About Us

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Donna Housman who is a clinical psychologistBeginnings School welcomes children from 3 months to 6 years old to benefit from its unique begin to ECSEL™ program and its accompanying early childhood developmental curricula – promoting children's emotional, cognitive and social early learning through play, relationships and hands-on, in-the-moment learning.

Dr. Donna Housman developed the evidence-based begin to ECSEL program based on rigorous scientific research to help children develop the capacity to constructively express, effectively deal with and successfully manage inevitable frustrations, distresses and anxieties – abilities that prepare children for lifelong learning, mental health, well-being and success. To learn more about our philosophy and the program that is infused into our enriched curricula, read Dr. Housman’s article in the International Journal of Childcare and Education Policy.

We believe:

  • Believe

    Emotions are our universal first language. Teaching children how to acknowledge their feelings and regulate their emotions is critical to their social, moral and intellectual development.

  • The science of brain development

    The science of brain development has demonstrated powerful connections between children’s ability to regulate their own emotions and their cognitive development, including the development of parts of their brains responsible for rational decision-making.

  • Emotional and social development

    Emotional and social development is a prerequisite to learning, as regulating emotions enables children to direct more energy towards listening, concentrating and problem solving – critical skills necessary for learning. On the other hand, dysregulation of emotion actually shuts down the parts of the brain necessary for learning.

  • Neuroscience

    Neuroscience not only shows that learning begins at birth, but also shows that the first years of a child’s life are the most important in terms of emotional, cognitive and social development, as 90% of the brain is developed between the ages of three and five.

We believe

Or unique Begin to ECSEL program optimizes learning by help children at a very early age to understand and regulate emotions ‘in the heat of the moment’ when they are experiencing emotions strongly. In order to be effective learners, children need to learn to regulate emotion so that they can focus, attend, problem-solve and utilize other critical emotional, cognitive and social early learning skills. By helping children learn to cope with intense feelings through positive experiences, neurological connections are strengthened to maximize brainpower, leading to better long-term outcomes in learning, success, well-being and mental health.