About ECEC

Our philosophy is based on active learning that encourages the development of the life skills of respecting others, negotiating, problem-solving, making choices, and developing a positive self-image.

An essential advantage of being a private program is the ability to adapt and adopt the best elements of other systems including Montessori, Waldorf, the Creative Curriculum, Reggio Emilia and others to thoughtfully craft a play-based curriculum that emerges from the interests of the children.

Our programs provide a variety of opportunities for each child to participate in fun, play-based, engaging and hands-on learning activities.

ecec active learning school

Want to learn more about ECEC? We’d love to show you around.

Phyllis Lyons, Director of the Early Childhood Education Center at Temple Sinai, Stamford, CT


Phyllis Lyons – Director of the Early Childhood Education Center

Phyllis Lyons (known around the halls of the ECEC as Morah Phyllis) has been an educator since she graduated from the University of Bridgeport. She started teaching in Brownsville, New York and continued in the Chicago public schools. She took a 17-year sabbatical to raise her 3 children and then returned to teach at the JCC for the next 5 years. From there she moved to the Childcare Learning Centers where she was the Educational Coordinator in a program that served over 600 children for 6 years. She then became the Director of the Selma Maisel Nursery School of Temple Sholom in Greenwich for the next 14 years. She has come out of retirement to be the Director of the Early Childhood Education Center at Temple Sinai.

She and her husband David live in Stamford and have been members of Temple Sinai for over 40 years. She has 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

“ECEC has been a great learning space for our son, who started at age 9 months and now has graduated to the toddler room. He comes home smiling and loves all his teachers and friends at school. We highly recommend the ECEC for anyone who wants a compassionate and diverse learning experience for their children.”

– Lauren J.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ratio of teachers to children?

  • Infants/toddlers max 8 to 2 teachers + 1 part-time
  • Preschoolers max 10 to 2

How often do the children go outdoors?

  • Older kids often get outside more than once a day but at least once a day, weather permitting
  • When the weather prevents us from using nature’s play space, we have a marvelous indoor climbing gym with tumbling mats, active toys and games for children to get out their zoomies.

Do you provide food for the children?

  • No, each child brings their own
  • To keep children safe, we do not allow the sharing of food.

Are there any food restrictions?

  • Nut-free facility
  • Kosher style – no pork, no shellfish, and no mixing meat and dairy