Shalom Children’s Center Early Childhood Programs
The mission of Shalom Children’s Center is to raise each child to form a community of peace. We serve our community by developing positive self-awareness and self-esteem in our children, while fostering an understanding of each child’s interconnectedness with the rest of the world.
A Community of Peace
Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, and it is this vision of a harmonious world that we strive to build with our children. We celebrate Jewish culture and draw from a code of ethics that teaches us to respect and care for the earth and all of its inhabitants. Children, families, and teachers are connected through a circle of care and respect, which expands to the broader world of all human life and nature. While we explore Jewish traditions together, we also honor and learn from the diverse experiences and traditions of all who participate in our program.
Children as Constructivist Learners
Children are natural learners. A Jewish expression of values emphasizes that teachers inspire children to question their world and appreciate multiple perspectives. Based on an image of the child as a competent and capable learner full of potential, teachers and children engage in research as a way of co-constructing knowledge. When children are agents of their own learning, they build life-long critical thinking skills and are more deeply invested in the process.
Our approach to learning consists of engaging the children in exciting explorations of developmentally appropriate ideas and concepts to encourage learning across multiple disciplines. Children offer input, raise questions, and work together to solve problems. Through discussions, experiences, and materials, the children’s ideas and interests emerge into thematic play demonstrated in learning centers. This is called the “emergent inquiry” approach to learning.
We immerse the children in a literacy rich environment, using books to reinforce their ability to propose and carry out their own research, and offering numerous opportunities for written and verbal self expression. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, maths) learning is interwoven into the learning environment through open-ended materials and hands-on experiences. Innovation, creativity, problem-solving and social skills are fostered where children and adults engage together in a brave space where we can all work together to create meaning and allow for the growth that comes with taking risks and making mistakes.
Hilde’s House Infant & Toddler classrooms
Babies and toddlers ages 6 weeks to two years old learn, grow, and thrive in our cozy, home-like care setting. Full-time enrollment options available.
2’s, 3’s and Pre-K classrooms
Children ages 2-5 years of age are provided opportunities to engage and grow with a supportive learning community.
Levi’im (little lions) – older toddler/twos
Taglit (discovery) – 2-3 year olds
Olam Echad (one world) – 2-3 year olds
Reim (friends) – 3-4 year olds
Teva (nature) – 3-4 year olds
Ahava Pre-k (love) – 4-5 year olds
Keshet Pre-k (rainbow) – 4-5 year olds
Children are placed in an age-appropriate cohort upon enrollment, and move up to the next classroom with their age group at the beginning of each new school year. Full-time and part-time enrollment options available.
Unique offerings in our curriculum include:
- Child-centered indoor and outdoor learning environments
- Gardening in our children’s garden, including planting and harvesting activities, soil exploration, seed saving, environmental stewardship, and cooking what we’ve grown
- Hands-on activities and lessons incorporating Jewish holidays and festivals
- Weekly group swim lessons (for 3-5 year old classrooms)
Contact our Early Childhood Department at 828-253-0701.