Parents need to be diligent in deciding on child care

Cleveland Jewish News
July 26, 2017


Choosing a daycare can be a difficult decision for parents and some parents struggle with the initial search.

Carol Paull, child care consultant at Hanna Perkins School in Shaker Heights, and Linda Bensoussan at YABI Nursery and Childcare in University Heights, both said parents should start this search by visiting and observing the environments of the daycares in which they are interested.

“(Parents) really want to pay attention to what is going on, like the interactions between teachers and children and if it’s respectful,” Paull said. “Are the children working individually or in small groups? Are the teachers looking at the whole children, in all aspects like social, emotional, physical and cognition?”

[READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE at the Cleveland Jewish News]

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    2nd Monday Parent Chat

    Next chat: Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

    2nd Monday Parent Chat is a series of open discussions about the challenges of parenting school-age children. Attendance is free and open to the public. It’s hosted by Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development in partnership with Shaker Heights Schools.

    Each chat is built around a theme, and moderated by a Hanna Perkins child development specialist. Discussion is informal and wide-ranging. Parents participate with ideas and solutions as well as questions. Attendees are surveyed about additional interests for future discussions.

    When: 6:30-8:pm, 2nd Monday of each month, August-April
    Where: Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development, 19910 Malvern Road, Shaker Heights, OH (Directions)
    Free and open to public. No reservations required; just drop in.
    Who: Parents of school-age children, Pre-K-12; plus professionals in education and child development.

    • August 14, 2017
    • September 11, 2017
    • October 9, 2017
    • November 13, 2017
    • December 11, 2017
    • January 8, 2018
    • February 12, 2018
    • March 12, 2018
    • April 9, 2018
    Next up:

    Getting off to a good start in the new school year

    6:30-8 pm
    Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
    With Judith Pitlick, MA, LPCC

    Beginning a new school year can be a bumpy process for students of any age. This open discussion will help by looking at the challenges through the child’s eyes, and offering ideas to make it better. Appropriate for parents of children from preschool thru high school, it will cover topics such as:

    • Getting back on a schedule
    • Developing a homework routine
    • Organization
    • Juggling extracurriculars
    • Social life
    • Taking responsibility for learning

    Future topics will be deteremined based on parent feedback, and may include:

    • Helping young children identify and manage feelings
    • Transitions
    • Making good choices
    • Developing kindness and empathy
    • Fostering a lifelong love of learning

    For event reminders, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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      Annual Fund Campaign

      For many of our families, paying for school or treatment at Hanna Perkins can be a challenge. Your gift allows us to offer families our services at a rate they can manage.
      Currently 40% of Hanna Perkins families receive financial support because of your generosity, but every child and family benefits from the Annual Fund.
      Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development fosters the emotional well-being of children and their families and helps them master life’s challenges. We promote positive early learning experiences through educational and therapeutic services for children and parents; training and support for professionals; and community-wide collaborations.
      Gifts to the Annual Fund provide Hanna Perkins with important unrestricted operating support. Please consider making yours today.

      Matching Gifts

      Does your employer have a matching gift program?  If so, you can double or even triple the impact of your gift.  Please check on the potential of matching your gift to Hanna Perkins Center.






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        Free discussion about controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”

        Hanna Perkins will host a free forum about the controversial Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, which tells the story of a teenager who kills herself.

        The show’s frank presentation of themes including depression, suicide, bullying and sexual assault has created concerns about its impact on vulnerable teens. This concern has come up numerous times in our own discussions with parents, adolescents and mental health professionals.

        In light of this, Hanna Perkins is offering a free forum discussion for parents and professionals.


        7 p.m.
        Monday, May 22
        at Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development
        19910 Malvern Road
        Shaker Hts, OH 44122
        (click for directions)

        Free and open to the public

        Hanna Perkins therapists Kimberly Bell, Victoria Todd and Kenna Mycek, will serve as panelists to discuss the show’s main themes, answer questions about its content, and address how to talk with children about their thoughts and experiences.

        This event is appropriate for parents, social workers, educators and others who work with children and adolescents. It is free and open to the public.

        About the panel

        • Kimberly Bell, Ph.D., is a psychologist and child psycholanalyst. She is clinical director of the Hadden Clinic at Hanna Perkins.
        • Victoria Todd, LISW-S, is a child and adolescent psychoanalyst, and author of Hanna Perkins’ “My Mad Feelings” anti-bullying curriculum for young children.
        • Kenna Mycek. LISW, is a psychologist and child psychoanalyst.
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          Challenge gifts offered to double your donation

          Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development has received two challenge gifts that will double contributions between now and June 30. If you make donations to non-profit organizations that provide hands-on service to local children and families, please consider making a gift now.

          Two anonymous donors have promised to match every new gift we receive up to a total of $7,500 each. These gifts are providing us with a new and exciting opportunity to raise supplemental funds for our general operating budget in the last few months of our fiscal year.

          For 65 years, Hanna Perkins has supported health social-emotional development in children for success in school and life. We do this through:

          • Hanna Perkins School – a small, highly individualized learning environment offering preschool, kindergarten and parent-toddler groups;
          • Hadden Clinic, offering therapeutic mental health services to children and adolescents, and mothers struggline with postpartum depression;
          • Programming to offer parenting support and consultation;
          • Professional training for early learning educators, social workers and others who work with children on a regular basis;
          • Consulting and training with early learning centers, schools, social service agencies and other institutions that work with children.

          We’re innovating every day. New programs include Exploring Potentials in Children – a classroom that prepares young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders for a mainstream education; and My Mad Feelings – a one-of-a-kind program that works with children as young as 4 to head off bullying before it begins.

          Your gift has immediate impact right here in Northeast Ohio. It provides important funding for all of these programs, as well as scholarships that allow families in need to access our services at a cost they can afford.

          Your donations can be accepted by mail or online. For more information, click here and give before June 30, and your gift will be doubled.

          If you have any questions about the challenge, contact our Beth Watson in the Development Office at 216.929.0198 or

          Thank you.  Your  support is greatly appreciated.

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            New mom? Don’t feel right?

            New mom? Don’t feel right?

            Postpartum depression is one of several mood and anxiety disorders that can follow the birth of a child. The Hadden Clinic at Hanna Perkins offers effective treatment for these serious health issues. If you don’t feel right, call. We’ll see you within 48 hours.

            For an appointment/consultation, contact Kimberly Bell at 216.991.4472 (ext. 209 after hours).

            Not sure? Learn more about the symptoms with this short article.

            Image courtesty of Douglas John/

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              Autism Spectrum Disorders Dedicated Classroom

              Hanna Perkins’ EPIC Classroom is for children ages 4-6 with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It’s a natural extension of our school’s focus on healthy emotional development by working with children to identify, understand, manage and communicate feelings.

              EPIC – short for Exploring Potentials in Children – was developed in response to parents who have sought out the Hanna Perkins’ approach and an opportunity for close parental involvement, but also needed a classroom and educational approach tailored to the particular needs of children on the spectrum.

              Our program is designed for high functioning children who are likely to eventually transition to a mainstream environment. But it provides less stimulation and more visual learning than other preschool classrooms, to support children in the early group interaction and socialization that can be a barrier for young learners in this category.

              ClevelandClinicCforAutismHanna Perkins School is an autism scholarship provider through the Ohio Department of Education.

              The Dedicated ASD Classroom involves collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Center for Autism.

              boy with scissorsA child’s behaviors are expressions of feelings that need to be understood, respected and responded to in the most helpful way possible. This applies to all children regardless of limitations or differences in the way they communicate.

              Often children on the spectrum show their feelings in dramatic ways that are confusing to those who don’t understand their language. In all Hanna Perkins programs, our specialists work closely with parents and teachers to help facilitate better understanding, and to support a child’s gradual ability to know, manage, and appropriately express his or her  feelings.  A child who gains this mastery over time will feel happier and more successful because of it.


              • Maximum class size of 6 children, ages 4-6
              • Five days/week, September through June
              • Monday-Thursday – 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Friday – 9 a.m.-noon
              • Staffed with two teachers experienced in working with the ASD population
              • An Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) consultant providing up-front training and ongoing consultation
              • Two Hanna Perkins-trained child therapists available to meet weekly with parents and teachers
              • An environment designed to be less stimulating than a traditional preschool classroom
              • Increased emphasis on visual learning
              • Consultation and on-site services, as needed, of a Speech & Language Therapist
              • Classroom materials and techniques designed for the ASD population

              Hanna Perkins is an Ohio Autism Scholarship Provider. For discussion about the suitability of the program for specific children, we’re happy to talk with you directly, and are glad to introduce you to our current Preschool, Kindergarten, and Parent/Toddler programs as well. Please click here to contact our Educational Director.

              Learn more:


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                Hanna Perkins School open house: Tue., April 25

                Version 2Hanna Perkins School will hold an open house from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 for parents of prospective preschoolers and kindergarteners in 2017-18. It’s the last open house for families planning to enroll a child in preschool or kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year.

                One-on-one tours will be offered throughout, and a group Q&A/Discussion will take place at 5 p.m.

                Visitors will discover what makes Hanna Perkins unique – from the mindful approach to child development, to the important role of parents in the learning process, to the way meals and outdoor fun are integrated into the curriculum.

                Hanna Perkins focuses on helping young children understand and manage the feelings that arise in everyday interactions – a foundational skill for success in school and life.

                Our EPIC (Exploring Potentials in Children) Classroom, for children with Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorders diagnoses, will also be open. It applies the same social-emotional focus in an environment modified specifically for the learning needs of children who are likely to join a mainstream classroom in the future.

                Hanna Perkins classes feature a 6:1 student teacher ratio, and a unique team-based approach involving the parent, teacher and a Family Helper to provide an 65th logoexperience that sets each child on his or her best path for future success. The program  integrates best practices in early childhood education with an internationally-recognized relationship-based model that has been researched, developed, practiced and fine-tuned for more than 65 years.

                The school offers an effective environment for a wide range for students, including:

                • Those whose parents value a proactive emphasis on social-emotional development;
                • Children who would benefit from extra personal attention;
                • Children who are struggling with specific emotional or behavioral issues.

                It is not a therapeutic school in the narrow sense that many people understand, but is particularly attractive to families with a child or children who need help making sense of the world around them, and support in managing the their response to it.

                Claass Blocks &windowsHanna Perkins School is located in a beautifully restored historic school building in a neighborhood setting in Shaker Heights. It offers two playgrounds; an indoor gym; and healthful meals prepared onsite daily, with an emphasis on organic and locally grown food.

                For information about the open house, contact School Director Barbara Streeter.

                We’re located at 19910 Malvern Road, Shaker Heights, OH. Click here for directions.

                For more information why Hanna Perkins School may be right for your child, see these resources elsewhere on our website:

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                  Emotional Intelligence

                  2 boys_david castillo dominici_freedigitalphotosThe foundation for future learning is established between birth and age six. During this time, a child transitions from dependence to independence, and develops an emotional blueprint that informs every aspect of his or her life.

                  Emotional intelligence – the ability to understand and manage feelings – is considered the driving force behind intellectual and social achievement, and the strongest indicator of human success.

                  Emotional intelligence can be fostered most effectively during the preschool years, regardless of the genetic or temperamental predispositions with which a child is born. It is an area in which we can make a difference. Children who receive the gift of adult mindfulness during these early years develop essential assets, such as

                  • Curiosity
                  • Problem-solving
                  • Competence
                  • Mastery
                  • Creativity
                  • Management of worries and fears
                  • Ability to focus
                  • Self-control
                  • Kindness
                  • Self-advocacy

                  By understanding this and addressing a child’s inner life, all children can be helped to cultivate  critical life skills. Children who receive the gift of adult mindfulness during these early years develop essential assets, such as flexibility, relationship-building, conflict management, self-awareness, self-discipline and planning skills.

                  Through emotionally-based learning, children are best equipped to build resilience and maximize their own potential.

                  Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/


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                    2017 Spring Conference Registration

                    Living & Working With Children: Taking Care of Yourself & Others

                    Registration options:

                    1. Register online below (nominal registration fees apply)
                    2. Click for a mail/fax registration form (no additional fees apply). Save form to your computer. You may fill it out on-screen or after printing it. To submit registration, print the form, then fax or mail with payment per instructions on the form itself. 
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