Early childhood learning is the centerpiece of JCCs nationally. Recognizing the latest research in child development, the JCC Association of North America (JCCA) developed Sheva, a program of excellence in Jewish early childhood education.

The JCC offers a caring and stimulating preschool environment. I love the child-centered approach.

JCC ELC parent
Happy child

Our Families Expect Excellence.

The JCC Early Learning Centers are proud to have been selected as one of four original Sheva Lab Communities by JCCA. This designation recognizes the ELCs as a national leader in Jewish early childhood education.


What is Sheva?

Sheva is an approach to learning rather than a curriculum. The approach recognizes that in order to offer excellence, you must hire and support excellence in your educators. With Sheva, learning is a team effort between staff, children and their families.

Sheva is built on the belief that each child is unique and important, that using a Jewish lens reveals universal values and that meaningful play is the work of early childhood.

Sheva is the Hebrew word for the number seven, and there are the seven core elements of our educational approach:

  1. Children as Constructivist Learners: Comprehensive child-led learning values and inspires the whole child.
  2. Early Childhood Directors as Visionaries: Our ELC leaders guide decisions in the best interest of children, parents and educators.
  3. Early Childhood Educators as Professionals: Our educators provoke wonder, nurture curiosity and engage the intellect of children, families and colleagues.
  4. Families as Engaged Partners: Families are highly valued and essential to creating an early learning experience with a focus on all aspects of a child’s development.
  5. Environments as Inspiration for Inquiry: Classrooms are happily inhabited by children whose ideas are valued and evident in classroom display.
  6. Discover: CATCH (taking care of our bodies): By employing a holistic approach to children’s health, we nurture a love of physical activity and encourage lifelong healthy eating habits.
  7. Israel as the Story of the Jewish People: We create a joyful approach to Judaism through celebrations, stories, and songs.

For children, parents and educators, our goal is for each day to be the best day ever. In this supportive environment, we believe that children and families thrive.

Teacher and children

Child-Directed Learning

See Sheva in action