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The early childhood years are the most important time in the life of a family and the most influential time for children as they start on the road to learning. Children of this age are naturally curious and interested in the world around them. This magical time of extraordinary cognitive, emotional and physical growth, combined with an excellent early childhood program, sets the foundation for later learning and social relationships.

At Burbank Jewish Preschool, we welcome both children and parents into a community and a partnership with teachers. Starting school for the first time is a big leap for both parents and children. This experience should be a process of establishing trust between parents and teachers so children can feel secure as they master new confidence to manage the world outside of home. We want children to feel safe to explore new environments, new materials and new relationships. Children need to feel valued when others listen to them and learn that what they say and do is important and has an effect on others.

As educators, we constantly strive to prepare our students for the ‘real world’ that exists around them. We want to prepare them to lead productive and successful lives once they leave us and enter adulthood. But what does the future hold for our students? Did educators of 20 years ago know what skills would be needed in the job market today? It is unlikely; however, they did their best to prepare their students for the world as it is today. Nowadays, educators are still charged with the same complicated task–preparing students for the unknown. Our children will strive to succeed in careers that haven’t even been invented yet! Experts worldwide acknowledge that today’s children need more than the traditional 3 R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic) to prepare them for the future.

Leaders have now added the 4 C’s:

  • Critical thinking

  • Collaboration

  • Creativity

  • Communication

What can we do to help our children succeed at a skill set such as this? How can we create a  curriculum that maintains a high academic standard and will also enrich our children with these lifelong abilities?

Burbank Jewish Preschool, inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, provides our young learners with a lifelong quest and LOVE for learning, innovation, and thinking WAY out of the box. We have combined this approach with a developmentally appropriate curriculum that is taught in a hands-on and creative way. We believe every child is unique, with his/her own interests and learning styles. As such, we give children the opportunity to interact in a meaningful environment where they can construct new ideas, learn to think, reason, question, problem-solve, and experiment, as they discover who they are and the world around them.

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