Philosophy & Curriculum


Creating Community * Living Values * Awakening Minds

The Jay & Rose Phillips Early Childhood Center's mission is to deliver an excellent Jewish early childhood educational program that meets the needs of each child and promotes continuous growth in the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative areas of development. As a Jewish school, we approach all of our work through Jewish values, lenses, and culture which follow the JCC Association's Sheva Early Learning Framework.


Our work with children is inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia Italy and the JCCA’s Sheva Framework. We believe in a strong image of the child and that education is a process, brought on by the child's interaction and investigation of their world. It is through these interactions that each child is encouraged to wonder, explore, question, and discover, using their own unique learning style and interests. The relationships between parents, children, and teachers create a strong sense of community which is critical to the life of the school. We invite families through ongoing, regular and meaningful conversations, to partner with us in the education and social emotional growth of their children. We support families on their parenting journey and together celebrate Jewish life.


Boulder JCC Early Childhood Center uses an emergent curriculum as a result of careful and detailed planning in accordance with excellence in early childhood education. Project work and long term experiences evolve from the children’s ideas and interests. Teachers, children, and parents collaborate to resource and research these ideas, and from this, children develop the critical thinking skills that are so necessary to succeed in their future academic schooling. Teachers also document children’s progress, validating the children’s abilities and enabling ongoing assessment. This approach helps children to develop curiosity, creativity, differing modes of communication, concentration, listening, negotiation, and observation skills. As a Jewish school, we frame our work through Jewish lenses, values, and culture.

Our early childhood education program emphasizes the development of a positive Jewish identity through experiences involving Shabbat, Jewish holidays, blessings, culture, and values which are all important aspects of the life of the school.

Through the inspirational work of the schools of Reggio Emilia and the JCCA’s Sheva Framework, teachers focus on ways to extend children’s ideas and interests through observation and inquiry. The art of inquiry within Judaism is a time-honored tradition. Teachers and students are on a continuous cycle of asking questions, researching answers, and co-constructing knowledge together.

The following seven values of the Sheva Framework help us to focus our intentions and serve as Jewish 'lenses' through which we see our curriculum and the life of our school community.

Click HERE for our favorite songs to sing!


Reflection, Return, & Renewal
In order to move forward in a meaningful way, we must reflect upon the past.  Our travels are more important than the destination.

צלם אלוקים
Dignity & Potential of Each Person
The image of the child as capable and competent is a core Reggio philosophy value.  We view children, families and colleagues with dignity. This is a lens of accountability, empathy and self-worth. 

Belonging & Commitment – Community
A bound and trusted relationship allows us to unite with others in pursuit of a shared vision.  It enables us to grow, take risks, and share with honesty.

The spirit of inquiry within human nature is the drive that aides in reflection and growth.  To question, to debate, to interpret, and to communicate are all essential components of the Jewish tradition.

When we as adults take the time to slow down, we become more aware of the miracles that exist in every moment, allowing gratitude to flow freely through us.  Young children are more apt to wonder, naturally embracing life with exuberance.

תיקון עולם
Repairing the world is done with a spirit of generosity and a partnership with families and children to continuously make a difference in our community.  There is a sense of responsibility to perform social “acts of kindness” every day.

We envision holiness in terms of sacred time, spaces and intentions.  We find holiness at distinct times in the Jewish calendar, such as Shabbat and holidays.  We also unearth holiness in our daily experiences as we observe the interactions of children, listen to their voices, and discover life together.