“Hillcrest has become the village for me and my family… The staff and educators deserve so much thanks and appreciation from me and my family.”
My third daughter, Quinci-Rae was born in 2020. Normally it is near impossible to secure an infant spot in childcare without a lengthy waitlist. It was so important that my daughter be in a place she would be loved, safe and supported to grow into a confident person.
I have toured many programs in Anchorage and was struck by many things at Hillcrest Children’s Center. I loved how important outdoor time was to them. I was thrilled that they always strive to lower ratios (more teachers to less children) to allow better loving care to our children, better selfcare time for teachers to prevent burnout, and time for other important things like professional development and planning. I remember one day when Quinci-Rae was learning to take a bottle, Christina was able to provide an extra teacher to the infant room to help her adjust. The continuity of care model where children and their relationship with their loved teachers are preserved helps children transfer to the older classrooms and still feel safe and secure; they feel loved enough to be ready to learn every day. As Quinci-Rae grew and developed relationships with more educators, she blossomed into a social butterfly where I am asked even at the neighborhood elementary school by adults and children if I am her mom.
A few months into our being a part of the Hillcrest family, my second daughter, Annalise was able to join Yvonne and Jim’s classroom downstairs. When she first started, she was very quiet and shy. She has developed such strong solid relationships at Hillcrest now that she always wants to go to school and I always “pick her up too early”.
I was curious about the parent’s night out a few months later and Christina encouraged me to sign up and take time for myself or take the time to get some things done without the kids. These times are such a blessing to be able to help me get all the things I need done and also to take the time for myself to be able to be the kind of mother I want to be for my girls.
Hillcrest has become the village for me and my family. Raising kids in today’s world “takes a village” of diverse passionate people who want to make a positive change in the world. I believe Hillcrest is the pebble in the pond that starts the waves of change. In each day and every interaction with my children, they show them love, kindness, bravery, humbleness, gentleness, independence, togetherness and confidence. The skills they are teaching my girls will carry them into society to be positive change and successful members of society. I give to Hillcrest because of the incredible work they are doing and the commitment they continue to make every day to continuous improvement. In times that have been difficult in a myriad of ways, Hillcrest continues prioritize professional development and prioritize staff wellness. The staff and educators deserve so much thanks and appreciation from me and my family.
Please join me this Annual Campaign season in giving to Hillcrest to ensure the staff are thanked and the building can be maintained as a safe, secure environment to house the program that is Annalise, Quinci-Rae’s, and Daenerys second home. Hillcrest is truly a special place.
You can join us by making a tax-deductible donation via credit card, PayPal, or by dropping a check off at Hillcrest.
-Jessica Simonsen’s family (Sydney, Annalise, Quinci-Rae, & Daenerys)