Early Childhood Center

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For our youngest Ohr Chadash students, preschool is a developmental period of excited learning and careful nurturing. Our experienced teachers are passionate about helping each child unfold as the individual he or she is while experiencing the fun and support of being part of a class group. The child’s natural sense of wonder and discovery is the source for mastering exciting new skills to prepare for success in school and to instill a life-long love of learning.


Our Early Childhood Center program is carefully structured to stimulate and encourage student development through an array of hands-on experiences. Middot, Shabbat, Chagim, and Parsha as well as literacy, social studies, math, science, music, and art, are all infused with the sense of kedusha inherent in all learning that is the hallmark of an OCA education.


Chalav U'Dvash, our Ivrit program, is structured on the approach that learning a second language needs to be based in authentic situations. Students are guided and supported while they learn to speak in Hebrew and are encouraged to talk, sing, touch and play with everything around them in order to deepen their experiences. Through scaffolding and modeling, students learn to produce speech and respond to the world around them. Students begin each lesson by singing and welcoming Benzi hatzav (the turtle) into their classroom. Then, through role play, dancing, nature walks and more, the students expand their verbiage. 


Our student-centered, play-based environment allows each child to grow emotionally, socially, and intellectually at his or her own pace while respecting the classroom setting. Studies show that children at play learn on three levels – individual play, cooperative play, and informative play. Our experiential learning opportunities and indoor and outdoor activities nurture independence and self-confidence together with a sense of belonging to a warm, caring community.


We encourage the students to express themselves in different modalities – speech, drawing, acting, and play. With increased understanding and self-reliance, their confidence in their own skills grows.


At OCA we regard nature as Hashem’s great gift to us, and we bring the real world into the classroom at every turn. We delight in awaking their curiosity and appreciation for the natural world and the way things work.


Our Two and Three Year Old Classes emphasize life skills and social/emotional development. Our Four Year Old Class focuses on language development, literacy, and math skills, all integrated into Judaic and other studies. Where appropriate we like to combine all of our classes so the Fours become role models and even help to “teach” the younger students. All classes participate in selected school wide activities as well as special programs designed specifically for the Early Childhood Center.


Because personal, inter-active skills are as pivotal to real life success and fulfillment as academics, we begin training these abilities in preschool. With the goal of having OCA children become social problem-solvers for life, we help them work out issues among themselves. An adult guides them in learning listening skills and appropriate emotional responses to their feelings so they can work out positive interactions with peers and adults. Providing time, coaching, and a safe environment to learn these menschlich skills gives them the tools to mature successfully.


We treat learning as a cooperative project for which we include other children, teachers, families, and our larger community. We follow a curriculum ladder and with every step, ensure readiness for Kindergarten – the gateway to a successful, exciting, and rewarding school future.