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Early Childhood Education Program


Also accepting applications for School Year 2014-15.

Our Philosophy
All children are unique individuals who have innate curiosities about the universe of people, places, and things around them. At the Jewish Community Alliance preschool, we foster these natural instincts by providing a nurturing, comfortable and develop-mentally age appropriate environment. Through our thematic curriculum, our program will expose children to a broad range of experiences including meaningful Jewish cultural exploration. By nurturing the minds and spirits of children throughout their first school experience we will give them the foundation to be lifelong learners.

Our Mission
We will provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn at their own pace and to grow socially, physically and emotionally. In addition, we will provide a sense of positive identity and belonging by incorporating Jewish values, songs and games into our daily
activities. Through the celebration of Jewish holidays, the children will explore how they fit within the broader diversity that our school’s children represent.

Why Choose the Jewish Community Alliance?
The JCA Preschool, now in its 22nd year, has a rich history and an outstanding reputation in the Southern Maine community. We offer child-centered, family-oriented programs for 2-5 year-olds. Educated and trained professionals with experience in early childhood education teach in each of our classrooms. Our teachers bring a reputation of commitment, longevity and a love of children.

OUR DIRECTORS: Mary Lilly, Director and Janel Goodman, Assistant Director, have been a part of the ECE for a combination of over 26 years and both hold the program close to their hearts. Mary founded the school and Janel was instrumental in the program receiving NAEYC accreditation. Both teach in the classroom, in addition to their administrative functions, giving them a unique perspective. They feel that they really get to know the children and their families on a much more intimate level. Both are continuing their educations and work very closely with other child care professionals throughout the Greater Portland area.

OUR FAMILIES: Parents are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom and participate in activities. There are many extracurricular activities that families can get involved with, from apple picking to our annual family brunch and auction. Families are at the heart of the ECE!

About Our Classrooms...

Todder   Age 2 (by October 15)

Nursery  Ages 3 and 4 (3 by October 15)

Pre-K   Ages 4 and 5 (4 by October 15)

Through group and individual play, the children will be exposed to literature, math, science, art, music and cooking. The school works to incorporate themes into the classrooms. Themes this year include dinosaurs, colors, outer space and Jewish holidays. A variety of hands-on experiences are incorporated into our program. Special annual events include a Thanksgiving celebration, Hanukah and Purim parties, graduation and an end of the year family fun day at Center Day Camp. Guest speakers include visits from the local fire and police stations and local rabbis. Our school calendar and school-age eligibility are in accordance with the Portland Public Schools. Please see the Director for pricing and availability if you have unique scheduling requirements.

Keep up-to-date with the           Early Childhood Education Committee.                          Follow these links to meeting agendas and minutes.

ECE Committee Agenda 4-5-13

ECE Commitee Minutes 3-1-13

      - $50.00 discount for second child.


      - $200.00 discount if tuition is paid in full prior to start of school year.


      - Scholarships available. Please contact the JCA at 772-1959  for forms or click on the link above.


        click on the class for more information

        The ECE program offers a variety of enrichment classes in addition to regular classroom curriculum. Classes are offered on a first come, first serve basis and are offered throughout the school year.





          The Early Childhood Education Program at the Jewish Community Alliance is proud to be NAEYC accredited.

          To send an email to our Director, please click here.