About Us

HILLTOP Early Childhood SERVICES is a consulting firm that succeeded HILLTOP Early Childhood CENTER, a nursery school, kindergarten and day care center founded in Queens, New York, in 1983. Since 1983, the name HILLTOP has meant excellence – in early childhood education, quality and nurturing of children, staff, and families, positive relations with licensing and regulatory agencies, and advocacy for appropriate education. The founder of both HILLTOPs is the same person – Ellen A. Hofstetter, who became  Ellen Jaffe and is now Ellen Jaffe Cogan, author of the forthcoming book, THE PLANNING SOLUTION: Meet Standards AND Preserve Play Our Founder, Ellen Jaffe Cogan, has been active in Early Childhood Education for very many years. She earned the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Science in Education degrees from the Early Childhood Education department of Queens College of the City University of New York. The only Early Childhood Ed major to minor in Home Economics, she melded education of young children to home and family from the start. Ellen raised four fantastic gifted children, two marvelous step children, and has 6 wonderful grandchildren. Her work history has included teaching in public and private elementary and preschools, directing positions in Head Start and private and publicly funded preschools, consulting to small and large Head Start and other programs, teaching education on the college level in the City University of New York, advocacy for high quality early childhood programs and for the children, families, and staff of these programs, grant writing, other writing including published articles, and speaking at conferences and forums. If you are planning a conference and need a keynote speaker, look no further. Our founder and president, Ellen Jaffe Cogan, was a member of Teaching Strategies, Inc. (publisher of The Creative Curriculum)’s Staff Development Network. She was trained by Teaching Strategies in the specific methodology of Creative Curriculum to train directors and teaching staff in implementation of both The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, Fourth Edition, and The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos. As a member of this group of highly experienced and respected Early Childhood professionals, she provided Creative Curriculum training to many programs (large and small, publicly supported, Head Start, and private) throughout the United States. Ellen has been a strong supporter of The Creative Curriculum for many years, and she continues to support many of the concepts of The Creative Curriculum as she moves on with other consulting venues.  Since she left their network, Teaching Strategies has published new versions and new products on which she has not trained.  Ellen has independently continued to offer seminars to help people understand and use some of their products based on her attendance at conference sessions, purchase of new materials, and mostly on her vast experience in early childhood, without connection to or endorsement of the publisher.  Her experience has led her to make significant changes in methods which are frequently revised, resulting in high levels of satisfaction of those in her sessions. Our clients include individuals, small agencies (both for-profit and non-profit), large multi-site agencies, resource and referral agencies, major corporations and consortiums of corporations and child care organizations. Recent presentations at conferences include local, city-wide, state and national, including NAEYC. See the events page for more information about publications, conferences, etc. Mrs. Jaffe  Cogan was an adjunct instructor in child development in the Childhood Education program in the School of Education, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, at The City College of New York (CCNY), City University of New York (CUNY), located in New York City.  She has been selected by the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care to be an Implementation Planner.