The J - you belong here

Infant / Toddler Center

 At the JCC Parenting & Infant Toddler Center we offer a safe and stimulating environment for your little one

Early childhood education at the Merage JCC starts the moment children join us. We believe that children are competent, capable learners from infancy and support children’s growth and development in our Infant Toddler Center.

We believe that secure attachments with parents and caregivers are essential to young children’s learning and development and thus, employ highly educated and experienced faculty members for our Infant Toddler Center. Teachers have degrees in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Child Psychology or Educational Psychology and pair this field of study with experience and most importantly, passion.

Our teaching team maintains a 4:1 student to teacher ratio and our maximum class sizes are 16. Our teachers are supported with on-going Professional Development which focuses on the richness of Judaic traditions and values, inspiration from the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, relationship-based learning and attachment theory: considered cutting edge practices with children ages zero to three.


Children are eligible to enter the “ITC” at age six weeks and continue in this program until the first summer or fall that they are two years of age.

Families enter the ITC when children are at least six weeks of age and an opening occurs. Most children will enter in September or June, with the start of our school year or summer programs. Children are eligible to enter the Toddler program in the first school year or summer in which they are at least 12 months of age, take one nap per day, are able to drink from a cup and are fully walking.

Visits to the ITC are scheduled individually and interested families should call 949.435.3400, ext. 290 or email

Families support their children’s transition into the program during the two week period prior to their first day. Parents and children are invited to spend some time attending class in the ITC during these weeks. Parents and children will remain in the class for a few hours as they play, observe, and communicate with teachers and other families in the ITC for at least five visits. Visit by visit, parents and children will increase their stay in the ITC until their full schedule is reached. We feel that these visits allow parents, teachers and children build relationships, allowing all to feel a greater sense of comfort with their new surroundings and new relationships.

While these first few visits support the burgeoning relationships between children, parents and teachers, we strongly believe that this is the beginning of a never-ending process of growth, transformation and deepening of relationships between and amongst our ITC community members.


To schedule a personal tour, please contact Aliza Sable, Interim Director of Admissions at or call the Preschool Office at (949) 435-3400 ext 310.


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