AJCC Early Childhood Education FAQs
The following is a list of FAQs and answers, designed to give parents a quick reference point for topics relating to the ECE (and in some cases, the larger AJCC), its policies, and opportunities for parents and students outside of daily classroom learning.
ECE GENERAL INFO
You will learn about events via the ECE calendar (available at the front desk) and through Tadpoles. You will also find calendars of the current and subsequent months’ events hanging on the wall in the ECE lobby.
For students in the Pre-K program, the ECE hosts a “Pre-K celebration” at the end of the school year. During this fun and heartwarming event, each class performs a special series of songs in front of an audience of their family and friends. After the show, the classes gather on the playground for lunch, dessert, and a wonderful time celebrating a great year.
Do you have questions about anything relating to the ECE? Are you looking for ways to help out and volunteer? Are you looking to make some new friends with kids your kids’ ages? Beyond approaching the ECE staff and teachers, you can also reach out to your room parents or our ECE Committee Members. If you aren’t sure who to contact, inquire at the ECE front desk, and you’ll be pointed in the right direction.
IN THE CLASSROOMS
The ECE is so much more than just a place to learn – it is a welcoming, community-based environment where families become friends for life! Take advantage by volunteering, becoming a room representative and attending parents-only and family events.
While use of specific foods are determined on a class-by-class basis (depending on allergies), our general rule is that food brought into the ECE must follow our kashrut policy. This means that we do not allow any pork or shellfish. We also strongly encourage not mixing meat with milk within one dish (i.e. casserole). Please note that this rule not only applies to the classroom, but to events/parties at the pool and playground, as well.
- Parents are welcome to commemorate their child/children’s birthday in class, with teacher approval. Lower sugar snacks (i.e. fruit, popsicles, etc. are encouraged, and celebrations should be low-key (i.e. no balloons or decorations).
- Please note that while the ECE does celebrate Thanksgiving, we do not celebrate non-Jewish holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. Please do not send your child to school with items celebrating these holidays (i.e. Halloween costumes or Valentine’s Day cards).
At their discretion, room representatives might reach out to ask for financial contributions toward teacher gifts, staff appreciation month, class parties, etc. Typically, money is collected twice a year – once in December, and once at the end of the year. Suggested amounts vary, but tend to range between $10 and $30. It is not a requirement! If you don’t know who your room representative is, please ask your teacher.
Each month, two to three classes are paired up to lead Staff Appreciation. Room representatives will oversee collection of funds and coordination of that month’s event (ideas and help are always welcome).
The ECE’s biggest fundraisers give parents the option of buying their child/children pizza and/or pasta (plus drinks and a side) for lunch on Mondays & Fridays. We’re always looking for adult volunteers to help out – it’s a quick and easy (and very much appreciated!) job that only takes about an hour; plus, volunteers get to have lunch with their child!
The Scholastic Book Fair occurs annually, typically in November or December. Lasting throughout the week, all AJCC visitors have the opportunity to shop a wide variety of books and gifts while supporting the ECE. One night during book fair week, the ECE hosts a PJ Party, a free nighttime event where students and their families get to shop, eat, and hear stories read by parents – all while wearing their pajamas!
Our fundraising falls under two distinct categories:
- Fundraising that directly benefits the ECE to support learning and programming include: Galas, Pizza Mondays & Pasta Fridays, Scholastic Book Fair (and monthly sales), purchasing a frame with their child/children’s photo during the spring semester; opportunity drawings, Dine Out Night at local restaurants, etc.
- Fundraising for outside organizations (i.e. Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Cycles for Smiles, and weekly tzedakah collection). This fundraising is part of our tzedakah (literally meaning justice, but commonly referring to charity and generosity) – based teaching, where we guide students toward a life of helping others and performing good deeds.
JCC GENERAL INFO
The AJCC offers a wide variety of classes for children and adults daily, including (but not limited to) swimming, karate, dance, soccer, and basketball. For selections, times, and prices, please grab a brochure from around the facility, or refer to the AJCC website. The AJCC also offers an outstanding summer camp for children grades K and up – information is available beginning in the spring.
Kids’ Night Out allows parents once a month to leave their child/children with our ECE Staff, along with other similar-aged friends, for up to four hours on a Saturday night! There are two tiers – one at the pre-school level, and one for children grades K-8. Parents can sign up for as many months as they want at the ECE front desk.