JCC Rockland has opened a new full-day Deborah Koenig Early Childhood Program for children from 6 weeks to 4 years old.
The privately funded program officially opened last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome 23 children, from infants to age 3, who live in Rockland, White Plains and Tuxedo.
“We found there was a need for a full-day early childcare program out there with a Jewish flavor to it,” said Eliza Millman, Chief Operating Officer of JCC Rockland. “It’s really exciting to be starting this program that provides the best in child developmental practices infused with Jewish values.”
The program is open to all children regardless of faith, though it is modeled on JCC values and philosophy.
The program is designed to meet the needs of working parents and those seeking a full-day option for childcare, and runs daily from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Many synagogues have half-day child care and nursery school options, but Millman said that to their knowledge, theirs is the only full-day Jewish early childhood program in Rockland County.
The staff includes seven teachers led by Director Miriam Pedler and administrator Susan Wasser.
Interested parents should call the JCC at 845-362-4400 x178 for more information and tuition rates.
More from JCC organizers: The educational approach will be a “whole child” one, focusing on strengthening children socially, intellectually, emotionally and physically, while providing warm, nurturing care. The program will run year-round, with children transitioning to Camp J-Land for the summer, which will be included in the 12-month tuition. And while Jewish in flavor, it will not be a religious program, but rather one that is open and inclusive.
Early Childhood programs are a mainstay of JCCs around the country. According to the JCC Association, an umbrella organization serving the interests of JCCs, 160 JCCs in North America offer childcare programs. JCC Rockland opened in 1988, and historically has not offered such programs out of deference to the synagogues, which in Rockland County have traditionally been the ones to offer childcare and nursery school programs.