Hilltop’s early childhood education program provides full-time, year-round care and education to children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. Our Paths to Quality participating program is unique in the fact that we not only encourage diversity, we thrive on it. Eighty-four percent of our children are from low-income households, twenty percent are exposed to multiple languages, thirty-two percent are from a racial minority group and forty-five percent are from a single-parent home. By offering tuition scholarships to children and families that qualify, parents can change their direction in life by enrolling in college or maintaining employment within the community.
Eighty-four percent of our children were able to receive the funding needed to be enrolled at Hilltop last year due to donations from Porter County Community Foundation, United Way of Porter County, Anderson Foundation and other local businesses and individuals. All families have selected Hilltop as their facility of choice for many reasons including our diverse population, our qualified staff, and our reputation in the community as being “the place to be.”
In addition to our diversity, we promote kindergarten readiness by giving our children the tools to succeed. One-hundred percent of our children, regardless of background, tested in the ninety-fifth percentile or higher on kindergarten entrance testing. Hilltop is a registered private preschool with the Indiana Department of Education, IDOE. All children at Hilltop are screened regularly using the ISTAR, Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting. This rating instrument has been developed by the IDOE and gives parents periodic reports on their child’s skill building for kindergarten. The screening tool ISTAR includes not only development in the areas of physical skill, personal care, responsibility, problem solving and social skills, but other areas as well such as math and science. Screening is done on site by our degreed, “Indiana State Licensed Teachers”.
At Hilltop, you will find warm, individualized care for each child enrolled. To us, childcare is not a product to be sold for profit, rather an environment for all children to grow and learn in a way that encourages acceptance and appreciation for others.
Scholarships are available based on family size and income. For more information, please contact Amy Osburn at email@example.com.
CCDF STATE CHILDCARE VOUCHERS
We accept the Childcare Development Fund vouchers! We also provide assistance in signing up for the FSSA’s CCDF waitlist. For more information, please contact Amy Osburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KINDERGARTEN READINESS PROGRAM
The Kindergarten Readiness Program is designed to prepare children with the exact tools for a successful start to their school career. The Kindergarten Readiness Program provides children with opportunities to develop social skills, listening skills, and the concept that we all follow rules to function in a school and community. These skills are imperative for success in their future.
Hilltop’s Kindergarten Readiness Program will provide an unyielding foundation for success in school. Each child by nature is curious, active, and eager to learn and by careful selection of appropriate curriculum, children gain the primary knowledge of specific state standard content in all areas of development. Developmental domains of focus are motor skills, cognitive development, social/emotional development, and language development.
Our passion is children and our mission is to help each child succeed as an individual. The Kindergarten Readiness Program supplies the children with the precise tools to encourage and motivate them to learn and to build life skills for the future.
“Hilltop’s early childhood teachers support learning by providing developmentally appropriate activities and materials that children find engaging. Eighty-Five percent of our lead teachers have 10+ years of teaching experience. Furthermore, all lead teachers in our Kindergarten Readiness Program are licensed and/or degreed in the field of education.
In addition to our caring and qualified teaching staff, Hilltop employees volunteers and Valparaiso University work study students to supplement in our classrooms, often providing better than state ratios. This provides each child with the individualized attention needed to explore, grow and learn at their own pace.”
Hilltop is blessed to have a diverse pool of volunteers in age, experience and background. Hilltop has several volunteers who work in our childcare classrooms in various capacities. Some of our volunteers have been with us since we opened in 1995 and we even have multi-generational volunteers to help with all our children! Each week, our volunteers come in to donate their gift of time and the children are delighted to see them. Hilltop also partners with United Way of Porter County’s RSVP Senior Corps Volunteer program and Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Senior Community Service Employment Program.
Each year, Hilltop is lucky enough to employ 80+ Valparaiso University Work Study students in all areas of our programming. By working at Hilltop, these students gain real work experience and life skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Because of the student staff, Hilltop is able to provide more individualized attention to the children in our programs adding to the quality and quantity of the education and care received by the children.
Throughout the year, Hilltop has the pleasure of working with several regional Universities. In addition to our Work Study employees, several Valparaiso University groups donate their time and talent to the children, enhancing our program. Included in the list of participating student groups are VU Music students, VU Nursing students, VU Social Work students, and various philanthropic organizations.
Hilltop also partners with Purdue Northwest’s Early Childhood Education Department by offering our facility as a host site for their students. Once again, this partnership enhances our programs by allowing the children to benefit from the emerging skills these students bring to the classrooms.
Ivy Tech Community College has deemed Hilltop as one of its facilities of choice for their Early Childhood Education interns. Each semester, these interns work directly with Hilltop teachers to gain exposure to curriculum, developmental milestones and classroom management skills. The children and staff of Hilltop enjoy the fresh ideas and new excitement that the interns bring with them!
Each month, members of Tri Kappa and Kiwanis add to the literacy development of our children by donating their time to read to the children. The members carefully select their book choice based on the age of the children and the monthly curriculum theme of the classroom.
CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM
The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a federally funded program that provides healthy meals and snacks to children receiving childcare services. By participating in this program, the children of Hilltop’s Early Childhood Education program receive quality, nutritious meals approved by the USDA. The Department of Education provides guidelines to follow with regard to food preparation and sanitation, food service, and meal patterns. By following the meal pattern requirements, we are able to ensure the children have balanced meals throughout the day. In return for providing USDA approved meals, the State of Indiana reimburses Hilltop a portion of the monies that are spent on the meals that we provide, offsetting some of the incurred cost.
Hilltop partners with the Valparaiso Community Schools every year to provide a USDA approved free hot meal to each child in our childcare and elementary aged summer program and any child needing a meal during the summer.
Hilltop will follow the judgment of the Valparaiso Public Schools regarding delayed opening or closing for inclement weather. If the Valpo Public Schools are on a scheduled break, Hilltop will make an independent decision. Announcements regarding weather related delayed openings and closures may be accessed by calling Hilltop at 219-477-4222. Additionally, look on cancellations.com or become our fan on Facebook to check for posts.