.  Families can opt for a 2 day/week or 3 day/week program.

3 and 4 Year Old Preschool Programs: These programs foster independence and encourage creativity in a warm, nurturing and supportive environment. Teachers develop a child-inspired curriculum in the classroom while integrating all areas of development including social/emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor into the routine of the morning.  The children act as explorers in the learning process and create ongoing individual and group projects. Children in these programs receive all readiness skills to assure a successful transition to kindergarten. Children continue to build on their prior knowledge of Jewish holidays, customs and traditions, and celebrate Shabbat each week by baking challah, visiting our clergy in the sanctuary and singing and reciting the traditional Sabbath blessings.  Families of 3 year olds can opt for a 3 day/week 4 day/week or 5 day/week program.  Families of 4 year olds (junior kindergarten) can opt for a 5 day/week or 4 day/week afternoon program.

For all programs, age requirements are based on the child being the appropriate age by September 1st.

Lunch and Enrichment

Extend your child’s day in a warm, nurturing and enriching setting. Children may participate in a variety of classes led by Chava Center staff and community programs, with the opportunity to register for new offerings each semester.

 Children may extend their day by enrolling in the lunch program until 1:00 pm.

3 year olds and 4 year olds may extend their day to 1:45pm or 2:30pm with an on-site Enrichment class.

Summer Camp

Fun in the Sun with Friends Summer Camp

Fun in the Sun with Friendsat the Chava Center is designed to provide your child with experiences geared towards the outdoors while encouraging creativity, curiosity and socialization in a warm and nurturing Jewish environment. Our teachers integrate all areas of development including social/emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor into the daily activities. The program’s eight-week curriculum includes weekly summer-themed activities; past themes have included  “Under the Sea,” “Let’s Be Friends”,  “Stars and Stripes,” “It’s Good to Be Green,” “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs,” and a “Wacky Week.

2 year old (2 day/week or 3 day/week options)

Designed to provide the support for a first time transition, this program allows for socialization and independence while having fun exploring summer themes. The structure of the morning includes circle time, free play, fine and gross motor activities that encourage developmentally appropriate growth. Children participate in a water play, exploring water tables and running through sprinklers. Shabbat is celebrated each week with challah, blessings, and songs.

3 year old (3 day/week or 4 day/week options)

Children experience a multitude of activities that revolve around the weekly themes while enjoying time with friends. Children experiment through their senses as they learn about the world around them through art, music, drama and active play. Water play is a key component of our outdoor experiences.  In-house “field trips” are brought to school as part of our summer fun.   Each Friday we celebrate Shabbat with challah, blessings, songs and a visit to the sanctuary.  Please provide a Kosher-style, nut-free lunch each day for your child. 

4 year old (3 day/week or 4 day/week options)

Building on the experiences of the school year, children explore activities that revolve around the weekly themes while enjoying time with friends. Children experiment through their senses as they learn about the world around them through art, music, drama and active play. Water play is a key component of our outdoor experiences.  In-house “field trips” are brought to school as part of our summer fun.  Twice during the summer, parents will join us for an off-site field trip to a local activity.   Each Friday we celebrate Shabbat with challah, blessings, songs and a visit to the   sanctuary.  Please provide a Kosher-style, nut-free lunch each day for your child.