Youth & Family

Preschool

Ages 18 months – 5 years
early childhood youth and family playspace

Overview

The Edlavitch DCJCC Preschool fosters a nurturing environment of open-ended exploration and growth that deepens our connections to our community, to Judaism, and to the world around us.

Intended to accommodate your family’s needs and schedules, our program provides a day full of learning and fun for children ages 18 months–5 years, year-round, from 7:45 AM–4:15 PM with the additional option of aftercare until 6:00 PM.

Conviently located near the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods, we are accessible by all major public transit and within walking distance to playgrounds, and much more. Our recently-renovated 1926 historic five-story, 60,000 square foot building features an indoor heated pool, 2 theaters, a dance studio, fitness center, classrooms, and more. All preschool families are provided free Fitness Center membership as part of their enrollment.

“It’s a fun and loving community that fosters a feeling of care for all the children here.”

See what makes the EDCJCC Preschool so special.

Child-Centered Learning

We are proud of our commitment to a child-centered, play-based, emergent curriculum that promotes a collaborative learning environment and prioritizes children’s interests and curiosity. 

We incorporate Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and Jewish values into our curriculum, but we also respect the diversity of our families. Music, art, yoga, outdoor time, and gross motor play are a regular part of our learning.

Admissions

Accepting applications for all future school years. Limited spots available for the current school year.

Miram SzubinDirector of Preschool Admissions
(202) 777-3263

FAQs

General Information

Our Preschool begins with our 18-24 month class and goes through Pre-K (five years old). We typically take children starting in September or January after they turn 18 months.

The EDCJCC Preschool is open Monday–Friday, 7:45 AM–6:00 PM. The core tuition covers the school day from 7:45 AM–4:30 PM, and aftercare is available for an additional fee until 6:00 PM. The school year runs from September through mid-August.

We are open five days a week. Our core school day runs from 8:45 AM–4:30 PM, and then parents have the option to extend the day to 6:00 PM on as many days as needed, for an additional fee. The Early Room morning program (7:45 AM–8:45 AM) is included in your regular tuition. We do not offer a part-time pricing model but you are welcome to pick your child up early at any point or keep them home as needed.

Children must be walked into the building, brought to their classroom (or the Early Room), and signed in by their parent or caregiver. There is a parking lot on the east side of the EDCJCC on Q Street that has designated spaces for drop-off and pick-up. You may also park in front of the building in the designated drop-off area for up to fifteen minutes at a time. For our many families that walk here or take public transportation, we offer full-day stroller parking inside the building.

No. We understand that most 18-24 month olds and two-year-olds and many three-year-olds are not yet toilet trained. When your child is ready, we work closely with the parent and child to toilet train the child in a consistent, calming, encouraging manner. We celebrate success and keep a positive upbeat attitude when the child has an “accident.”

A Family Fitness Membership is included with your tuition! Your family will have access to all of the fitness facilities—pool, gymnasium, locker rooms, fitness center—and a wide range of group exercise classes free to Fitness Members. Your EDCJCC membership also gives you substantial discounts on Camp, Child and Caregiver classes, films, plays, and other programs.

The Edlavitch DCJCC takes security concerns very seriously. We have a full-time Security Director on site and a trained Crisis Management Team. Our Security Director constantly monitors situations that would affect the safety and security of our children and makes plans accordingly. We have evacuation and emergency response systems in place to best protect the students and staff in our program. We conduct periodic fire/evacuation/security drills for the entire building, including the Preschool.

The only way to enter the EDCJCC during school hours is through the entrance on Q Street. Parents must use their ID to enter the building, to enter the Preschool wing, and to enter each classroom. Only Preschool families and staff have access to the Preschool wing.

We have Jewish, interfaith and non-Jewish families in our school. We welcome all children, regardless of religion, race, family type or cultural background. We have many different types of families at the EDCJCC. We are proud of the diversity of the students and their families as we feel it strengthens the program and the children’s development.

The Preschool will be closed for the following Jewish holidays:

  • Rosh Hashanah (2 days)
  • Yom Kippur (1 day, with a 1pm closing the day before)
  • Sukkot (1 day)
  • Simchat Torah (1 day)
  • Passover (1 week)
  • Shavuot (1 day)

Each year, the Jewish holidays are celebrated on different days on the secular calendar. All closures and early closing times will be posted well in advance on the annual calendar.

The Preschool will close on the following Federal holidays:

  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
  • Christmas Day (as part of the winter break)
  • New Year’s Day (as part of the winter break)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
  • Inauguration Day (when applicable)
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day

In addition, we are closed for a winter break at the end of December. We also close for two weeks at the end of August for a teacher break (one week) and teacher orientation and preparation for the upcoming school year (one week)

Tuition and Fees

Our monthly tuition includes our core school day (8:45am-4:15pm) and our Early Room (7:45-8:45am).

For the 2024-2025 school year, our monthly tuition will be:

  • 18-24 month class: $2,836 per month
  • 2-year old classes: $2,705 per month 
  • 3-year old classes: $2,547 per month
  • 4-year old classes: $2,421 per month


Aftercare from 4:15-6:00pm is available for an additional $25 per day with a maximum of $360 per month. You do not need to sign up for or commit to the Aftercare program at the time of registration.

We are a twelve-month program. Our school year begins just before or after Labor Day and runs through the middle of August. Parents are responsible for tuition from the first day of school through August 31 of the school year. Parents who withdraw a child for an extended period of time (e.g. vacation) are still required to pay for those months. Children usually start at the beginning of the school year, but we welcome mid-year entries if spots are available.

When you sign a contract, we ask for a deposit payment of one month of tuition payment, covering the last month of the school year (August). The deposit payment is non-refundable and non-transferrable to other EDCJCC programs.

We charge the monthly tuition automatically to your credit card or ACH bank account information, which you store in your EDCJCC account. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, and charge a 2.5% fee for credit card payments. We do not accept check or cash payments. We bill credit cards and bank accounts on the fourth (4th) of each month, or on the nearest business day if the fourth falls on a Saturday or Sunday. We expect that you will have sufficient funds available in your bank account or on your credit card on the 4th of each month. Late fees will be assessed starting on the 5th of the month if sufficient funds are not in your account.

We offer some limited scholarships for the upcoming school year. Please contact Miriam Szubin, Director of Admissions, for more information.

Your Family Fitness Membership will start on the first day of the school year; please visit Member Services for details and to activate your membership.

Curriculum and Judaic content

Our educational vision is inspired by the emergent curriculum principles of the world-renowned schools for young children in Reggio Emilia, Italy. As a school community, we are committed to values based on an image of children as curious, competent and capable. Our journey begins as our staff asks questions, listens to children, collaborates with them and documents their work. As children discover and explore, they work on investigations that last a few hours, a few days, or a few months. All projects are meaningful to them and their world. By creating a classroom environment that allows for open-ended learning and discovery, we give children a chance to build their understanding of the world. By providing “scaffolding,” the teachers assist children to become confident in their skills so that they may express themselves in many different symbolic languages—speech, drawing and acting, to name a few. We also believe that learning is a cooperative venture which includes other children, their teachers, their families and our larger community. Literacy, math, social studies, science, music and arts are all emphasized through a framework of hands-on contextualized experiences.

Yes. Our way of teaching, by having the students learn how to learn, prepares them for success in Kindergarten and beyond. They will build the foundation for literacy, math, and science, and for the creative, motor and social skills they will need to do well in later schooling. These skills will be developed not by worksheets and rote learning, but through the lens of content that is authentic and interesting to the children. 

We teach about the Jewish holidays and celebrate Shabbat each week as a school community. We teach human and universal values through a Jewish lens, using Hebrew phrases. These include Tikkun Olam (healing the world), Tzedakah (charity and justice), and equality for all. Because our school is made up of Jewish, interfaith and non-Jewish families, we do not assume that every family practices or knows about any aspects of Judaism. Therefore, we offer some parent education about what the children are learning about and why. Nothing that the children are taught about Judaism at school will supplant or interfere with your religious or cultural traditions at home. 

Because our school is made up of Jewish, interfaith and non-Jewish families, we do not assume that every family practices or knows about any aspects of Judaism. Therefore, we do some parent education about what the children are learning about and why.

Friday is a special day in our week: it is when the Preschool celebrates the Shabbat with a sing-along, blessing recitation and special snack of challah and grape juice. We celebrate and remember this day of rest that is separate and special from the regular week. We have found that this tradition is fun for all of the children, even those who do not observe Shabbat at home. We say blessings for the candles, “wine” (grape juice) and challah. The blessings (brachot) are listed in the Preschool Parent Handbook. We welcome and encourage parents to join us.

We maintain our regular hours (7:45 am–6:00 pm) on Fridays throughout the year.

The ratio is determined by the age of the children and the size of the classroom. In general, we have 8 children and 3 teachers in our 18-24 month class, 12 children and 3 teachers in our younger 2 year old classes, 14 children and 3 teachers in our older 2 year old classes, and 16 children and 3 teachers in our 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes. We exceed the DC licensing requirements, which mandate an 8:1 ration for 3 year old classes and a 10:1 ration for 4 year old classes.

We follow all OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent) Early Childhood qualification requirements for teachers. All of our Lead Teachers have an associates degree or higher, or at least 148 credit hours towards a degree, or have been deemed exempt through the OSSE waiver system. All Assistant Teachers have or are working towards a Child Development Associates credential, or higher, or have been deemed exempt through the OSSE waiver system. We also ensure that all of our staff members have experience working with small children and a thorough understanding of our pedagogy. All of our staff members are background checked and CPR certified before starting. 

We communicate formally in a number of ways: photographs and videos of class activities posted on our secure Seesaw platform, weekly newsletters from the teachers highlighting the activities of each class with reminders for calendar events, a Friday email from the Preschool Director with schoolwide updates and reminders, semi-annual parent-teacher conferences (one in the winter and one in the late spring) and a Back-to-School Night early in the year. We also welcome informal communication; parents are always welcome to reach out to teachers with questions or concerns, and teachers will reach out as needed to parents as well.

The structure of a school day is flexible and guided by factors such as the children’s age, energy level and degree of engagement in a specific activity. Keeping our schedule fluid allows for teachers and children to shape school experiences that best suit their needs. In general, a typical preschool day looks like this:

7:45 AM–8:45 AM: Early Room Drop-Off (we ask that all children be here by 9:15 am)

8:45 AM–12:15 PM: Morning Activities

• Intentional Play

• Morning Snack

• Morning Meeting

• Exploration Work

• Gross Motor Play at Stead Park or in one of our indoor play spaces

• Weekly Specials: Art, Music, Yoga, and our Friday Shabbat Celebration
12:15 PM–1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM–3:30 PM: Nap or Quiet Room and post-nap transitions

3:30 PM–4:15 PM: Afternoon Snack and Intentional Play

4:15 PM–6:00 PM: (additional fees apply)

  • Aftercare, including Gross Motor Play
  • Afternoon Enrichment Classes (e.g. swim lessons, pre-ballet, karate, Spanish)

Meet the Team

headshot of Miriam Szubin

Miriam Szubin

Director of Children and Family Programming and Preschool Admissions

Arielle Bodner headshot

Arielle Bodner

Director of Operations for Early Childhood, Youth, and Family

couple roasting marshmallows over small burners.

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