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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our preschool.

If you are interested in our plans made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our Health & Safety Protocols page.

Have additional questions? Reach out to us at preschool@pjcc.org and we’ll be happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll on to discover more about the PJCC Preschool, or click on the links below to skip to the area you’re interested in.

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Curriculum and VisionGeneral QuestionsEnrollment ProcessTeachers

PJCC Preschool Curriculum and Vision

What is the curriculum?

Our preschool offers a play-based, child-centered, learning environment. Our educational philosophy is guided by the belief that children learn best through play and hands-on experiences that nurture curiosity and a life-long love of learning. Our curriculum is intentionally developed through direct observation of student’s interests, ideas and individual needs. We emphasize the importance of relationships, social development and community building.

What is the vision of the PJCC Preschool?

This vision for the PJCC Preschool was written by stakeholders in the PJCC Preschool, including Preschool leadership, parents, alumni parents, teachers, and Center Executive Leadership. Together in partnership we thought deeply about the vision of our school and how we want the school to continue to grow.

Our Community
Our PJCC Preschool strives to be a diverse, caring community that creates enduring relationships for children and their families. We aspire to express respect and gratitude for each other openly and lovingly, as well as to the world at large. Together we will build a supportive community that provides a nurturing environment in which families with young children will flourish.

Our Children
We will honor the children’s curiosity by showing respect for each individual child’s learning process. We strive to learn from the children and follow their lead. Our goal is to provide space for children to reflect on their learning.

Our Teachers
We seek to attract and cultivate the highest caliber of educators. Our teachers aim to be joyful, reflective life-long learners and dedicated facilitators of community. We strive to support our teachers on their learning journeys. As educators they will aspire to create learning environments where children and adults are encouraged to be authentic and share their voices.

Our Jewish Heritage
Judaism is the fabric of our community. We endeavor to make Jewish life come alive for our children and families through values, traditions and celebrations. We work to ensure that our community is rooted in Jewish culture, including being deeply committed to Hachnassat Or’chim—Welcoming All.

Do I have to be Jewish to attend?

No, The PJCC Preschool is deeply committed to the value of Hachnassat Or’chim—Welcoming All. We have an inclusive community that celebrates the strength of diversity. Our Preschool welcomes children and families from all faiths and backgrounds.

Does your program teach Judaism?

We are not a religious preschool; however, we are a culturally Jewish school. Our Jewish cultural programming is an important component of our school, and we believe that our celebration of the values of justice, repairing the world, and community are universal.

What else do you offer?

In addition to the classroom curriculum, our children receive P.E. (Physical Education) and music classes once a week, in addition to enjoying lots of outdoor play and exploration. We also offer many opportunities for families to connect throughout the year through Jewish holiday celebrations (virtually for now) and other family programs.

Does my child need to be potty-trained?

No. Regardless of age, a child does not need to be potty-trained. We do not think it is developmentally appropriate to expect a child to be potty-trained by a certain age and forcing them into this can often have negative results. When your child shows signs of readiness and interest, our teachers will work with you on potty-training.

What languages do you teach?

All of our instruction is in English. The children will learn a few Hebrew words, phrases, and songs, but there is no formal instruction in any language other than English.

General Questions

Are you licensed?

Yes, the PJCC Preschool is licensed in the State of California through Community Care Licensing, License #414000829.

Do I need to be a PJCC Member to enroll my child?

No, you do not need to be a PJCC Member to apply or enroll in our preschool. However, Members do get priority on our waitlist.

What are your ratios?

For the 2020/21 school year we are maintaining stable groups with stable teaching teams in all ages. Each class will have 2 teachers in the classroom with no more than 12 children (2:12).

Do you provide snacks or meals?

For the 2020/21 school year, families must provide 2 snacks and 1 lunch a day for their child.

What is the schedule?

Every classroom’s schedule is different. This is a sample of a classroom schedule for an 8:30 am–4:30 pm program.

8:30 am–1:00 pm
Welcome and Classroom Exploration
Snack Time
Outdoor Play
Classroom Project / P.E. on Mondays
Circle Time
Lunch
Classroom Exploration / Music on Thursdays
Closing Circle

1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Nap (all children under the age of 3 nap until 2:45 pm)
or
Rest until 2:00 pm then
Quiet classroom activity until 3:00 pm

3:00 pm–4:30 pm
Snack Time
Outdoor Play
Classroom Exploration
Closing Circle Time

How do you handle separation anxiety?

Transitioning from home to school can be difficult for young children. Help your child by establishing a routine so they know what to expect and can successfully integrate into the classroom each day. We encourage parents to give a big smile, hugs, kisses, and remind your child who is picking them up. Your confidence will help your child to feel more secure. Maintaining a consistent routine is key to avoiding separation anxiety. Teachers are prepared and trained to provide extra support for children (and parents) who may need it.

How do you handle discipline?

Discipline is an ongoing process embedded in the child’s experience and relationships. We embrace the definition of “discipline” as meaning “to teach.” The primary focus for teachers is to support young children’s self-image as capable of self-control, verbal problem-solving, and responding to others with kindness and empathy. All human beings want to feel respect and self-worth and have a sense of belonging. At our preschool, we do not punish children, we educate children. By honoring their interests and needs, we know this will enable them to become capable, responsible, successful adults. It is possible that some children may exhibit consistent negative behaviors that are detrimental to the ongoing safety and security of the children in the program. Such situations will be handled discreetly, with compassion, and in partnership with the family.

How do I schedule a tour?

For the safety of our children and staff, at this time we are not offering in-person tours. We have a virtual tour of our school available on our website.

I have a different question. Whom can I contact?

Please email preschool@pjcc.org for any further information / questions.

Enrollment Process

How do I enroll my child?

The first step is to fill out an application on our website. Once your application is submitted, your child is automatically on our waitlist. When a space is available you will be notified by phone or email. Notifications for the upcoming school year will be sent out in early March. Spaces for the current school year will be offered only when a space becomes available. Filling out an application does not guarantee your child a space.

Do I have to pay the application fee?

Yes, the only way to get on our waitlist to be offered a space is to complete an application and pay the one-time, non-refundable application fee.

Why do you use September 1 as an age cutoff date?

In the State of California, a child must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to enroll in Kindergarten. Because we want children to attend preschool with the same children they will be attending Kindergarten with, a child must be:

4 years old by September 1 for Kee Tov (Pre-K/TK)
3 years old by September 1 for Keshet
2 years old by September 1 for K’ton ton

Do you take children under the age of 2?

No, our program is designed for children who are 2 years old by September 1 of that school year.

My child turns 2 in January. Can I enroll them then?

No, a child must be of age by September 1 of the current school year.

How can I determine my child’s waitlist number?

We never give out waitlist numbers because it is a weighted list. Priority is given to Center Members of the PJCC, siblings of current and former PJCC Preschoolers, and siblings of Treehouse and Wornick Jewish Day School students, amongst others. Available spaces are then offered to the public based on the date of application.

How do you determine classroom placement?

When creating classroom communities, we consider many factors. For returning preschoolers, one of the primary factors we incorporate is the recommendation from your child’s previous teacher. For all children, we also consider child’s age and development, gender, length of day, classroom capacity and finally, parent requests. Each child is considered individually when placed with teachers and with a group of peers. A great deal of time and thought goes into placing each child in what we believe to be the optimal learning and social environment. One of our primary goals for all children in our program is for them to grow socially and learn to develop new friendships so all children are in classes with new friends every year.

Do you offer any discounts?

There is a 4% discount for families that have siblings enrolled in the PJCC Preschool or the PJCC Preschool and Treehouse afterschool program concurrently. Families who are Center Members and also have a child enrolled in the preschool receive a discount on their Center membership. Families who are offered a space are welcome to apply for need-based financial assistance when they are offered a contract.

Teachers

What are the qualifications of your teachers?

All our teachers meet the requirements set by the State of California. These requirements include education and health requirements for people working with young children. Some of our teachers also have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education. All our teachers are CPR and First Aid certified and have passed F.B.I. and Department of Justice background checks. Our staff is chosen for their enthusiasm, loving attitudes, skill in working with children and attention to safety.

Is there any kind of ongoing training and professional development for the teachers?

Yes, we are passionate about professional development. Our teachers are life-long learners. We spend a full week before school begins focusing on professional development. There are also two full days and several evenings of professional development throughout the year. Additionally, we are proud to support our teachers’ continuing education courses in early childhood development.

Have your staff worked at the PJCC Preschool for a long time?

Most of our teachers have been with the PJCC Preschool for over 10 years. While there is the occasional change of staff due to life changes (moving, retirement, etc.), we are proud of the consistency and commitment of our staff. One teacher recently taught the child of a preschooler she had taught when back he was a preschooler 20+ years ago!

How do I contact my child’s teacher?

All our teachers have professional email accounts and primarily communicate with parents that way. Weekly classroom updates are sent out through Kaymbu (our digital communication platform). There are two parent-teacher conferences scheduled throughout the year. If a more individualized meeting needs to be arranged, that is always possible as well.

Hours & Schedules
Hours of Operation: Stage 1 Reopening
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  • Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm by Reservation
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  • Mon - Sun Closed in Stage 1 Reopening
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