Our Vision & Philosophy

Early Learning Center Director, Lisa Botelho has been in the field of education for over 25 years. She began her career as an environmental educator, and has also worked for Head Start, Early Intervention, and in the public school system as a Reading Interventionist and Science teacher. She has been an early childhood administrator for the past 10 years. Lisa holds Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College and holds a National Director Credential from the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at Louis National University. Lisa has a strong science background and loves to teach hands-on science and in natural environments.

Lisa and the ELC staff are committed to providing a program that is hands-on and child-directed, develops children’s cognitive, language, social-emotional and motor skills, and includes Judaic values, customs and traditions. “We strive to provide a caring and supportive environment where children feel safe to explore the environment, use all their senses, learn by doing and develop a strong Judaic foundation”. At the ELC we strive to provide the highest quality of education and care, through respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships with children and families. We nurture the whole child and recognize parents’ role as their child’s first educator and our partner in their education.

Lisa would love to hear from you with any questions about the Early Learning Center 508-358-4331

Our Programs

Our ELC Core Program provides a child-centered emergent curriculum, in a safe and nurturing environment for toddlers and preschoolers, ages 18 months to 5 years old. The core program runs from 9:00 am to 12:45 pm; early drop starting at 8:00 am and extended hours until 5:00 pm are also available.Our Afternoon Enrichment Classes are held in the fall, winter and spring from 1-2pm Monday-Thursday for 10 weeks. For a sample description of these classes click here.For information on our Summer Camp Program contact the office at 508-358-4331.


Core Beliefs:

  • We know that children who are treated with respect will view the world the same way and treat others with respect. 
  • We know that when children are seen as competent and told they are worthy, they will make positive contributions and participate eagerly in the world around them. 
  • We know that when children’s natural sense of discovery and wonder are encouraged, they become lifelong learners. 
At the ELC, all children are provided with a safe and nurturing environment in which to develop their social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. Our goal is to create an integrated curriculum; one that provides a strong foundation for learning while celebrating the traditions, customs and values of Judaism. Derekh, the way of the world, is the code of behavior that binds us to others, both in our Jewish world and in our secular world. As such, at the ELC we are committed to respecting each other and forming communities in which all members – children, teachers, staff and parents – live and work together in an environment of mutual respect, trust and appreciation. We are committed to creating and implementing a program based on developmentally appropriate practice and child centered learning. Recognizing that each child is an individual who learns and grows at their own pace is at the core of how we approach teaching. We understand that children construct knowledge through activity, interactive inquiry, discovery, direct experiences and reflection. Learning is an open-ended process with children actively constructing their own knowledge, generated through discovery, not through telling. By representing these experiences in thought, language, art, play, and hands-on activities, children develop more elaborate and coherent understandings and further additional inquiry and questions. At the ELC, we value the roles that families play and consider ourselves partners. Parents and families are encouraged to volunteer in the classrooms and in the preschool, serve on committees and participate in celebrations, including weekly Shabbat gatherings. Through structured programs and informal opportunities, we are dedicated to creating an environment and a way of working together that nurtures relationships among families and builds a meaningful Jewish community. We value the profession of teaching young children and are committed to the highest standards of teaching excellence. We strengthen and enrich the knowledge of our teachers by providing on-going supervision, peer mentoring, access to creative teaching resources, and continuing education opportunities. Although our teachers, families and children come from many different educational and cultural backgrounds, we unify our approach by incorporating best practices from a variety of sources.