Egenolf Early Childhood Center contracts with the Elizabeth school district to provide free, state-funded preschool due to the landmark court case Abbott vs. Burke. All children in specially designated communities receive free preschools as per the ruling.
The Egenolf ECC preschool program runs from September to June for children who turn three years old by October 1 and reside in Elizabeth. Our preschool comprises ten classrooms, with 15 children in each classroom. Each classroom is led by a teacher who holds a bachelor's degree or master's degree in early childhood education, a preschool through third-grade certification, or both. Each classroom also has a teacher assistant with a child development associate credential.
A family worker is assigned to each classroom. The family worker is the liaison between the classroom and the family and supports families. A principal/executive director runs the program with a doctoral degree in managing programs for children and youth. The preschool program runs from 8:15 a.m. until 3 p.m. We use the High Scope curriculum, which is play-based and guided by children's interests.
To ensure the healthy development of all children, all food is prepared on-site. Meals are served family style in the classroom. Our food preparation, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack, is guided by the United States Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program, ensuring the children receive the nutrition they need. Classroom staff eat with the children and encourage the children to try new foods and interact with their classroom friends. Following the lunch meal service, children nap on cots that we provide. The daily schedule also includes 45 minutes of outdoor play daily. In case of inclement weather, the children use the indoor play area for active play. The district provides a visiting nurse who screens children monthly for hearing, vision, height, and weight.