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Ganon Early Childhood Learning Center at Peninsula Temple Beth El

1700 Alameda De Las Pulgas
San Mateo, CA 94403

(650) 349-4911


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We are Jewish Early Childhood Education Center which focuses on individualized developmentally appropriate care and curriculum for children ages 12 weeks through Preschool. Low teacher/child ratios allow for nurturing relationships and strong parent/teacher partnership. Our curriculum prepares children for kindergarten and emphasizes Jewish traditions and values of kindness, charity and co-operation. Conveniently located just off of Hwy 92.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We provide a nurturing environment designed to support children in their effort to establish self-identity, positive self esteem and a growing desire for independence within the context of the teachings of Reform Judaism. Along with Jewish traditions and values, our play-based curriculum is blended with developmentally appropriate concepts which address the overall development of each child. Activities are theme based, and presented to children in small groups. Children are encouraged to participate in the curriculum presented. Our curriculum is designed to engage children in active learning which is interesting to them, while still meeting each child’s individual goals for development. Kindergarten readiness is embedded in all curriculum presented. Learning environments are designed to support the child’s curiosity, social development and engagement throughout the day. Moreover, the values of kindness, respect, consideration and compassion for others are an important part of our curriculum each and every day.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught All children have a musical experience once a week with our music specialist. Children enjoy learning about music, singing and helping her play instruments. Children two and older have bi-monthly experiences with on-site gymnastics. Our Preschool children also enjoy our additional large motor program three times a month. Children learn basic Hebrew words and phrases, Jewish holidays and Jewish traditions.

From the Director:

Our adopted curriculum model is The Creative Curriculum, which provides a foundation for teaching based on family partnership, sound Child Development theories, providing an appropriate and supportive learning environment, and a curriculum which is individualized for each child. We also integrate Early Childhood Education philosophies of Montessori and Reggio Emilia. The Montessori approach appreciates children’s ability to learn freely through their senses and use of materials provided. The Reggio Emilia approach values the journey that each child goes through as they learn. In this approach, the focus is more on the child as a learner, than the teacher. Teachers observe and make record of a child’s development in all three approaches. Developmental assessments are completed for each child every six months, using the tool, Desired Results Developmental Profile-revised.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Individualizing each child's education, experience and relationship here at Ganon is a high priority. Our low teacher-children ratios allow us to get to know each child, how to support their success in learning and where they are in their development. In partnership with parents we develop learning goals for each child which help us develop our curriculum. Each child experiences the curriculum at their level, with enough support and challenges to help them move to the next level of development in each learning area. We strive to keep our classroom groups sizes smaller than most schools. In our Preschool classrooms, our teacher to child ratio is 1:7, as well as in our Two year old classrooms. Our Toddler and Infant classrooms maintain a 1:4 ratio.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our goal is to provide a nurturing environment designed to support children in their effort to establish self-identity, positive self esteem and a growing desire for independence within the context of the teachings of Reform Judaism. We aim to create a community of learners and a community of families.

A Typical Day

Children experience a balance between active play and rest, teacher initiated learning activities and emergent activities, small group activities and large group activities, and inside and outside exploration time. Ganon provides healthy snacks in the morning and the afternoon. We ask families to provide lunch for their child. Rest periods are provided daily.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents are a valued part of each child's early education and care. Through our communication with families, we build a bond. Parents are welcomed into our school at any time, and are also encouraged to participate in learning activities. Parents are given weekly lesson plans to take home. Each week's lesson plan has a special family activity suggestion to help parents connect the learning which is happening at school with the learning happening at home. Parents are also encouraged to participate in the Ganon Parent Association, which provides family support, parent education and plans school wide events. Teachers and Parents meet together formally twice a year, and as needed through out a child's time here at Ganon.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separating from family can be a challenge for some children. Our goal is to support each child's separation through a nurturing environment and a partnership with families. We also strive to support parents through this transition. We ask that families come visit their child's new classroom for at least an hour before the child's first day. This helps the child become more familiar with the new environment. We also hope this helps each family feel more confident about leaving their child with us. We will use this time to start building a bond with your child, as well as learn from you the best ways to support your child when they are upset. We encourage parents to call often to see how their child is adapting to their new environment.