About the ELC


The St. Monica Early Learning Center: Nurturing children and fostering a love for learning.


Developing the Whole Child

At St. Monica Early Learning Center, we provide an engaging, safe environment for children to learn, play and grow.   

We serve 3-, 4- and 5-year olds (pre-kindergarten) and provide age-appropriate programming to give children language, literacy and math skills that will help them become confident, capable Kindergartners.  

Of course, success is more than just ABC’s and 123’s. That’s why we focus on developing the whole child: mind, body and spirit.    

 In our age-based classrooms, children engage in a variety of activities that develop their academic, physical and social skills. In addition, we seek to nurture their emotional development and cultivate a spiritual understanding of the world with Christ’s teachings at the center.   

Children learn and practice these new skills and knowledge through teacher instruction, hands-on activities and play.   

Year-Round Programs for 3- and 4-Year Olds and Pre-Kindergarten

Our program enrolls children ages 3, 4 and 5 years (those who turn 5 after Sept. 1) and operates 12 months of the year.   

Applications are accepted any time during the year. New students are enrolled as space is available. Children may attend full-time (5 days a week) or part-time (3 or 4 days a week).   


Always Learning and Growing

Children are always learning and growing, and we strive to keep them engaged and challenged. Electronic learning tablets are provided for use by the students, which were purchased through a fundraiser.   

We also introduced Room 5, a learning lab where kids get supplemental hands-on experience to further develop cognitive and fine motor skills. They get practice in sorting, recognizing patterns, creating patterns and more through games and other activities.   

Thanks go to our St. Monica ELC community and St. Monica School and parishioners who helped make these additions possible. Goals for the near future include adding an interactive white board to enhance work with handwriting and letter formation skills, Italian language lessons and music instruction.   

Knowledge, Skills and Developmental Areas

Our dedicated teachers and care-givers are the heart of the St. Monica ELC learning community. They lead by example and help each child develop a positive self-image, a caring attitude and a lifelong love of learning.   

ELC Curriculum & Development


Daily Activities for All Ages

  Preschoolers are full of energy! To help keep them healthy, we offer:   

  • Morning and afternoon snacks 
  • Outdoor play
  • Nap/rest time

  Typical activities in the classrooms include:  

3-Year Old Program


  • How to live the Gospel Message in our daily lives 


  •   Nursery rhymes, alphabet, association of letters with sounds, listening and speaking


  • Number recognition, counting to 10, shape identification, sorting by shape and size, spatial relationships, problem solving  


  • Music and songs to improve listening skills, learning rules and manners through song, rhythmic body movements, finger plays, playing simple instruments  


  • Color recognition, hand-eye coordination, using scissors, playing with Play Doh, finger painting    

  Gross Motor Skills  

  • Climbing, sliding, swinging, running, hopping and jumping  

  Social Skills   

  •   Indoor and outdoor games that teach cooperation; practice throwing, catching and kicking balls  

4-Year Old Program


  • Exploring Gospel themes  


  • Alphabet practice, expressing ideas, speaking clearly, speaking in complete sentences    


  • Number concepts, basic shapes, counting, problem solving, estimating, sequencing 


  • Singing and movement, following directions, rhythmic clapping     


  • Crafts, painting   

Fine Motor Skills 

  • Control with crayons, markers and paint; use of glue, paint and scissors; writing with a pencil   

Gross Motor Skills 

  • Jumping, running, skipping, hopping, climbing, catching and throwing     

Social Skills 

  • Working and playing with others, self-control, respecting others and the property of others, recognizing and accepting responsibility  

Pre-Kindergarten Program (Children who turn 5 years after Sept. 1)


  • Learning Jesus’ teachings to love God and love others


  • Exploring different forms and purposes of print, expanding vocabulary in context, pre-writing skills     


  •   Tracing and copying basic shapes, displaying numbers with manipulatives, identifying and reproducing patterns, problem solving, measuring objects    


  • Rhymes, songs, marches, clapping to music

We are excited to announce that the following resources have been added to our program: 

  •  Interactive White Board 
  • Italian Language Lessons 
  • Formal Music Instruction  

ELC Registration & Tour

Call for more information or to make an appointment. Inquiries are always welcome.  

Address:  1720 W. Ritner St.,  Philadelphia, PA 19145 

(entrance at the south of St. Monica Junior School) 

Telephone: (215) 334-6001


Hours of Operation

St. Monica ELC is open 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Full time attendance: 5 days/week, 12 months Part time attendance: 3 or 4 days/week, 12 months St. Monica ELC is open year-round. We close in observance of several religious and national holidays.      

Inclement Weather School Closures

We follow the Philadelphia Archdiocese for school closure due to inclement weather.  

Two-Hour Delay: We open as usual at 7:30 a.m. even if the Philadelphia Archdiocesean schools are operating on a two-hour delayed opening due to inclement weather.   

 Thank you to all of those in the St. Monica ELC community, St. Monica School and St. Monica Catholic Church congregation who helped make these additions possible. Children and teachers alike are excited by what is to come this year.

Thank you and God Bless, 

Sister Rosemary Peterson, 

IHM St. Monica ELC Director     

ELC Brochure

St. Monical ELC brochure (pdf)