Our Early Childhood Education Program seeks to provide an educational environment that fosters each child’s self-image, curiosity to learn about the world, and confidence in his or her developing physical, intellectual, and social skills. Our intent is not to teach a selection of specific skills in preparation for the academic world of the elementary school. Rather, it is to instill in children an image of themselves as capable learners. It is to provide each child an environment rich in possibilities for child-initiated and directed, teacher supported learning, through active exploration and play. At the JCC, we believe that the best preparation for the academic work of the years ahead begins in an early program that nurtures children, reinforces their natural disposition to ask questions and find answers, and strengthens children’s ability to function as both strong individuals and as caring members of a child-sized community.
The JCC opened its first nursery school program in 1951 and in 1989 the JCC moved to its present building. With this move, we renamed our program, JCC School for the Early Years. In 1998 we opened a second wing to our early childhood hallway with 3 more classrooms. These rooms now house our child care children, ages 18 months through 5 years. In 2015 we added an additional 3 classrooms and a motor skills room which allowed for 55 more children. We currently care for approximately 185 children in our ECE Program.
The E.C.E. program is licensed through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The School for the Early Years is also licensed through the Department of Private Schools. Both School and Child Care programs are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The JCC is also a Keystone STARS program Level 4 and Pre-K Counts site.
We receive Federal cash assistance to serve healthy meals to the children attending our facility through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program. Additional information about WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children) program.
Our program offers the York community several options for structured early childhood classrooms.
School for the Early Years – for children ages 2 through 5, provides care from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. during normal school year months.
Lunch and Learn offers afternoon programming from 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM for children ages 3-6
Early Years Discovery Camp – (9:00 – 11:30 AM or 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM) is a summer camp for children ages 3 to 6 years old, June through August.
Child Care Program – for children ages 18 months to 5 years. This program offers a full-day, full-year care and education program with a full-day schedule during the summer
School-Age Child Care – begins at 6:00 AM for before school care. After school care begins at 3:00 PM and ends at 6:00 PM.
Our E.C.E. program is staffed by a committed team of early childhood professionals. Head Teachers in each classroom are degreed at either the Bachelor’s or Master’s level. Assistant teachers must work towards a minimum of the Child Development Associate Degree within a year of joining our staff. Many assistant teachers hold degrees beyond this entry level. All teachers understand the importance of working closely with families and of meeting the emotional and educational needs of individual children.
Recognizing that the quality of our program rests to a large extent on our staff, we recruit individuals with a strong interest in supporting the growth and development of the school-age child. All staff is screened with a Pennsylvania Police Record, a Child Abuse Clearance, and an FBI clearance.
Staff complete at least 24 hours of training annually on such topics as child development, age-appropriate program and activity planning, and effective guidance for school-age children. The staff has regular meetings with the Director to review program policies, children’s behavior, and current trends. In addition, staff receives annual training on Pediatric first aid, CPR and child abuse prevention.
For more information on our policies, a copy of our Family Handbook is available for currently enrolled families.
For more information about the JCC’s Child Care, contact the Director of Children’s Education and Development, Heather Miller email@example.com.
For more information about School for the Early Years programs, contact the Associate Director of Children’s Education and Development, Kristen Nowak firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Child Care program is a full day, full-year program for children ages 18 months through pre-kindergarten.
Busing is provided by all LIU programs.
Gan Tamar: 2000 Hollywood Drive, York, PA 17403
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In 1991, Heather started volunteering with the preschool program at the York JCC. While finishing her BA degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University, she continued volunteering and working summers for the Early Childhood program. In 1995, Heather joined the newly started child care program. She obtained her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2007 and Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education in 2013. She has worked with infants through school-age children. Heather is a certified American Heart Association Instructor and PQAS Instructor.
The JCC School for the Early Years provides children ages 2-5 years with an environment rich in possibilities for child-initiated, child-directed, teacher-supported learning through active exploration and play. Our School for the Early Years (SFEY) offers socialization and education for your preschooler in the morning and now in the afternoon too, while our Lunch and Learn for 3-6 year olds provides afternoon fun and enrichment.
The school program runs from the end of August until the first week in June. The school doors open at 8:50 AM and school starts at 9:00 AM with staggered dismissals to alleviate congestion in the School Commons area at pick up time.
2’s and 3’s dismiss at 11:15
3’s and 4’s at 11:25
4’s and 5’s at 11:30.
Annual tuition is broken down into monthly payments and varies, based on numbers of days of attendance:
Two days (Tuesday/Thursday): Member rate is $300 and Non-Member is $379.
Three days (Monday/Wednesday/Friday): Member rate is $348 and Non-Member is $427.
Five days Monday through Friday: Member rate $455 and Non-Member $534.
(Please note that the 4’s and 5’s program does not offer a two or three-day option.)
Extended school hours are available with lunch and snacks from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The School for the Early Years runs the summer Discovery Camp from June through mid-August for children ages three through six years.
Note: The school waitlist does NOT roll-over from year to year. You must add your name to the list after the February 6 registration date. For more information about the JCC’s School for the Early Years program, contact SFEY coordinator, Kristen Nowak.
Associate Director of Children’s Education and Development
Kristen has worked at the JCC since 1998. Her educational background includes a BS in Child Development and Teaching from Michigan State University and she holds a PA Early Childhood Education teaching certificate. Kristen has been working with young children and their families in both teaching and administrative roles since 1988.
We aren’t just “a gym.” We are a community. When you join the J, you join a place created for our members and the needs they may have, whether that be fitness, educational or cultural. We provide a supportive, inclusive environment that many of our members call “a home away from home.”