Hilltop Children's Center Programs
Early Childhood Education School
Offering full-day and half-day options to children aged two to five, children are in small class sizes with three Master teachers. They spend the Fall learning about collaboration and community and the Spring studying in-depth projects based on their interests. Children are engaged in social justice learning and are encouraged to take action to take on matters of fairness and integrity.
Maintaining those early childhood connections, the School Age program allows children in K-3 to be bussed from area public schools to their familiar setting, with a strong emphasis on the arts and nature. The program runs during the summer, on school breaks, and each day after school.
Long relationships with trainers and authors has bolstered Hilltop staff to have a presence on the national dialogue about quality in early childhood education. Hilltop creates manuals and resources for other educators as well as offers Study Tours, Teacher Exchanges, and Workshops for educators involved in reflective teaching practices. Professional development is an integral value for Hilltop staff and for the field.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
This year, in collaboration with the City of Seattle, local businesses, early childhood advocates, families, staff, children, and friends, Hilltop was able to double its playground size and surround children with elements from the natural world. Parents and staff donated more than $30,000 in labor and materials. The children now can go outside with other classes and make connections with other peers and educators as well as the natural world in the heart of an urban setting.
With 8% of the student population on subsidies and scholarships, a minimum of 25 interested families on subsidy will go unserved each year. Hilltop hopes to increase our tuition assistance by 30% and thus ensure a minimum of 15% of students on subsidies. The endowment lies just over 15% of the goal to endow the scholarship fund. Hilltop is also looking to complete the playground construction, in that we need to purchase and install a climbing structure as well as a green shed to house outdoor materials and for a space for children to access and explore. While these initiatives take time and capital, we are unwavering that children need and deserve both the above endeavors.