Penn Family Early Childhood Center



from Pamela B. Schwartz, Director

At the Penn Family Early Childhood Center at Park Avenue Synagogue, we believe that young children's learning process is active and creative. We provide a warm, nurturing atmosphere where individual differences are accepted and valued. When children have healthy social interactions with their peers and trusting relationships with their teachers, they have greater confidence to try new experiences. Language is the foundation of all our units of study. We help children expand their ability to express themselves, taking into consideration each child's level of oral language development. Our flexible curriculum, with a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities, enhances children's learning.  

Our program incorporates a wide variety of hands-on activities that stimulate curiosity and creative expression. Play, both individual and in groups, is the gateway to a young child's learning. Our teachers encourage the development of thinking skills and problem-solving in the context of children's play. 

Judaism provides the foundation for daily life in the Penn Family ECC. The values of friendship, kindness (hesed), helping others (tzedakah), and taking care of the world (tikkun olam) infuse all our conversations. Jewish stories inspire higher-level questioning and thinking. Celebrating Jewish holidays and culture, singing Hebrew songs, and living according to Jewish values, we integrate Jewish experiences with every aspect of learning. The celebration of Shabbat brings each week to a joyful conclusion.

In addition to three teachers in each classroom, music and movement specialists, an occupational therapist, a speech and language consultant and a school psychologist support the program.

For information about applying for the 2019-2020 school year, please click "How to Apply" on the left.

For more information about the Penn Family Early Childhood Center, please call Pamela Schwartz at 212-369-2600, x151. Click here and scroll down to meet Pamela.