Your Child’s “Home Away from Home”
Inspired Exploration * Universal Values * Collaborative Journeys
Click here for Squirrel Hill ECDC
The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) at the South Hills JCC is a “home away from home” for children 6 weeks to 5 years old. At ECDC, you can trust that your child is safe, secure and appropriately challenged,nurtured by professionals who encourage your child to grow and thrive.
ECDC News: Gina Crough, previous Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Development Center in Squirrel Hill, has moved into a new position as Associate Director of Early Childhood Development for the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh. In this new role Gina oversees the daily operation of the JCC’s South Hills Early Childhood Development Center and works in close partnership with the Division Director, Liza Baron, to support the continued growth and development of the school in both of its locations: Squirrel Hill and South Hills. Gina brings several years of experience with her as an educator and as a director. Immediately prior to Gina joining the ECDC team in Squirrel Hill as Assistant Director, she was the Director of the Early Learning Center at Carlow University. Gina also spent eight years in the Early Childhood field as a Lead Educator working with children ages six weeks to four years old. Gina is a graduate of The College of Wooster and has a degree in Studio Art with a teaching certification for visual arts Pre-K through 12th grade. She earned a Master’s degree in Education and her Director’s Credential from Carlow University. Her commitment to the growth of the program in Squirrel Hill has been supported by continual professional development that has included an intensive study seminar in Reggio Emilia, Italy and learning opportunities with consultants through Carnegie Mellon University’s Cyert Center for Early Education. Gina grew up in Mt. Lebanon and at the South Hills JCC, and currently resides in Brookline with her husband, Damian, and their dog, Odie.
At ECDC, we promote Jewish values, encourage children to appreciate diversity and provide an environment that promotes acceptance and a sense of belonging. We offer a program predictable enough to satisfy a child’s need for routines yet diverse enough to broaden his or her horizons with exciting new experiences.
We believe that discovery and play are a young child’s most important “work.” We provide countless opportunities for children to develop skills and confidence, as well as the environment and freedom for children to have fun!
Our staff respect the uniqueness of each child and consider parents our partners. We welcome your input and strive for ongoing communication between home and school. Together, we can foster your child’s feelings of self-worth, independence and success.
What makes ECDC special
• Indoor swimming pool with instructional swim
• Double-court gymnasium with physical education classes
• Jewish holidays and customs
• Two fenced-in age-specific playgrounds for toddlers and ages 2-5
• Marci Lynn Bernstein outdoor playground with wheelchair access
• Escorts to JCC enrichment classes
• Nature program with Scott Conservancy
• Music class with Sally Mathews
• Judaics with Laura Alpern
Age Groups and Schedules
Monday through Friday: 7 am-6 pm or 9 am-3 pm
Infants: Full-time care for babies starting at 6 weeks through14 months old
Tots: Full-time options for ages 14 months to 2 years
Toddlers: Full-time options for 2-year-olds
Preschoolers: Full-time options for ages 3-5
Full-time option for children who need another year of preschool or who just miss the cut-off for kindergarten because of their birth date. The program includes instruction in math, literacy and art, as well as Judaics, music, nature and swim lessons. The children go on monthly field trips to places such as the Duquesne Incline, Mt. Lebanon Police Department, Mt. Lebanon Fire Department and the park.
Our enrichment program for kindergartners has morning and afternoon options. Children explore monthly themes such as Pittsburgh, Children Around the World and Our Amazing Selves through projects, field trips and special visitors. The program includes music, nature and swim lessons.
Space is limited.
Major funding for Early Childhood programming is provided by the Pittsburgh Jewish Pre-Kindergarten Educational Improvement Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Keystone STARS/PA Early Learning Keys to Quality with additional support from Massey Charitable