Half-Day Preschool Program

Hilltop offers a half-day preschool program for children between the ages of three to five. We are open from 9:00am-1:00pm, Monday-Friday. Throughout the year, curriculum is developed based on children’s interests, passions, and challenges. A mixed-age classroom, our half-day preschool program follows the Seattle Public Schools schedule and builds a strong sense of community among the children.

Preschool Student Draws a Poster


What curriculum do you follow?
Hilltop is inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia and uses emergent curriculum and anti-bias practices in our classrooms.
What are the hours for the half day program?
Beach, our half-day preschool program, is open from 9:00-1:00, Monday – Friday. The half-day preschool follows the Seattle Public Schools calendar for closures and holidays.
How many days can my child attend?
Hilltop offers 3, 4, and 5-day per week options. For part-time options, we ask that you provide your first and second preference of Monday-Friday days. We will do our best to accommodate your first request, if possible.  We will set your schedule upon enrollment.
Is there a transition plan for my child to get used to going to school?
Our educators are highly skilled in working with families and children on the transition process.  We will share information with you before the beginning of the school year to help get your family ready for the transition. As each child reacts individually to transitions, we work with families to develop individual plans for successful transitions to Hilltop.
What meals do you provide?
Hilltop provides morning and afternoon snack for our half-day program.  Families provide lunch.
What if my child has allergies or needs to take regular medication?
Upon enrollment you will receive paperwork to return to us with any information including allergies and medication.  Hilltop is a tree nut, peanut, and shellfish free school, as some children are highly allergic to these food items.
Are there parent volunteer opportunities at school?
We love parent participation in a variety of forms: in the classroom, with school-wide projects, or on committees or the board of directors. Parent involvement in the classroom may include sharing a tradition or holiday important to your family, bringing in a talent for crafts, music, cooking, or other activity, or accompanying the class on field trips. School-wide projects that we need volunteers for might be painting walls, helping with our garden, or organizing teacher appreciation week. And, we could not run the school without the parents who sit on our board of directors, who contribute their expertise to committees, and who help make the decisions about budgets, strategy, and the direction of the organization.
Preschool Student Views a Family Photo

Stories from the classroom: Social-emotional development

Today Danny was sitting on the couch and looking at his family photo.  He was quiet and looked like he could have been a little upset.  I went over to check on him and see if he needed anything.  So, I asked how he was doing.

Danny: “I miss my mom.”

Me:  “Yeah, it can be tough to be away from people you love.”

Danny:  “I just like those dots on her shirt.”

Me:  “Do you like that shirt?
Danny:  “Yeah, they are comforting.  I like my sister, my dad and my mom.”  He pointed to each person as he spoke.

After we looked at the picture, I asked what he wanted to play.  He indicated that he wanted to build an airplane and so he went to gather the materials we needed to make some airplanes.  He built an airplane with me, but became distracted when his friend came over to the table we were working on with a little origami frog.


Danny watched her play with her frog with a huge smile on his face.  He tells her, “That’s a cool frog!”  His friend thanked him and invited him to make one in the studio.

Although this is just one snippet of his day, there are so many complex thoughts and emotions that are happening.  Danny started off his day feeling sad and missing his mom.  We talked about it, and decided that he might feel better if he found something to do and to play.  Validating his emotions was an effective and necessary strategy so that Danny could move on.  Knowing that it is okay to miss people you love when they are gone, he recovered well, and jumped right into the next thing.

Danny was able to navigate social situations at the same time as feeling sad and missing his family, showing his ability for emotional regulation.  He was able to recognize these emotions, name them and then move on to what he was doing in the now.  He was able to refocus on the current situation, focus on that and was wildly successful.