What Guides our Work…

We have served the Seattle community since 1971, offering full-day and half-day classrooms for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, after-school programs for children ages 6 years to 12 years, as well as summer camp programs for children 3 years to 12 years.


We are transforming early childhood education through play, collaboration, and reflection: in our classrooms with children, partnerships with families, and professional development with educators.


We honor and trust children, engage families, and inspire educators, to create a more just and joyful world.


Learning in Relationship 

We seek and cultivate a wide breadth of thought and ideas as the foundation for meaningful connections with and intentional commitments to each other, which promotes social responsibility, interest in the unfamiliar, and respect for nature. 

We believe in reciprocal influence. 

Emergent Curriculum 

We evoke new perspective by noticing, inquiring about, and reflecting on moments of curiosity or passion and make that discovery visible through documentation and expressive media.  

We believe learning is constructed through experiences, inquiry, and reflection. 

Leadership in Community 

We foster courageous leadership and serve as a model of innovative, reflective early childhood education practices. 

We believe that collective contributions lead to bold action. 

Organizational Integrity 

We commit to transparent and responsible organizational practices that uphold our mission, sustain Hilltop, and bring playful joy to our work. 

We believe that root tending creates stability and intentional growth.