What is the ECE Initiative?
The Early Childhood Education Initiative is a new initiative to engage more Bay Area Jewish families with young children in meaningful Jewish life and community. The ECE Initiative was launched in the summer of 2007 by the Jewish Community Federation in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation
The ECE Initiative is informed by national and local studies and initiatives, including Brandeis University and JECEI, and is in response to the 2006 JESNA study which identified the needs of Bay Area Jewish early childhood programs and highlighted their potential as an important gateway for family engagement with the Jewish community.
The Mission of the ECE Initiative:
To establish the Bay Area as a center of best practice in Early Childhood Jewish Education for children, teachers and families.
The Goals of the ECE Initiative:
- The creation of community-wide standards for compensation and standards of excellence that will be shared throughout the community.
- A significant increase in the number of Jewish families with young children who are connected with Jewish education and choose to maintain their connections with the Jewish community.
- The creation of a model for recruiting, training and compensating high potential Jewish adults into ECJE.
The ECE Initiative Director led a community planning process which resulted in a comprehensive strategic plan. Nap Time is Over: Waking up to the Realities of Early Childhood Jewish Education in the Bay Area, the ECEI’s strategic plan, was completed in the winter of 2008. The business plan will be completed in the spring of 2009, and it will support the strategic plan’s implementation over the next three years. Over 150 early childhood educators and experts, Jewish educators, Jewish professionals and communal leaders, funders and Federation staff members were engaged in the planning process to develop this comprehensive initiative.
Parenting Matters: Jewish Wisdom for Mindful Parenting, an outreach program of the ECE Initiative, is a parenting discussion group for interfaith and unaffiliated Jewish parents raising young children. The discussion groups began in April 2008 and are conducted in spring and fall each year.
The PJ Library®
The PJ Library® is a program for families with young children. It sends free Jewish books and CD’s every month to children between the ages from 6 months up to 7 years of age as a gift from the Jewish community. Thanks to the Jim Joseph Foundation, The PJ Library is available throughout the Bay Area!
Thanks to generous funding from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, the Early Childhood Education Initiative is proud to announce that support to receive a Certificate in Early Childhood Jewish Education through Gratz College will be available to Early Childhood Jewish educators beginning in the fall of 2009. This will be the first step toward supporting professional development for our Early Childhood Jewish educators. Please contact the ECEI staff with questions!
For more information contact:
Janet Harris, Director of the ECE Initiative or call 415.499.1223, extension 8104
Jasmine Blanchard, ECE Initiative Assistant or call 415.499.1223, extension 8105
Vivien Braly, Parent Education/Outreach Coordinator for the ECE Initiative or call 415.499.1223, extension 8106
For more resources on early childhood programs visit:
The Early Childhood Education Initiative is funded by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay and the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley with additional program support from the Interfaith Outreach Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.