Our operating hours expanded in March from 7:30 am to 6 pm. There is availability between 7 am and 7:30 am by contacting the office.
Parent Night Out, our monthly Saturday night hours, has restarted. The hours are from 2 pm to 8 pm on the second Saturday of the month. Sign-up happens through “signup genius” or by email with the office.
All employees of Hillcrest have received the COVID Vaccine. All new employees will be required to have or obtain the vaccine.
Dear Hillcrest Families,
I am continually blown away by our community. In the midst of an incredibly trying year for all of us, your generosity during our Annual Campaign was a bright spot.
Thank you to everyone who made contributions this year and encouraged friends and family to do so as well.
Due to the pandemic, we kept this year’s goal simple- to cover staff appreciation. This allows us to give the staff a Holiday bonus and regular appreciation for a job well done. Hillcrest’s goal this year was to raise $8,000. With the generosity of Hillcrest families and alumni families, we met that goal and raised $40,097!
Funds raised will go toward:
A full 2020 holiday bonus for teachers and staff members. Every staff member received a holiday bonus this year, which is adjusted for the number of years worked. The bonuses were issued in December.
The building maintenance reserve fund.
The additional funds allow us to put more money into the reserve fund for continued renovations, primarily the replacement of the windows in the back stairwell of the Infant/Toddler building. These changes will keep the building safe and operating for years to come.
We’d like to acknowledge the following donors (excludes anonymous gifts):
Anonymous, Dana and Jason Billman, Jason and Moire Bockenstedt, Ruth Botstein, Aesha Pallesen and Dario Borghesan, Meliss and Garret Bruesch, Dustin and Hally Cooper, Lindsey and Ronald Dupuis, Dan Dvorak and Bethany Neubarth, Heather and Michael Ebell, Brian and Monica Englund, Greg and Monica French, Irene Granell, Anna and Jim Kohl, Christy and Michael Mazzacavallo, Henry Tashjian and Siobhan McIntyre, Alo and Debbie Medina, Lisa and Justin Miller, Andi Nations, Lara and Nicolas Nations, Harry and Leslie Need, Zoe Olson, Kate Demarest and Kris Reidt, Kate O’Brien and Kirk Rose, Kate Vogel and Mike Schecter, Don and Dixine Schiavi, Chris and Laura Sis, Catherine Sullivan, Sue Ellen Tatter, Cyndie and Mike Teo, Jim and Whitney Wilkson, Adolf and Brandi Zeman
Below are our current COVID Procedures, updated in January 2021. Please note that as new CDC guidelines come out, we will adjust our practice to meet those.
Due to the increased temporary closures from COVID, the Board has canceled all In-Service closures through June 2021.
The scheduled Holiday closures remain.
The updated closure list through June 2021 is:
November 26, 27
Here is a quick recap of all planned 2020 closures for Holidays and In-Service. For more information, please check out the Hours page.
January 1, 20
May 22, 25
September 4, 7
November 11, 26, 27
The week we moved back to Anchorage, I started a new job, and found out we were having a baby. Then we bought a fixer-upper house, complete with pastel 80s bathroom. Finding childcare was another stress, as soon it was time to go back to work, and Nate’s job would take him out of town for long stretches. After trying other options, we visited Hillcrest – which had a spot for Pirlo when he was eight months old. Becoming part of the Hillcrest family was the right fit. We were home! (And eventually, the powder pink bathroom got remodeled at home).
At Hillcrest, our son is safe, happy, and secure. His teachers create a professional, loving, and supportive environment for learning, fun, and inclusion. Pirlo learns self-regulation, does yoga, makes beautiful arts and crafts, sings and dances, digs in the dirt, and spends time outside, year round. The outdoors focus is important to our family, with our connection to open spaces and the environment. Hillcrest’s focus on community connection is also important – I’ve reconnected with old friends and made new ones too. I feel secure knowing that even though I solo parent often, I have a village. Pirlo and friends recently moved up to preschool – very exciting, although (sniff) mom shed a tear to see them grow so fast.
Hillcrest continues to grow and change – the boiler, the kitchen, the new floors, the fresh paint, the care and love put in the design and color selection, keeps enhancing this home away from home. Hillcrest is an important part of our life, so I am giving to this year’s Annual Fund campaign. Our monthly budget, like many families, is carefully planned due to the current economy. If your family can factor in a gift, join me in showing your gratitude. The fund will continue to support building deferred maintenance and improvements, as well as holiday bonuses for our beloved Hillcrest staff.
You can make a tax-deductible donation via credit card, Paypal, or by dropping a check at Hillcrest. You can also become a Sustaining Family monthly donor through your monthly tuition. Thank you for your consideration.
I’m sure, like you, on the day our son – Sawyer – was born, I was filled with the kind of overpowering, all-consuming love that changes your heart forever. My husband and I had no idea how we were going to manage childcare as full-time, working parents in demanding professions.
In finding childcare, one thing was certain: we needed to identify a solution that offered Sawyer the same love and devotion daily that we, his parents, provided. A space that he would feel safe enough to learn, comfortable enough to explore, and secure enough to develop self-confidence.
That kind of love can’t be seen. It can’t be planned into a curriculum, no matter how informed. It can’t be built into the walls of a building, no matter how new. That kind of love can only be felt.
The reason my husband and I send our son to Hillcrest, and the reason we financially support the Annual Fund Campaign, is because we know that Sawyer is loved as deeply and cared for as compassionately as we provide for him at home.
After two years of attending Hillcrest, you can see this result in Sawyer; a little boy who is eager for knowledge, possesses a strong sense of self, and is bursting with confidence.
I hope you’ll join my family in giving to this year’s Annual Campaign to ensure that the staff who love our children every day just as we love them, are thanked. And that the building that we send our children to everyday is maintained as a safe, comfortable and secure environment. Hillcrest is a special space, a place of love, a home to Sawyer; this is why we give.
You can join us by making a tax-deductible donation via credit card, PayPal, or by dropping a check off at Hillcrest.
-The Milliken Family: Eric, Elizabeth, Sawyer (Preschool) and Bridger the Dog
Why does Hillcrest need to raise funds on top of tuition?
Hillcrest is a non-profit child development center run by a parent volunteer board. The Board updates the strategic plan and budget to present at the annual State of Hillcrest meeting held each spring to gain families’ feedback. Currently, we are in year two of a five-year plan to complete all necessary building upgrades by 2023. Additional goals in the strategic plan centers on increasing staff compensation to a livable wage and further participation in Learn and Grow (Alaska’s quality recognition and improvement system).
Currently, tuition and resource fees cover 95% of the cost to run the center each year, not including building maintenance and necessary upgrades. The rest of the funds to continue the operation of Hillcrest comes from grants and donations. The Development Committee creates a fundraising plan to support the continued success of Hillcrest through the Annual Campaign and grants.
The annual budget is broken down and explained at the State of Hillcrest held in May. Enrollment at Hillcrest is limited by licensing, with set income and costs associated with each child. Hillcrest recognizes that a consistent, secure relationship between caregiver and child is the foundation of a quality childcare situation, which is why Hillcrest has a unique staffing and classroom continuity program. Our current tuition rates alone cannot cover staff salaries and the food program, which require supplemental funding. The food program is a support for working families, and is a cornerstone of our program. The annual budget is broken down and explained at the State of Hillcrest each May, and Christina will be happy to meet with anyone who has additional questions about it.
How are the Annual Campaign funds used?
The Development Committee, with guidance from the Board, sets the campaign goal each year. The 2019 campaign goal of $25,000 is focusing on the essential support of our skilled staff through staff appreciation bonuses, completing the Preschool bathroom remodel, and seeding the continued facility upgrades.
The relationship between caregiver and child is the foundation of Hillcrest’s ability to provide quality care. In appreciation for that care, Hillcrest families and alumni have a long history of contributing to an annual appreciation fund each holiday season. The reality of early childhood is that staff subsidize each child’s tuition through their low wages. As explained above, and during the State of Hillcrest meetings, staff salaries are the biggest budget item that we control.
Hillcrest has many long-term caregivers who have made caring and educating young children their career and deserve compensation to be a livable wage. While we have made progress in the past few years, we are still short an average $4.27/hour to pay a livable wage for our current staff and $.52/hour below the average hourly pay to childcare staff in Anchorage.* Hillcrest families, both current and alumni, show their appreciation for the care provided to their children through participation in the Annual Campaign, which funds staff appreciation: appreciation funds are used to provide a holiday gift based on longevity to ensure equitable distribution. Additional appreciation funds are used to provide appropriate outdoor gear for the teachers and small items of appreciation during the year, such as a pair of movie tickets for their birthday.
The past two years have seen the kitchen remodeled to commercial standards, new water piping and flooring through the infant-toddler section of the building, new boiler and heating registers in the downstairs toddler and preschool building, and a connection from the sewer line to the preschool classroom. This year’s campaign funds will ensure the bathroom in preschool is complete with new flooring, heating registers, and cubby area. We have served children in preschool for 51 years with no restrooms or water in the classroom. The teachers are SO excited for the ease to come during the children’s day with toilets, several sinks, a drinking fountain/water bottle filling station, and a new cubby area in the back of the classroom. This upgrade to the preschool classroom will open up another adult bathroom and storage as we transition the current preschool bathroom into a staff bathroom.
The upcoming large projects that will round out the Board’s goal of completing all facility upgrades by 2023, are to replace the original roof on the infant/toddler building, perform some enticing play yard upgrades, and to update the fire alarm system (at least one of our alumni will be very excited about that!). Talk to Ms. Christina for further information about capital projects.
*Figures for Livable Wage calculations came from https://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/02020. Figures for average childcare wages in Anchorage came from http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/occ/occ.cfm?o=399011.
What is a Sustaining Family?
Hillcrest Children’s Center provides quality care for every child in an environment focused on developing a foundation for a lifelong love of learning and respect for self and others. As discussed above, tuition does not cover the costs to meet our mission. By making a monthly donation, you help ensure Hillcrest’s ability to continue providing services for Alaskan children for the next generation.