PLUSA, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation, is governed by an all volunteer service board. The PLUSA board gives time and effort sharing the Pikler® Approach with others. The Pikler board advocates for the work that continues in Budapest with a portion of proceeds contributed to the Lóczy Association in Hungary.
Our training provides knowledge to parents, caregivers, and professionals regarding the principles of the Pikler® Approach through consultations, intensives, and conferences nationally and internationally. Further in-depth training leads to a Pikler® Pedagogue certification.
PLUSA’s research focus includes new translations of Dr. Pikler's work, continued in-depth reflection on Pikler’s original documents and videos, as well as subsequent work produced at the Institute since Dr. Pikler’s death.
OUR SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Please consider making a donation to Pikler USA. 100% of donations go to our scholarship recipients, to our trainings, and to support the Pikler House in Budapest. We have no paid employees, no big benefactors. We count on the generosity of people like you to support us. You are all we have. If you believe in our mission to promote respectful caregiving, donate today. No donation is too small. Thank you for your support and generosity.
Immense gratitude to our dear friends and colleagues for allowing us to share photos of the children under their care.
This is why our scholarship fund matters! It’s also why Pikler USA invests in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #4, “to substantially expand globally the number of scholarship available for developing countries and, in particular, least developed countries, small island developing States, and African countries.”
Testimonials from scholarship recipients: Edited by Laura Willhoite
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy on Early Childhood Education in Rwanda by Eddy Kalisa, Nyarwaya, Rwanda
“After I was given scholarships and the opportunity to attend the Pikler trainings in Los Angeles in July 2018 and October 2019, the Pikler courses have positively impacted Rwandan early childhood education. After acquiring new skills and sharing experiences with other Early Childhood Development professionals, who came from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uganda, Nigeria, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel, Russian Federation, etc., I went back home full of excitement.
We had the best Hungarian trainers—experts in infant pedagogical principles and early childhood—who have impacted my life forever, because I went to the training with the goal of committing to change and of impacting other care providers.
I am now introducing Pikler principles and values at refugee camps and instituting the Pikler pedagogy as best practice to all care takers working in refugee camps in Rwanda, Congo, and Burundi.
My trainings about Pikler are a huge opportunity for Rwandan communities and for refugee communities as well. I strongly believe that Piklerian principles shall bring a big change in Rwanda in the near future.
I want to very much thank everyone who supports the Pikler Institute to empower poor communities; without such support I would not have been able to attend the trainings. I also wish to thank the Pikler USA Board of Directors for the scholarships.
In addition, I also wish to extend a huge thank you to Anna Ruth @The Nurtured Child, from the bottom of my heart, for buying my ticket to the USA for the trainings. I was so appreciative and humbled by your effort and generosity to support someone you did not know.
I wish to enthusiastically thank the team of experts from Hungary (Ezster Mózes, Szilvi Papp, Dr. Püspöki, and Jutka Kelemen) and Elsa Chahin, who are the best trainers I have ever experienced. You are always in my mind; your method of training is the best of the best! Through Alex, your translator, the courses were impactful, interactive, humbling, and clear to understand.
Special thanks go to Elsa Chahin, President and CEO of Pikler USA. Elsa, your gift to us, your uniqueness of big heart of loving each and every person, looking always strong to walk on the same footing, is encouraging. To me, you fulfill the scripture in the Bible, which commends us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Perhaps it’s the most difficult verse to many people, even to the priests who preach it, but you live by it because you love people so much to the extent that you even forget yourself at times; you like feeding people, educating them, empowering them, thereby changing them. You’re a connector. Personally, you inspire and motivate me a lot.”
– Eddy Kalisa, Institute for Conflict Transformation and Peace Building—Rwanda
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy on Early Childhood Education in Uganda by Ronald Ssentuuwa, Uganda
“Using my knowledge of Pikler, thanks to your scholarships, I have established, with my own basic savings, a community school in the rural south-western Uganda Rakai District to support mothers living under hard conditions with limited resources and without spaces for child-care. So far, we have enrolled 50 children. I trained two caregivers at the center to appreciate the importance of caring hands and of play, obtaining the appropriate play materials for the children working closely with their parents. My dream is to start a fully functional Pikler-inspired center to support those children in need of quality care in the rural districts of Uganda.
With the skills I learned in the Pikler classes, I requested to support the project team in developing the curriculum and a training manual for Mama Ambassadors, who will support teenage mothers by providing parenting skills in rural communities and counseling them in caregiving, love, sensitivity, and overcoming trauma to support the well-being of the children.
In addition, I participated in the training of thirty Mama Ambassadors with an emphasis on supporting teenage mothers to develop age-appropriate play materials for children in the dire circumstances they live in. This training also prioritizes the well-being of the young mothers through play with their children to support their own potential for full development.
On returning home after four Pikler courses (2018, 2019), I secured a job as Alternative Care Advisor with SOS Children. SOS Children Villages supports children who have lost parental care and those in danger of losing parental care. For those who have lost parental care, we provide a family-like care model for children cared for by mothers as primary caregivers in these families. For those at risk of losing parental care, we conduct family strengthening to improve on the caregiver’s parenting skills and their livelihood and economic conditions. In this role, I currently oversee four countries in east Africa—Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar—to implement quality alternative care for children in the different forms of care, ranging from kinship to institutional care.
Furthermore, through the Fair Start training by the Danish Foundation SOS staff, government officials and caregivers were trained in supporting vulnerable children; in these trainings, I have deeply applied Pikler principles. I place a large emphasis on ensuring thoughtfulness from the caregivers to love in the way that every child in need of care requires, also focusing on emotional regulation with secure attachment to the caregivers.” –Ronald
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy on Infants’ HOMES by Gabriela Tejeda, Director of 25 infants’ homes, Mexico
"I share with great enthusiasm hoping that this testimony reaches many people and I can, through these words, convey my deep appreciation for the opportunity I had to receive a Pikler USA scholarship several years ago and attend, in Budapest, the course with Anna Tardos.
Learning to respect the child and accompanying him in his learning has been an invaluable experience that has allowed me to replicate the model of attentive care to the babies in our institutions, and to transmit to their mothers the value of their interactions and respect in the parenting of their children.
In these years, more than 2000 babies have received these benefits, and more than 2000 families have managed to take these same teachings.
Thanks always for this great opportunity you have given me, and thanks to Elsa and her beautiful team.”
By Katherine Sharps, Executive Director of Sophia’s Hearth, USA – received partial scholarship for two weeks of courses in Los Angeles, 2018
"I was honored to attend two weeks of Pikler course work last summer with assistance from the PLUSA scholarship.
I used the material to deepen work with caregiving and play with a class of twelve 2-3 year-old children. The last eight months 21 parents with children, newborn to 3 years old, have joined classes I taught to build their relationship to their children through caregiving, observation and giving space for the child to play.
Additionally, I taught adults who are training in early childhood education. There are two classes with a total of 29 students where the material I learned at the Pikler course truly deepened what I could bring to the students.
Thank you for supporting me so that I could have this extraordinary experience with the teachers from Pikler Hungary.” – Gabriela Tejeda
My Encounter with Pikler and its Evolution by Raquel Puga, Mexico
“The first time I heard about Emmi Pikler was in a training in the Feldenkrais method. The teacher showed us a video of Lóczy that fascinated me, and I never forgot this name. About 8 years later, I contacted Pikler USA, who very quickly responded. The generous leader, who kindly offered me financial support, was Elsa Chahin, who I found to be an excellent person from the very first time I met her. I attended a training in Tulsa, Oklahoma where I could meet wonderful people who really touched my heart: Elsa Chahin, Anna Tardos, Laura Briley, Alex Kajtar, Colleen Walling, Susan Patrick, and many more I could name.
Back home in my long career as a child psychologist, it was easy to form groups of moms with their babies to work in a transformed space, which was then my office. I moved homes because I needed a larger and more comfortable environment, as the population interested in working with me also grew. Twelve groups of 10 families were formed, reaching 120 families and 120 babies.
The mothers and parents who participated said they felt more relaxed and confident while listening to and observing their babies from the perspective of the Pikler approach!
After attending a second training in 2012, this time in Charleston, South Carolina, where I also got support to attend, I decided to start my own school for parents teaching several topics, including: the development of autonomy, in which I introduced the principles of Emmi Pikler, including "allowing the child to discover for himself what he is capable of doing, as his autonomous motor development will positively impact all his development!" This transcended and reached more than 2000 families, of which they had an average of 2 children. So, the impact reached approximately 3000 adults and 4000 children.
I am currently founder and coordinator of Alamanda, a daycare and preschool in Colima, México, where we continue using the Piklerian principles directly with the children, as well as in lectures and workshops with their parents. The work we do is really beautiful, and we see its effects on the way they are developing, with great security and confidence in themselves and in the world around them.
With a heart full of gratitude, I say goodbye with a cordial greeting.”
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy On Early Childhood Education In Nigeria by Dr. Ife Adeoti, Nigeria
"In 2018 and 2019, I had the privilege of attending four Pikler trainings, thanks to the scholarships from Pikler USA organization. After the trainings, I knew I had received pearls that will transform children's lives and ensure they have productive future and as such, I was eager to share with caregivers whose role is to take care of children in orphanage homes. The passion to do more was activated in me due to the immense knowledge I had acquired.
One key lesson I learnt at the training program was how to respectfully care for children. Since then, I have tried to transfer this knowledge to many mothers I have come in contact with, including but not limited to my two sisters who are nursing mothers.
In addition, by virtue of my work as a health practitioner in my city, I am always opportuned to meet with several women, especially mothers. This presents me a lot of opportunities to teach them positive ways of relating to children. This is particularly necessary considering the type of community where I live, in which children are often treated as passive participants in their care.
Another lesson I learnt from the program was the importance of play in the early development of a child. A few years prior to the training program I founded a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Nigeria with the aim of visiting orphanage homes across the nation in order to equip them all with a medical box, which is essential to give first aid to sick children at their homes before taking them to the hospital. In pursuit of this goal, we were been able to visit over 50 homes in different states of Nigeria.
However, on attending the Pikler trainings and learning so much about the importance of play, I mobilized my volunteers, and we visited Hope Orphanage (a local Nigerian orphanage) to carry out the play project with about 50 children. We supported them with play materials which we donated to the home. We have since visited several times to further interact with and play with the children. Just as we did at Hope Orphanage, we plan to continue volunteering regularly at other orphanage homes, donating boxes full of varieties of toys that the children can pick from based on their interests, playing with the children and observing them play and also educating caregivers on the important role of play in children development.
I was gifted the book "In Loving Hands" by Elsa Chahin and Anna Tardos early last year. Since then, I have been reading the book and also incorporating some of the principles found therein. The book focuses on the rights of children living in homes. The knowledge and inspiration I derived from the book was so profound that I immediately set up a small reading group of like-minded people across four states in Nigeria in order for them to benefit from the rich content of the book and also to gain knowledge of the importance of caregivers’ interactions with children.
In order to commit to spreading the Pikler work among children and further spread these teachings amongst child caregivers, several banners were printed tagged ‘Declaration of the Rights of Young Children Living in Children's Homes,’ submitted by the Pikler/Lóczy Association Hungary and published by World Forum Foundation in the book “In Loving Hands.” They have since been distributed under the auspices of my NGO to about 15 children's homes of different states in Nigeria. I plan to distribute to 20 more homes this year.
Special thanks to all the teachers from Pikler House in Hungary who took their time to inculcate such a wonderful, most essential, and basic knowledge to me.”
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy on Early Childhood Education in Ecuador by Julissa and Johanna Castillo, Ecuador
“We have worked as long-time educators, tending to children and their mothers in our community in Ecuador. Our trajectory led us to deepen and form our principles of education from various theories and methodologies of formation for preschool-aged children. During our study, we discovered a different and special way of seeing the child through Dr. Emmi Pikler’s pedagogy.
In understanding Dr. Pikler’s wonderful vision, which proposes respect for the individuality of the infant from the first day of life, we were motivated to open a space dedicated to children (four months to three years old) and their families in Ecuador. Since then, we have worked for five years to open the doors of our space to families, teaching parenting issues and providing adequate information of the principles of Pikler pedagogy.
Our mission to our community is a different way to be with children and how to take care of them, providing clarity and safety in early childhood practices, both for those involved in home care or in early childhood education centers.
Our trajectory in the professional instruction of the courses of the Pikler pedagogy in Budapest and in the United States, began in Tulsa in April 2017, where I received a scholarship from the director of Pikler/Lóczy USA; a scholarship that was applied that same year in May, in the first course of the basic level in Budapest. This experience motivated me to follow my training and to study in a personal and exhaustive way about the sensitive and differentiated look on the development of the early childhood of Dr. Emmi Pikler. Currently I have studied three basic levels of training and an advanced level.
During this training process, we saw the need to open this wonderful knowledge to educators and mothers of our city in Ecuador, so thanks to Elsa Chahin, we organized the first intensive three-day workshop of Pikler pedagogy in our city, which was held at the University San Francisco de Quito. We had a wonderful reception of 43 participants, mothers and educators whom we continue to support in the process of training through workshops and lectures on the different topics that arise about the vision of Dr. Pikler on the educational processes of the daily life of their work in their institutions and the work of mothers with their children at home.”
Impact of Pikler Pedagogy on Early Childhood Education in Puerto Rico by Elsa Arenas from Colombia living in Puerto Rico
"My name is Elsa Arenas. I have worked with children for 25 years. Since 2002, I have had the great fortune of working with the Pikler pedagogy. I have counted on the generosity and support that Pikler/Lóczy USA has given me through many scholarships over the years. Without this support, I would not have been able to deepen my knowledge in early childhood education and help change the lives of many children.
Laura Briley and Elsa Chahin recognized the qualities I had within me, in what has become my life’s mission.
Through my work at the Waldorf school for more than two decades I have been able to impact countless families with the approach of Dr. Emmi Pikler.
After my first Pikler course, I understood that my life’s mission was to help families of all economic levels. I have designed workshops using the Pikler approach for parents, teachers and caregivers in Spanish and in places like New York (working with immigrants), Puerto Rico, Mexico (underprivileged caregivers), and Colombia. This has been possible thanks to the support of the scholarships I have received.
With the generous gifts I have been given, I have truly been able to broaden my knowledge and spread healing.
There have been many changes in the lives of children with whom I work, for example, the Circle of Parents and Children. In the workshops I teach for mothers and fathers, caregivers and teachers have all felt an impact from what I learned from the Pikler philosophy.
I feel infinitely grateful to be able to continue to learn about Dr. Emmi Pikler, and also to deliver this knowledge to the society in which we live.”