HILLTOP Early Childhood SERVICES is a consulting agency that succeeded HILLTOP Early Childhood CENTER.  The center was a non-profit nursery school and kindergarten that Ellen founded in Queens, NY in 1983.  Since 1983, the name HILLTOP has meant excellence in:

    • quality early childhood education
    • nurturing of children, staff, and families
    • advocacy for high-quality, appropriate, child-centered, inquiry-based education suited to each child’s needs.
    • positive relationships with licensing and regulatory agencies 

Hilltop Early Childhood Services is more than 20 years old! We are proud to Help Adults to Help Young Children in so many ways. Not full time now, but always interested in new avenues to help. Very grateful for all of the clients – some of them for years and years, the friends, the great times, the hard and yet rewarding work, the advocacy which seems even more critical now, the students, faculty, families, and especially, my fellow wizards of early childhood education who I’m proud to call friends. Thanks for everyone’s encouragement during these past years, and now, onward to the next challenge!!!


Since the start of the pandemic, our founder, Ellen Cogan has provided online group and individual consultation to programs and families.  On site services are now also available. She can help you with behavior difficulties related to and not related to the pandemic.

Ellen is an Implementation Planner for the Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership, one of only 40 experts selected nationally by the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care.

She is a member of the New York State Cadre of Master Trainers for the Pyramid Model, she has earned the New York State Training and Technical Assistance Professional Credential as a Professional Development Specialist – Early Childhood/School Age, and she is a registered trainer in the Aspire Registry.

Her training sessions qualify for EIP funding from NYS.  This only applies to programs in New York State.


 Our Founder, and principal consultant, Ellen Cogan, has been active in Early Childhood Education for very many years. Her last name has changed.  She started life as a Shapiro.  During college, MS Ed program, teaching, supervising and consulting, her last name was Hofstetter.  Consulting and teaching on the university level, she was a Jaffe.  Finally, in late 2011, she became a Cogan.  Looking back, staying Shapiro would have been so much easier, but times have changed so since those early days.    

Ellen earned BA and MS Ed degrees from the Early Childhood Education department of Queens College of the City University of New York. She was the only Early Childhood Ed major to minor in Home Economics.  Education of young children was connected to home and family from the start. 

Ellen raised four fantastic gifted children, along the way learning to advocate for their learning needs.  There are wonderful grandchildren  (three married to amazing spouses) and a super great-grand!  Several years after being widowed, Ellen married another widow, Mr. Cogan, and there are two super step-children with spouses and wonderful granddaughter!  Mr. Cogan often comes along on trips to conferences, seminars, etc.  Among his other super skills, he’s great at giving out handouts.

 What is Our Philosophy and Our Mission?

To Help Adults to Help Young Children – through practicing the 5 core values of:

  • Honesty/trustworthiness
  • Respect for self
  • Respect for others
  • Respect for the environment
  • Good citizenship (not political, but as as member of any and all groups such as faculty, classroom, etc.) 

Combined with:

  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Knowledge of child development
  • Knowledge of current research and methods
  • The belief that EVERY child can benefit from and deserves to be offered high quality early childhood education
  • Knowledgeable, well-paid, and kind staff

While Ellen is based in New York State, she enjoys traveling to clients wherever they are.