Goldberg Early Childhood Center

See why we're the #BestSchoolFamilyEver!

At the Goldberg Early Childhood Center we build a love of learning and a community that lasts a lifetime. From the youngest toddlers to the oldest Pre-K students, we encourage independent thinking and decision-making that prepares our graduates to be responsible leaders when they leave our doors. If you’re looking for a collaborative partner in your family’s early childhood educational journey, come and join us in creating the future. #bestschoolfamilyever


The moment you step in the door and meet our director, Tara Ohayon, you’ll know you’ve found a home. Our school community is a place where every child, every family and every educator is a part of who we are. We build our learning from the children’s lives and experiences in ways that allow them to grow not only at school, but at home with you as well. There’s nothing we take more seriously than developing the leaders of tomorrow, but don’t just take our word for it…

The developmental of the whole child is of the utmost importance to us as we prepare our students to transition to elementary school and beyond. We begin this development with relationships. Our teachers’ top priority is to establish a trusting and collaborative bond with both the students and parents in their class. Through creating a connection based on mutual respect and open communication, our teachers and parents are able to share observations and information about what is happening in the classroom and at home. This ongoing, two-way exchange creates a home-to-school partnership that achieves the best possible results for your child.

Our school year is split into seven different periods that are centered around Jewish Values that each class uses to develop its curriculum framework and weekly lesson plans. The seven values are:

Hebrew NameEnglish Translation
Hachnasat OrchimWelcoming Guests

The rabbis teach that it is our duty to share these values with the world, including our children. One of the truly beautiful things about the education that children receive at the GECC is that it goes beyond reading, writing, number sense and scientific experimentation (though we do so much of that too!). Our students learn all these skills through the prism of these seven Jewish Values. With this spiritual and moral foundation, each child is empowered to shine his or her light into the world.

We don’t just teach the children about Kehillah (community) in our classrooms. We live it as a school. Every month we host Rosh Chodesh pizza dinners that bring our families together. We also have school breakfasts on a regular basis: Dads and Donuts and Moms and Muffins are always fun times for any parents and grandparents to come and eat with their children before dropping off for the school day. And don’t forget Parent Showcases! Our parents have so many talents and interesting professions that they are able to share during our fall and spring Parent Showcases. We can’t wait to see what you have to share!

Personalized Learning

Our Graduates Are…
✓ Citizens of the world
✓ Kindergarten Ready
✓ Lifelong Learners
✓ Independent Thinkers with Flexible Mindsets
✓ Advocates for Themselves and Others
✓ Engineers, Poets, Athletes and Designers

Every student in our school is viewed as a competent learner, capable of both achieving independence and actively participating in their own learning. Our teachers build learning from the children’s interests, igniting their curiosity and engendering a love of learning that lasts throughout life. Through this process our students establish both self-confidence and a strong sense of themselves as uniquely talented individuals. From learning to drink from a grown-up cup to potty training to getting dressed after swim lessons, we encourage children to become increasingly independent throughout their time at the GECC.

Our curriculum model provides the flexibility of assessing each child’s current development across many different domains, including language and literacy, cognitive, scientific thinking, gross and fine motor skills, social skills, emotional regulation, and more. Our educators combine the children’s developmental levels with their interests to create dynamic, engaging learning opportunities throughout the classroom. These targeted educational experiences provide students with the intrinsic motivation to learn and grow in deeply meaningful ways on their journey to kindergarten readiness.

Our goal is for each child to excel in all areas of development. The curriculum framework and planning process developed by our Curriculum Coordinator, Lisa Jackey, leads to each child experiencing developmentally appropriate learning and fostering a love of learning. Our developmental guidelines are derived from a combination of the H.E.L.P early learning profile for 0 – 6 year-olds and the Texas TEKS to ensure students are ready to thrive when they enter kindergarten. As teachers assess and identify which developmental guidelines students have mastered and which they are ready to begin working on, learning experiences are tailored to engage children in learning about and developing the exact knowledge and skills they are ready for.

Natural Explorations

Come learn and explore on Dallas’ only natural playscape
Learning outdoors is naturally engaging to children’s active, physical and sensory style of learning
The Naturescape brings learning to life: GECC students learn by touching, seeing and doing.
Outdoor learning allows children to delve deeper into self-initiated activities, which promotes curiosity, inventiveness and resilience
Learning through nature allows for endless creative possibilities.  Where will your child’s creativity lead? Click on the video to see an amazing example.

Professional Development

Education and learning is a life-long pursuit and at the GECC our teachers take it very seriously. In addition to attending conferences and seminars, our educators engage in weekly reflective supervision meetings and monthly staff development. It is our commitment to our teachers, students and parents to continually grow as a learning community so that we can provide the latest in research-based best practices for every child’s early childhood education.

Our faculty has 780 years of experience, including 382 right here at the JCC.
70% of our faculty have undergraduate degrees, over 20% have their MA and we even have one PhD!
We’ve been NAEYC accredited since 1987
Our administrative team worked with the JCCA to develop the Sheva Early Learning Framework now in use at over 100 JCCs.
The GECC is one of only 9 Sheva Lab Schools in North America
Cumulatively, our staff participates in over 3500 professional development hours a year
As a school, we devote over 120 hours a year to Peer-to-Peer Coaching on top of all our training and planning

We are consistently conducting training that challenges our educators to continue to grow and stay current on best practices. All our trainings are based on the latest research and align with our NAEYC certification. In the past year we’ve incorporated trainings to help teachers increase children’s intrinsic motivation in learning activities, build connections between books and centers throughout the classroom, utilize music and movement in everyday teaching, develop questions that challenge children’s thinking on different developmental levels and more.


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Mon 24

Preschool Closed/HBP Open – Sukkot

September 24 - September 25
Thu 27

Sukkot Dinner & Alumni Reunion

September 27 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm UTC-5
Fri 28

Simchat Torah Celebration

September 28 @ 9:15 am - 10:15 am UTC-5

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NAEYC Accredited
NAEYC strives to raise the quality of education for all children from birth through age eight. Accreditation systems are major part of NAEYC’s efforts to improve early childhood education.  Our commitment to NAEYC and their accreditation criteria allow the GFECC program to provide the best learning experiences for young children and our educators by meeting national standards of quality.

Meet Our Team

The J Early Childhood Center takes the privilege of caring for your child very seriously. Our teachers provide a nurturing environment so every child feels accepted and valued. The sense of warmth and nurturing can be felt as soon as you step into our school or talk with any of our caring staff.

Tara Sutker Ohayon
Director of Early Childhood Education
Dave Stanton
Mentor Teacher
Mika D'Aprix
GECC Office Manager
Michelle Ederi
GECC Receptionist
Cynthia Casper
Camp Co-Director, Program Coordinator