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Alexandria: Early Childhood Learning Center

JCCNV-Beth El Early Childhood Learning Center Named 2018 Best of Alexandria

The Alexandria Award Program has recognized the JCCNV-Beth El Early Childhood Learning Center as an outstanding local business. Honorees are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. Congratulations to Dina Backer and her staff for being recognized by the City of Alexandria for their top-notch preschool program.


2019 - 2020 Registration 

The ECLC is a year-round school and runs on a 10 or 12 month tuition schedule. Registration is open to all. Admissions are on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to download our 2019-2020 Registration Packet which includes policies, hours and pricing information.

For more information and to schedule a tour of our Alexandria location, please contact Dina Backer, Alexandria ECLC Director, at, or call 703.537.3084.

About the Alexandria ECLC

The ECLC is an early childhood education center located in Alexandria, VA at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation. Sometimes referred to by our families as a pre-kindergarten, toddler school, junior kindergarten or kindergarten prep school.

Essentially we are a private preschool and child care center that offers both full-day preschool programs and all-day child care. We promote developmental growth through creative interaction between children and teachers within a warm, caring environment that’s based on Jewish values. Highlights include:

• Licensed preschool
• Licensed childcare from 16 months to 4 years old
• Licensed camp program 

Toddler Program:
Ages: 16 - 24 months
Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 6:00pm
This program is full-time only

Two-, Three-, and Four-Year-Old Programs:
Ages: 2 - 5 years (by 9/30) 
Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm (with extended day options)

Full- and Part-Time Extended Day Options:
Ages: 2 - 5 years (by 9/30)

The Extended Day Program complements the morning preschool program and provides children with a warm, caring, and safe environment. Children participate in a variety of age-appropriate activities in a positive setting, orchestrated by a creative and qualified staff.

Extended Day Options*

Monday - Friday

Early Morning Extended Day:
7:30am - 9:00am

Early Afternoon Extended Day:
1:00pm - 4:00pm

Late Afternoon Extended Day:
1:00pm - 6:00pm

*Children must be enrolled in the five-day 9:00am - 1:00pm preschool program. Two-day extended day minimum required.


Our Philosophy of Learning

The ECLC strives to help each child grow as an individual. We emphasize the development of self-confidence and a positive self-image. Our activities provide experiences to foster social skills and emotional maturity and to strengthen cognitive and physical growth. Play is a child’s work. Play provides the opportunity for children to explore their world, find out how to get along with others, strengthen their muscles, try new activities, build self-confidence and enhance self-esteem. Play is how the young child develops the necessary skills and social competencies that will be needed as he/she grows and matures.

Our teaching philosophy follows a Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy that is based on the following ideas:

• Children have a say over the direction of their learning
• Children are able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing  and hearing
• Children have a relationship with other children and material items to explore
• Children have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves
• Our philosophy involves an emergent curriculum that builds on the interests of the children.

Topics of study are chosen through discussion/observations of children, community or family events, interests of the children, and teacher-directed provocations. The curriculum provides hands-on learning experiences, areas for children to experiment with the natural world, and real-life problem-solving with opportunities for creative thinking.


JCCA Sheva Early Learning Framework

The ECLC participates in the JCCA Sheva Early Learning Framework. This framework is a basis for the continued education of the children in the ECLC. It builds upon the foundations already in place through the Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy.

Core principles include:

• The value of children as constructivist learners including the concept of kavod (respect) for each child’s ability to think for himself/herself
• Early childhood directors as visionaries — our professional staff has the chochma (wisdom) to make sound decisions for their population
• The importance of early childhood educators as professionals — through learning communities and attending conferences and workshops, our educators develop ahavat limud (a love of learning) for themselves and their students
• A focus on families as engaged partners — opportunities are provided throughout the year to build kehillah (community) between our families and staff
• The concept of the environment as inspiration for inquiry — spaces are intentionally designed to encourage curiosity, intellectual engagement, and creativity
• Emphasis on the Jewish value of sh’mirat ha’guf (taking care of our bodies) through nutrition and exercise
• Further learning about Israel to educate our students and their families about the story of the Jewish people


3830 Seminary Road,

Alexandria, VA, 22304 

Children and Family

Contact Us

Fairfax: Infant-5 yrs

Infant Toddler, Preschool, Enrichment

For Inquiries


Alexandria: 16 months-4 yrs

Infant Toddler, Preschool, Enrichment

For Inquiries


School Age Services and
Camp Achva

Before- & After-School Care (BASE), Camp, Vacation Day Program

For Inquiries

703.537.3092 program

Children-Adult Dance Classes

For Inquiries


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©2019 Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. EIN: 54-1145849

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