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Early Learning Center

Forman Early Learning Center - A Hillel-JCC Preschool

The brand new, state-of-the-art Forman Early Learning Center is now officially open! The facility includes classrooms, an open community space (Mercaz), a teaching kitchen, and a 5000 sq. ft. playground.

Students participating in the Early Learning Center program receive an experience unlike any other in the Tampa Bay area. As a vibrant Jewish and bilingual (English & Hebrew) preschool, children develop into the best little humans they have the potential to be as educators and parents partner together using each child’s individual benchmarks for learning. When children leave Hillel’s Early Learning Center and prepare for their transition into Kindergarten, they are more than ready, including those preparing to join the Hillel Academy elementary school and the rigor of its dual language and Cambridge International Curriculum for Advanced Studies programs.

Program Highlights:

  • Bilingual, expanding every child’s brain capacity (English and Hebrew)
  • Individualized benchmarks for learning (Brigance Early Childhood)
  • Jewish experience via holidays, values (midot), and prayer
  • Daily communication (Brightwheel)
  • Ages: 1 year - Pre Kindergarten/VPK
  • 10 and 12 month options as well as summer camp, available on a weekly basis, for 10-month students
  • 7am - 6pm availability (Core hours for all students is 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
  • The Forman Early Learning Center, a Hillel Academy - JCC Preschool program is a licensed facility and program adhering to the highest standards of education and care

Individualized Benchmarks for Learning

At the Forman Early Learning Center, educators and parents partner to develop children into the best little humans they have the potential to be by using a set of individualized benchmarks for learning. These benchmarks develop skills in the following areas:

  • Physical Development - Gross Motor Skills
  • Physical Development - Fine Motor Skills
  • English Language Development
  • Academic / Cognitive - Literacy
  • Academic / Cognitive - Mathematics and Science
  • Daily Living
  • Social and Emotional
  • Hebrew Language Development
  • Academic / Cognitive - Judaism and Midot (values)

These benchmarks direct the experiences taking place with each group of students. The children think they are playing and having fun with their friends and educators. The educators and parents know there is an entire backdrop of rhyme and reason for each activity in which the children participate.

Detailed Benchmarks for Learning

A Typical Week

Full-Time Preschool: 8:00 AM - 3:15 PM (ages 1-4)

A typical day for our full time students includes a bilingual experience with thematic centers, teacher-directed assignments, small and large group collaborative learning, gross motor play, and lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and Jewish studies. In addition to all they do in their classrooms, our preschoolers regularly spend time in P.E., Music, and the kitchen where they engage in activities designed for them by specialists. Students also enjoy lunch with their peers (hot lunch is available for purchase from our Kosher kitchen), rest time, and additional teacher-led activities in the afternoon.

Extended Day Preschool: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM (ages 1-4)

Our extended day students reap all the benefits of our full-time preschoolers, with additional after school time and activities. Age appropriate after school activities are offered, including outdoor time, teacher led activities, and the opportunity to opt into separate programming such as tumbling, dance, and cooking, to name a few!

Part-Time Preschool: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM (ages 1-2)

As a great introduction to the preschool environment, part-time students have access to much of the same curriculum and activities as their full and extended-day peers. They are an integral part of the school community! Part-time Students will dismiss after lunch.

Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Hebrew and Jewish Studies are joyfully integrated into the preschool experience through storytelling, art projects, cooking, and song time. Each classroom will have a Hebrew speaking educator. The Preschool students are also active participants in the vibrant Jewish Life of our school. Every Monday and Friday, preschool students engage in Havdalah and Kabbalat Shabbat with their Middle School Buddies. In addition to these weekly activities, they take part in all Jewish Holiday celebrations with activities designed to introduce a rich Jewish culture: they eat lunch in the Sukkah, dress up and join in the festive Purim Carnival and Parade, attend Chanukah festivities, and more. Between these activities and all they do within their own classrooms, our preschoolers are actively engaged in the joyful Jewish culture of the school community.

Preschool Classes and Tuition