Early Childhood

Our Staff and Facility


Our Center is licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services, certified by the New York State Department of Education, and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We are very proud of this accreditation as it has become a benchmark that less than 8% of schools nationwide have achieved.

In addition to our accreditation, our teaching staff is fun, energetic and engaging. The daily lesson plans encourage opportunities through experiences with literature, music, science, language development, creative movement, mathematics, and conceptual learning. Through our teaching, children learn to express their needs, use their bodies, minds and feelings which in turn provide a strong educational foundation and a positive Jewish identity.

Rhya Jerrold
Ext. 341

Early Childhood Center Director

Rhya Jerrold, Director: Rhya has a B.A. in Philosophy and Sociology, a J.D. from Touro Law School, an M.S.Ed. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy. Before her tenure as our Early Childhood Director, Rhya previously worked as a nursery school teacher, a private elementary school teacher, and a preschool camp coordinator. Her other prior work experience includes a position as a trainer for daycare workers seeking their credentials, and an attorney editor for a publishing company. Rhya’s combined background of formal education, teaching, and training of others in the daycare field help provide her with a unique perspective and approach to the various aspects of our program.  


Rita Witzer
Ext. 342

Early Childhood Center Administrative Assistant

As almost everyone knows, Rita runs the logistics of our Early Childhood Office. When not busy giving pretzels out to our many visitors, she coordinates the daily operations of the office and helps keep the lines of communication wide open.  

Vanessa Lisco
Ext. 305

Early Childhood Center Program Assistant

Vanessa is our Physical Education teacher and Birthday Party Coordinator for all ages. She comes to us with a background in Health and Fitnss and has many years experience working with the children to help develop gross motor skills and self confidence.   

The Early Childhood Center occupies 16 well-equipped classrooms in a separate wing of the JCC. There are five outside play areas which include an outdoor nature classroom, sand boxes, climbing equipment, slides, playhouses, and a firm surface for tricycle riding and the use of other wheeled toys. One of our playground areas is designed specifically for toddlers, with specialty ground-covering and scaled-down climbing apparatus. In addition, our naturally certified nature explorium provides children with hands-on experimental learning while connecting them with the natural world.

The facility also includes a kitchen area where the children can work together to prepare recipes & share with their classroom communities for holidays & shabbat, as well as our dance room, 3 gymnasium areas with set-ups resembling an indoor playground, and a free space for relays, structured games, active play, or even just some hula-hoop fun!

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