The Jewish Early Childhood Collaborative is a broad-based coalition of early childhood directors, teachers, researchers and community members working together to increase access to and enrollment in high quality Jewish early childhood education.
What we know:
On November 15th, 2018 school leaders met in Wilmette to reflect on the first year of the Jewish Early Childhood Collaborative and start to think about things to test in 2019.
The evening started with some wine and appetizers (of course!) and a chance to walk around and learn more about each of the task forces and what was discussed during meetings. Everyone then found their table and was encouraged to build towers with materials at their tables. They were instructed to first build by themselves, and then to collaborate with the rest of the table. While the towers may not have been sturdy, they were incredible works of art! The goal was to reflect on the difference between working by yourself on a challenge and working with others.
We then moved into learning about the activities from the task forces and what can be expected in the coming year. We broke down the work into areas where we need to learn more, and areas where we feel we are ready to try something new.
More to Learn
We have a lot more that we need to learn. Some of the things we are going to try next year are around information gathering.
In some areas, we have enough information to be able to test new ideas. We developed these ideas in our task forces and then shared them with those it would most likely affect. In 2019 we are going to test these on a small scale (with just a few schools) so that we can see if they create the change we seek. If they do, then we will scale the ideas. If they don't, then we will share what we learn and try something else.
In 2016, the Education Department at JUF (previously the Community Foundation for Jewish Education) underwent a strategic planning process with our Jewish early childhood centers. This plan outlined the need for a collaborative to enhance Jewish ECE in the greater Chicago area. Please see the strategic plan below.