The Jewish Early Childhood Education (ECE) centers in Denver and Boulder are staffed with more than 200 teachers and serve over 1,100 children from infancy through six years of age. These programs harness the potential to become gateways to Jewish life and learning for children and families. In 2006 the Jewish Early Childhood Education in Denver and Boulder study uncovered a need for Jewish ECE centers to increase their focus on: quality and standards; seamless integration of Jewish content, values and traditions; educator and director training; recruitment and retention; and improved access.
In response and through a collaborative effort between CAJE, Allied Jewish Federation, and Rose Community Foundation, the Colorado Jewish ECE Initiative was born in 2007 with the creation of a Steering Committee to guide a long range strategic plan focused on promoting Jewish identity in children and deepening family connections with the Jewish community; improving the quality in ECE centers; and expanding educational options for families with young children. In 2008 a full time Early Childhood Specialist position was developed at CAJE to spearhead the Colorado Jewish ECE Initiative. In 2012 the position evolved into the Director of Early Childhood Education. This position has been held by Judi Morosohk since its inception.
Elements of the program offered by the CAJE director of ECE include on-site coaching and mentoring; leadership training; educational seminars; implementation of “Seamless Judaism” – integrating Jewish values in meaningful ways into the daily life of ECE classrooms; contemporary educational approaches such as constructivist early childhood education as demonstrated by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy and Principles of Excellence, a framework valuing the importance of relationships, visioning, learning community, shared leadership and quality environments.
Looking for one of the nine Colorado Jewish Early Childhood Education centers participating in this initiative? Click here!