Children Studying Alphabet

Welcome to Congregation Albert’s Early Childhood Center, established in 1982. Our 5 Star FOCUS school strives to make your child’s first school experience a happy and secure one. We offer a positive foundation for all future learning, creating that joyful, lifelong learner, where our students learn that education is both fun and important. We believe in sustaining a culture of inquiry, with licensed early childhood educators who partner with families and children, and where together we listen, wonder and reflect. We are committed to providing an emergent and inspiring learning environment for a diverse population of young children, with classes for two through five year olds and an accredited kindergarten, where we gently integrate Jewish culture, values and holidays.


Extended care is available. We are play-based and child-centered, supporting the uniqueness of our students and families. Joyfully, we welcome all families and all faiths.


Call and inquire about full or part time choices. Limited scholarships may be available.


Come learn, play and grow with us! Contact the EC Director for more information. 

All forms are below.



Together with Tots

(1 -2 years of age)


This hour is designed to be a social experience where your tots are offered the opportunity to enjoy some delicious, fresh baked challah, and to interact with peers in a relaxed and play oriented setting. This class encourages relationship development and promotes feelings of security and independence. (Classes are always enrollment dependent)


Do you have questions about child development?

It does take a village, after all…


This is the time and place to talk with an experienced educator, other parents, grandparents and caregivers in a relaxed and supportive setting.

2 year-old Program

(2 by September 1)

Our 2 year old class is often a starting point for students and many times is a child’s first introduction to a group setting.  Every child is unique, developing language and motor skills at different rates. The children at this stage sometimes experience their first separation from parents and so easing the separation for both parent and child is of utmost importance. We provide a variety of hands-on experiences and encourage each child to develop at his/her own pace.  Children are introduced to a variety of music, art, dance and movement activities. Introduction to age appropriate Hebrew terminology and Jewish holidays is thematically woven into our curriculum. We encourage creativity, understanding the environment, social skills, and respect for self and others.  In addition, we provide support and encouragement for toilet training when the child is showing the developmental signs of readiness. Children in this program can enroll for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days a week, either half or full days. Nap time is a part of our full time 2’s day.

3 year-old Program

(3 by September 1)

Our 3 year old program encourages each child to develop and perform at his/her full potential. The program stresses conceptual development and hands-on learning. Children must be potty trained by the time they enter this program. In this classroom we have children aged 3 through 4. These children are ready for more independence and choice. Mornings begin with self–selection, encouraging children to explore the environment, acquire social skills and develop respect for themselves and others. The use of materials enables children to be successful in their understanding of language, number concepts, science, cooking, art, music and dramatic play. Introduction to age appropriate Hebrew terminology and Jewish holidays is thematically woven into our curriculum. The children participate in circle games and other cooperative ventures throughout the day. Parallel play moves to more collaborative play in this group as well. Vocabulary expands and children feel comfortable talking about their feelings. Each child is treated as an individual moving through developmentally appropriate creative, literacy, scientific and numeracy experiences. Children in this program can enroll for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days a week, either half or full days.

4 year-old Program 

In our 4 year old program, all the children are 4 years of age by September 1st and they can attend 3, 4, or 5 days a week, either half or full days. The morning is structured yet continues to be a developmentally appropriate environment. Activities in the classroom and on the playground reflect longer attention spans and support ongoing development of gross & fine motor skills. Our 4 year old curriculum includes conceptual exploration, supports aesthetic creativity, encourages upper and lower case alphabet recognition in readiness for reading and language arts, exploration of science and the world around us, as well as numeracy  and number identification.  Introduction to age appropriate Hebrew terminology and Jewish holidays is thematically woven into our curriculum. It is our desire to provide a nurturing, supportive environment that cultivates the growth of the child both academically and affectively.


5 year-old Program/Kindergarten

Our transitional kindergarten/kindergarten program runs from 9AM to 3PM, Monday through Friday. Some children enrolled in this class meet the state mandated cut-off date of September 1. However, children do not have to be 5 years of age by that date, as long as they are 5 by the end of the calendar year.

For those who do not meet this cut-off date, this program can be the first year of a two-year transitional kindergarten program that implements a kindergarten curriculum—a curriculum that is continually modified to be age and developmentally appropriate. Within the constructs of this curriculum, attention is also given to components of the Common Core requirements in public school settings.

For all of our students, we thoughtfully integrate academic and creative components, essential in development of the “whole” child.  Smaller class size also enhances learning opportunities, helping us meet the needs of the students, with respect to both chronological and developmental age and ability.

Above all, we support the child in the development of the habit of success.


Extended Care Program

In addition to our school classes which run from 9:00AM to 1:00PM or 9:00AM to 3:00PM each day, we offer extended care from 8:00AM until 9:00AM, and from 3:00PM until 4:00PM daily.



Every Friday the Early Childhood Center comes together to celebrate Shabbat. Children participate in the lighting of the Shabbat candles and the blessings over wine (grape juice) and challah (braided bread). The ECC Director, the Rabbi and Cantor lead with stories and the singing of Shabbat songs. Families are welcome to join us each Friday at 9:30AM for this joyful, community celebration. Visiting family members are also invited to attend!

Snow Days and School Cancellation

The Early Childhood Center follows the A.P.S. schedule.  Please consult radio or TV for school closing announcements.  If A.P.S. is closed, our entire program will be closed.  If A.P.S. is on an abbreviated schedule, our morning school classes (9:00AM - 1:00PM) are CANCELLED. The Center will be open, however, from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM for children enrolled in our full day or extended care programs. (or 5:00 PM, if we have a late afternoon extended care program).


A whole child approach, which ensures
that each student is healthy, safe,
engaged, supported, and challenged, 
sets the standard for comprehensive, 
sustainable school improvement and
provides forlong-term student success.

(The Association for Supervision and Cuririculum Development)



Registration for the Early Childhood Center is always open!


Contact the EC Director for more information.

Dale Cooperman, 505-883-0306

Forms and Calendar


Dale Cooperman

Early Childhood Director

Dale Sides Cooperman earned multiple degrees at Herbert H. Lehman College in NY and the University of New Mexico, culminating with the degree of distinction as Education Specialist.


She began her journey in Jewish education with her own children, and for more than 35 years she has worked with Jewish children of all ages. Dale has enjoyed teaching kindergartners, sixth and eighth graders and for the last 19 years, right here at Congregation Albert.

Since 2009, Dale has been the Director of the Congregation Albert Early Childhood Center.  Under her leadership and guidance, Dale has achieved the 5 Star level of accreditation and created a community of learners that nurtures our youngest learners and their families.


Dale continues to be a mentor teacher, working closely with CNM in the training of aspiring early childhood educators.


As nationally recognized authors, Dale and colleague Idie Benjamin have written “Drops of Honey,” an interactive and fun Big Book series and curriculum for young learners, their families and their teachers.


Dale has also co-authored more than 27 articles for Jewish educators, and continues to present at conferences, sharing her joy and passion in the education of young children.


In 2014, Dale was nominated for and was a finalist for the coveted Covenant Award.


Married for almost 49 years, she’s a proud mom to two happily married children, and a joyful “Mimi” to her 4 precocious and adored grandchildren, who range in age from 18 months to 7 years. And let’s not forget her Boston Terrier Penelope, who helps Dale keep busy and active!


Dale is continually guided by the tenet of leaving the world better than how she found it.