HFP strives to be a diverse and affirming community of all families, embracing those that are multiracial, LGBTQIA , divorced, or blended, as well as families from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Who we are:

Hawthorne Family Playschool’s mission is to safeguard childhood, teach equity and inclusion, and build cohesive, caring community. We are a mixed-age (3-5), play-based, cooperative preschool teaching kindness and inclusion. We foster self-expression, relationship skills, social problem solving, emotional intelligence, our connection to the natural world, and valuing the ways we are the same and the ways we are different .

Our teacher, Susan Eisman, draws from the practices of Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Re-evaluation Counseling, and peace activism. Susan completed her masters coursework in human development and has been joyfully working with young children and families since 1990. She partners with deeply invested parents to provide a nurturing learning community in which children and families thrive.

What we believe:

pumpkin2Children are eager, capable players who learn with zest in stimulating and affirming environments. They are competent problem solvers when given support. Children find deep satisfaction in following their interests, building relationships, and making friends. Children are naturally curious about differences and want to learn.

Children learn best when they are connected to nature. We provide natural materials inside and outside the classroom and help children to become good stewards of the earth. HFP is certified as an Eco-Healthy Child Care (EHCC) provider by the Oregon Environmental Council. Our play yard is also recognized by The Audubon Society of Portland as a Certified Backyard Habitat.

We believe participating in a parent-run cooperative is deeply rewarding for the children, their families, and the teacher alike.

What we do:

parent helperWe limit class size to 14 children to ensure low student/adult ratios and individualized attention.

Parents assist the teacher in the classroom, working approximately twice every six weeks for families in the 2-day program and three times every six weeks for families in the 3-day program. Parents provide healthy, vegetarian snacks for the class on a rotating basis.

We nurture children’s ideas, interests, and feelings as they partner with friends and engage in a wide variety of activities. Adults thoughtfully provision the environment so that children learn wherever they play.

Benefits of Hawthorne Family Playschool:

Intimate Group Size and Low Adult/Student Ratios
We are committed to keeping our group sizes small and maintaining a good adult/child ratio. Teacher Susan and two helpers work with a maximum of fourteen children each school day. With a small group size and exceptional adult/child ratio, we provide a nurturing environment in which each child’s uniqueness is appreciated and individual needs are well met.

Student Teacher Partnerships
We partner with Lewis and Clark and Warner Pacific Colleges in placing student teachers in our classroom. Each semester, two to four student teachers lend their enthusiastic helping hands to us, improving our adult/child ratio. We provide students with a valuable learning experience, which is coordinated and supervised by our teacher.

A Genuine, Powerful Teacher/Family Relationship
Children have an early learning experience in which their own families are central and valued, bridging the gap between home and school. Children feel safe as their teacher knows and partners with their entire family. Children benefit from their relationship with their teacher and from their relationships with all their friends’ parents.

A Deeply Invested Community of Families
— Participate in our children’s early and foundational experiences of exploring relationships with peers, using play and nature as primary building blocks for learning.
— Support and learn from the experienced leadership of HFP’s dedicated, innovative teacher.
— Learn and reinforce skills that help build a foundation for self-confidence and lifelong learning with respect for our children at the center.
— Build relationships with other like-minded families for ongoing collaboration, fun, and sharing.
— Grow a sense of pride and gratification in joining a project to partner in our child’s learning and to help create and maintain a school that is a leader in early childhood education.

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Hawthorne Family Playschool is a registered nonprofit. Our tax ID number is 55-0788576