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Until further notice, all services will be live-streamed through Zoom and/or Facebook Live. Please see our EVENTS page for more details.

Early Childhood Center

2020-2021 ecc virtual tour

grand shabbat 2020

What parents are saying...

We couldn't be happier with Temple Beth-El's ECC and Stephen loves Ms. Bethany (so loving and patient!). Ms. Melissa (so attentive and loving), Ms. Alice (we can't even begin to tell you how much Stephen loves her), etc. It's very comforting to know Stephen is in GREAT hands and I have recommended TBE ECC to other moms, friends and even mom groups on FB! You are doing amazing work and have so much passion. Thank you!!!! 

Thank you for all the enriching moments our daughter and our family shared at TBE during her year in VPK at the ECC. I had great comfort each day seeing all the creative activities she was steeped in and the joyful environment she was doing them in.

All the little touch points: classical music on in the class, a pleasant fragrance wafting in the air and the double welcome greeting from numerous teachers daily! Everyday there were thoughtful and interesting creative activities, the classroom was well-appointed with enriching and educational books, toys and centers. The supplemental actives of gymnastics, Stretch and Grow and gardening are above and beyond other VPK programs.

Having parents drop off their children inside the classroom rather than curbside also another special feature at TBE. None of my daughter's friends in other programs knew what was going on in their child's classroom and marveled at this as did I. 

Each month the extra-curricular events and the celebrations of all the Jewish holidays great and small impart another level of hands on learning. The classroom was always meticulous, the children's artwork was always the most current and sunlight and fresh air abound. All the teachers know each child, even though that are not in their class which inspired comfort in the children knowing they are cared for. As a result, no real behavior issues in the children. Many parents today are selective as am I with what our children should/will eat and these requests were handled with ease. 

Our daughter now has friendships that transcend our time at the school and memories too. Thank you for welcoming us to be a part of the ECC.

"my friends are my favorite part of school!"

-Piper, 2's Class

About the Early childhood Center

We believe that all children at the Temple Beth-El's Early Childhood Center benefit from a warm, supportive environment that includes opportunities for children to grow & develop emotionally, socially, cognitively & physically through a variety of experiences. Children at our ECC are surrounded by loving & experienced early childhood educators who are committed to excellence and exposing children to age-appropriate activities. Our approach is designed to embrace the natural curiosity of the child. The primary goal of our program is to provide a sound learning environment that will help each child reach their fullest potential.

At the Temple Beth-El Early Childhood Center we often use a project approach, expanding into themes that come directly from the children’s expressed interest. Throughout the month, a Judaic & secular thematic approach to programming is incorporated into the curriculum. We recognize that our children’s growing awareness of their Jewish identity is an integral part of their personal development, and therefore, we provide numerous, age appropriate developmental Jewish experiences. These are related to the celebration of Shabbat, holidays & everyday life practices.

Enrollment Information

Enrollment space is limited!  To begin your child's placement in one of our Early Childhood Center classes please contact us about availability. There are forms that will need to be completed as well as a non-refundable registration fee even to be added to the waitlist. Please click below to contact our Director of Early Childhood Education, Randi Nash-Ortiz or you can call the ECC directly at (727) 350-5885. We are unable to accept walk-in appointments but would be happy to schedule a time for you and your family to have a tour of the campus and meet the staff. 


School doesn't start in kindergarten anymore! The Early Childhood Center at Temple Beth-El offers a state-of-the-art program with special features. A comprehensive, literacy-based curriculum incorporating "Doors To Discovery", "Creative Curriculum", which is a developmentally appropriate practice for quality preschools recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, theme related Jewish activities, low child-to-teacher ratio, engaging enrichments such as yoga, gymnastics and music and the same warmth, caring & nurturing experiences to which your child has (or will) become accustomed to at Temple Beth-El all within 540 instructional hours.

Available to ALL children who turn 4 on or before September 1st, residing in Florida

It's easy as 1, 2, 3... 
1. Visit and complete the online application. You may also call VPK Pinellas at 727-400-4411 for technical assistance. 
2. Make sure all required documents are uploaded.
3. Visit Temple Beth-El to formally enroll and present your Certificate of Eligibility (which will be emailed to you once you complete the VPK Pinellas registration process online)

"School is my favorite because of challah on shabbat! and paint!"

-  Caroline & Tazia, 3's Room


Randi Nash-Ortiz 

director of early childhood education

Randi has been in the Early Childhood profession as a teacher, mentor and director for over 30 years. She has been the Director at Temple Beth-El's Early Childhood Center since 2005. Throughout her many years working with children and families, her passion for this profession continues to grow. Randi's level of energy and experience make her suitable for the Early Childhood Center Directors position. Randi brings a wealth of experience to Temple Beth-El as she has held positions at some of the finest facilities, including the University of Alaska's Child Care Center, Director of a Preschool in Anchorage, and Assistant Director at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Miami. Randi has a Birth-Five certification from Miami Dade College School of Education, Florida Child Care Director Credentials; she has served on the ECA Pinellas Board and is currently serving on the Board of Pinellas Technical College. Randi and her husband, David, have 2 amazing children, Danielle and Brandon. 

CLICK HERE to contact Randi
or call (727) 350-5885. 


Ms. Bethany


Bethany has been at Temple Beth-El since
2017 and working with children since 2007. In
her free time, she loves running, hockey, college football (Go Noles!) and being on the water. She has completed all of her Early Childhood hours through DCF as well as CDA course. 


Ms. Audrey


Ms. Audrey has been teaching since 2001, with experience ranging from toddlers to school-aged children, with her predominant focus on three and four year olds since 2001. Additionally, Audrey has her Child Development Associates degree and Director’s Credential, and is a proud mother of two.



Ms. cynthia


Cynthia has been working at TBE since 2020. She has been working with children since 1994 ranging from infants to school-aged children, with her main focus on infants. Cynthia has her National CDA certification. She grew up in Jacksonville, FL, and moved to St. Petersburg in the early 1980's. She loves spending time with family and devoting time to the sick, homebound and those less fortunate.





Marcy has been working at TBE since 2020 and has been a preschool teacher for over 19 and a half years. She is really excited in becoming part of the ECC family and bringing with her some creative talents. Marcy enjoys
creating different works of art that she inherited
from her mother and relaxing with her furry
feline child. She has a passion for volunteer work for animal shelters and homeless charities. During her 19+ years she has obtained a Florida State Child Development Associates degree as well as her National Child Development Associates degree.

Ardra Green

Early Childhood Center
Assistant Director
& Teacher

Ms. Ardra, our assistant ECC director, has been at the Early Childhood Center since 1999. She grew up in St. Petersburg and loves to go fishing, bike riding and do anything outdoors. She is family oriented, with two great kids and four beautiful grandchildren. She enjoys home decor and is always redecorating her home. She holds a Birth-Five Credential and Director’s Credential. Ms. Ardra is constantly seeking and updating classroom ideas and practices. 


Ms. Alice


Ms. Alice has been working at Temple Beth-El since 2010. She has one daughter and a wonderful son-in-law with three grandchildren. She is actively involved in her church, working with children from 3-18 years old where she orchestrates the theater, praise dance and stomp. Her biggest pride and joy is watching the kids perform. She loves shopping, spending time with her family and spoiling them too! She holds a Birth-Five Credential.


Ms. Terri


Terri has been at TBE since 2007, from office work to classrooms. Everyday is an adventure in the classroom! Terri has completed all her
Early Childhood hours through DCF and is
currently continuing her education. She is
married and has a wonderful son, Joshua.



Ms. melissa


Melissa has been at TBE since 2019 and has been working with children since 2014. She earned her B.A. in Early Care & Education from
Florida Atlantic University. She has completed
and passed all requirements necessary through
DCF and received her Birth-5 Staff credential.
Melissa was born and raised in New York and
moved to sunny Florida 4 years ago. In her free
time, she loves working out, shopping, traveling
and spending time with her family and French
Bulldog, Louie.





Sylmarie has been working at Temple Beth-El since 2000 and has been working with children since 2016. She holds a Birth-5 credential and has her before and after school DCF modules completed. She enjoys singing and teaching her children's body parts using Spanish words. On her free time she loves reading, going to the beach, and relaxing with her dog at the pier and enjoying the beautiful sunsets.





Jessica has been working at TBE since 2020 and has been working with children since 2012. She was born and raised in Colorado. Two years ago she moved to Florida. If she isn't traveling, she is enjoying her free time at the beach with her husband. Jessica has completed all of her Early Childhood hours through DCF and is currently continuing her education.

"my favorite part about coming to school is our classroom!"

- Jaxon, VPK Alumni 2015

our students are going places!

These two families of ECC graduates met up in Paris for Summer 2019! 

Send us your Summer Fun pictures by emailing
and you could be featured on our social media pages!


Mon, October 26 2020 8 Cheshvan 5781