Preschool Outside Trees

TSTI Preschool @ The Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s award-winning preschool, the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education, offers a warm, individualized, and unique program of early childhood education. By focusing on each child’s developmental needs and promoting a positive, secure, and accepting environment, we enable each child to grow with a sense of joy and wonderment.

Individuality, creativity, and communication are the keys to our educational endeavor. Children are encouraged to grow at their own pace in a stress-free, stimulating environment. Classrooms include a variety of learning centers that help children to grow in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, literacy, communication, problem solving, math, art, and imaginative play.

Using the Reggio Emilia approach, the Early Childhood Center promotes positive self-image and confidence in all students. Children are encouraged to explore their individual interests in the world around them, both inside the school building and in the beautiful outdoor learning spaces. Children learn responsibility and develop the social skills that foster care and consideration for their peers. With two indoor playgrounds, as well as three outdoor classrooms, your child will have time each day to explore, experiment, and enjoy the freedom to dream, wonder, and create their own concepts.

Our preschool welcomes more than children into our play-based program. We offer programs and support for entire families, especially helpful to those whose parents, grandparents, and siblings live far away. Shabbat, holidays and rituals, and the beauty of the Jewish experience are presented in an atmosphere conducive to curiosity and wonder, as we lay a foundation for Jewish learning that is accessible and open to our entire community. Families do not need to be temple members to be part of our preschool. We value the diversity in our surrounding community, and we understand how important it is for the entire family to make connections and lifelong friends.

2023-24 Preschool Hours

Our preschool begins at 9:00am, with early drop off available starting at 8:00am. Children who stay until 3:00 have daily specials that include sports, science, art, mindfulness and dance. We offer aftercare until 5:00pm.

We are a proud partner of the South Orange Maplewood School District Preschool Expansion Program. If you child is placed here by the district, please note that school hours are 8:30 to 2:30. We have limited space in our before and after care programs.

Our Academic and Camp Calendars

School begins the week after Labor Day and continues until early June. We follow the South Orange/Maplewood township calendar for school closings and also close for Jewish Holidays.

There is a 7-week summer camp which begins the last week of June. Families do not need to be temple members to be part of our summer camp community. 

Ducks 2023

How to Register

Registration is open to temple members and already enrolled families beginning mid-December through mid-January. Registration to the community for any available spaces begins at the end of January.

Contact our Director, Carol Paster, or our Assistant Director, Jennie Rubin, for more information.

Calendar of Preschool Events