Portland >Education > Helen Gordon Child Development
1609 SW 12TH Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720145.514578 -122.688290
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Neighbors West - Northwest
Extremely thoughtful, excellent care – I'm sad to read other reviewer's frustrations. In the past 3 years, we have found Helen Gordon to be an extremely good childcare program for both of our children. While we were on the waitlist for THREE (3!!!!) years, we had ample opportunities to explore other group-care centers out there, both very good and far less so, and found Helen Gordon to have been worth the wait, (even though that lengthy waiting period certainly had us wondering if it could POSSIBLY be all that great).
One of the major advantages of Helen Gordon is that the staff is primarily in their 20's and 30's and are all coming from PSU's professional childcare training program. We have found this to mean that the caregivers are young enough to bring youthful energy and enthusiasm to the classroom, and that they are also professionally invested in providing high-quality, thoughtful care - taking advantage of the university's programs, courses, and constant education support.
We found ample proof of the Reggio Emilia "child-led" learning at HG, particularly in the preschool program, and I'm sure it depends on the staff involved, but we were very pleased with how that philosophy was enacted.
One downside of HG, which is true of ALL childcare centers, is that staff turnover causes chaos, and that not all student teachers stay on longer than their year of practicum. I think the center tries hard to hold on to good staff and ease transitions when staff move on from the university, and they certainly have had a good number of very caring, creative, invested staff.
We absolutely recommend HG to anyone who asks.
Doesn't hold up to the hype; not worth the wait – I was a parent of a toddler at HG, and I was wholeheartedly disappointed with the school while I was there. My child's teacher (in the "sun room") was never available and the room was always in disarray when I came in to pick up. It seemed he was always being taken care of by the student employees rather than the actual teachers in the room, which was definitely not was I was paying for. I had heard such great things about the center from friends in the community, and I know that HG is supposedly known for its work with the "Reggio Emilia" philosophy, but I never saw any evidence of it down in the infant/toddler classrooms. I really hope the school can work on its teachers and maybe bring in some people who actually want to be there, and turn its focus back on educating young children rather than making a (false) name for itself.
Not worth the wait – I was so excited to get into HG. My child and I were on the waiting list for 2 years. When we finally got in, we were treated like annoyances. One of the kindergarten teachers there was very nice to us, but I can't say much for anyone else. The director was, well...to put it nicely, not very nice to us.
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