Seattle Hebrew Academy’s Early Childhood Center is a licensed program for children age 1-5.
The SHA EC fosters a love of Judaism in a nurturing, child-centered, emotionally responsive, and developmentally appropriate environment. The play-based program incorporates activities that enhance a connection to Jewish culture and traditions along with social-emotional awareness and an appreciation of the natural world. Children get ample time outside, rain or shine. Art is part of the week, and starting in Eagles, children work with SHA’s esteemed art teacher on sketching spider webs and painting Van Gogh sunflowers, among many other projects. A highlight of the week is the Friday Shabbat celebration, where children bake a challah to take home, recite Kiddush and Motsei, and participate in a joyous singalong.
The EC is available to all children who will be 1, 2, 3, and 4 years old by August 31. The day starts at 8:15 a.m. and runs until 12:30 or 3:30 p.m. Families may opt for three, four, or five days a week, except in Eagles (pre-kindergarten), where we ask students to attend all five days.
Our EC classrooms
Students who are 1 year old by August 31
Children this age learn best through active, whole-body, multi-sensory activities, and independent play. In the Hummingbird classroom, celebrating the Jewish year is all about fun! We encourage creative expression through developmentally appropriate art materials, stimulate imagination through storytelling, music, and building materials. The way we talk about Jewish concepts and holidays with the toddlers helps foster and instills in them a curiosity for learning more about, and love of, Judaism. Nurturing and loving teachers foster a personal relationship with each child.
Students who are 2 years old by August 31
Children this age are beginning to transition from parallel play toward social play, and activities in the Chickadee classroom encourage this development. As the year progresses, the children become more self-aware, more comfortable with sharing, and more articulate in identifying and communicating their feelings. Throughout the year, teachers introduce the meaning behind Jewish rituals, and the children actively participate in Jewish practice.
Students who are 3 years old by August 31
In Robins, children are active communicators, which enables teachers to tailor daily activities to include the children’s ideas and questions. The Robin year is a formative one in a child’s development of self-help skills. These skills, which directly influence self-esteem and self-efficacy, are a regularly reinforced part of the curriculum. Judaic content in the Robin class expands to include the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and the importance of tzedakah and other mitzvot.
Students who are 4 years old by August 31st
The Eagle year is designed with kindergarten readiness in mind. Children work on increasing their attention spans, improving their recognition of numbers and Hebrew and English letters, building upon their existing knowledge of and appreciation for Jewish tradition, learning greater behavioral impulse control, and developing perspective-taking skills. In addition, students participate in Chalav U’Dvash, a Hebrew-language immersion program for 3-6 year olds.
For more information or to schedule a tour, please call or email:
Sharon Mezistrano, Director of Admissions
206-323-7933, ext. 203