Early Childhood Center at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the ECC began as the synagogue’s Nursery School and Kindergarten in 1949. Values of progressive education, creative play-based experiences, and building a strong Jewish identity are central to its educational mission. The school remains true to these core traditions, responsive to the changing needs of families, and committed to innovation and excellence.
The ECC's philosophy is based on the world-renowned schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, which value children as capable, strong, and rich with wonder and knowledge. They believe in a constructivist, play-based approach to education. Through play, children are empowered to explore their surroundings, form relationships with teachers and peers, and work with a wide variety of materials to create, experiment, and discover. Their children learn in meaningful contexts, using everyday moments as opportunities for growth and learning.