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Early Childhood Center

ecc is looking for another incredible team member!

2020-2021 ecc virtual tour

turkey trot 2020

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 TBE since 2005. Randi's level of energy and experience brings a wealth of excellence to TBE as she has held positions at some of the finest facilities including University of Alaska's Child Care Center, Director of a Preschool in Anchorage & Asst. Director at the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Miami. Randi has a Birth-Five and Florida Child Care Directors Credential Level II. Randi and her husband, David, have 2 amazing children, Danielle and Brandon.

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


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 Infant & Toddler National Child Development Associate Credential. 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.


Ms. Allison


Allison has been at TBE since 2021 and has been working with children for almost 25 years. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University. Allison began her career as a Developmental Specialist working with children birth to three with disabilities. Her love of learning has continued as she has taught Kindergarten for 10 years and Pre-K for 10 years. she was born and raised in St. Petersburg, her son just graduated from USFSP and she loves to go boating with her husband and beagle!




Kayla has been at TBE since 2021 and has been working with children since 2015. She earned her A.A. in Early Childhood Education
& Care from American Military University. She is also in the process of finishing her degree in Elementary Education. Kayla was born and raised in St. Petersburg. She recently moved back to the area after 10 years of being an Active Duty Army spouse with her son and two doggies! she enjoys spending time with her family.


Ms. Roxana


Roxana is new to our ECC family and started her journey as a teacher, in her hometown of Mumbai, India. She moved to Massachusetts to further her education. She then taught the hearing impaired in Michigan for 15 years. Most recently, she taught at a preschool in Gulfport for 3 years. Teaching children has brought Roxana immense joy and fulfilment. She hopes to share that joy with the children at Temple Beth-El. Her other great loves are her family, books, and music. Roxana's undergraduate degree is in psychology and English literature. Her graduate degree is in the education of the hearing impaired. She has done DCF training from birth to fix years. 

Ardra Green

Early Childhood Center
Assistant Director
& Teacher

Ardra has been at TBE's 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 2 great kids and 4 beautiful grandchildren. She enjoys home decor and is always redecorating! She holds a Birth-Five Credential and Directors Credential Level I. Ardra is constantly seeking and updating classroom ideas and practices.


Ms. Alice


Alice has been working at TBE since 2007. She has one daughter and a wonderful
son-in-law with 3 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.




Sylmarie has been working at Temple Beth-El since 2020 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.


Ms. Jennifer


Jennifer is new to TBE as of 2021. She's been working with children since 2018. Jennifer earned her Early Childhood Professional Certificate from Saint Petersburg and Miami. Her interest include fishing, reading, music, exploring, and playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and volunteering for children's ministries. 

"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, December 6 2021 2 Tevet 5782