Play Educator Training Program

Mo Play & Pure Play

Want to be a play educator for Union Square Play?! WE'RE HIRING!
Play is how children learn about the world; about the concept of self and everything around them. Being able to work with children during the most pivotal years of their life is an honor and privilege that we don't take lightly. It’s an opportunity to form strong bonds with them and create an environment where they can take risks, freely explore and stumble upon constant wonder. Children are so capable and they often teach us things before we even notice them ourselves. We can be the facilitators of their play while still letting them lead the way; creating opportunity through thoughtful invitations, rich materials, communication and connection.
We are looking for candidates who are...
  • invested in early childhood education
  • innovative thinkers
  • inspiring educators who value children's play and intuitively make space for infants, babies, and toddlers to flourish
  • organized and intentional, nurturing and compassionate
  • accepting of children’s competence and ability to lead their own play
  • capable of creating an environment with discovery in mind
  • capable of creating a safe space for exploration and investigation
  • Believer in the importance of early childhood enrichment
  • Believer in the value of play
  • Believer in anti-racism
  • Believer in intentional play + learning environments
  • Believer in children’s abilities
  • Believer in authentic connection with children
Fill out this brief application and upload a resume and cover letter.


This program takes principles from the RIE® Educaring Approach, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf philosophies and fuses them all together into one play approach.

Educators can expect to learn…

  1. Respect for children - how we talk to them, care for them, connect with them
  2. The USP Play Philosophy - what is open-ended play and why does it matter? What are loose parts and how do we invite children to play with them?
  3. How to observe and thoughtfully interact with children during a play experience
  4. How to set up materials and create an intentional play experience


    Jennie Monness is a co-founder of Union Square Play, a parenting community and play space that helps make the early years of parenting a little bit easier, a lot more fun, and very communal. She is also the founder of Mo’Mommies, her personal Instagram account documenting the joys and challenges of motherhood coupled with her years of experience working with children using research-based best practices. An early childhood educator for more than 12 years, Jennie uses both her educational background and personal experience in motherhood to educate and empower new parents and to share the type of information that all parents need. Her methods center around the RIE® approach to respectful parenting, a philosophy that focuses on empathy, autonomy, and communication starting from birth. As such, her approach to open ended play materials and objects encourages kids to be engaged rather than entertained, creating their own "curriculum" and learning in the most natural, innate way. Jennie received her Master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in Psychology and Education. She has two daughters, 3.5 and 1.5 years old.

    Hannah Ruppel is a mama of 2 boys, ages 6 years and 17 months. She has been an early childhood educator since 2009. She is passionate about wellness, creating sustainable, intentional and non-toxic learning environments, and sharing her knowledge on mindfulness to young children and their families.
    She received her Master’s in General and Special Education Birth-Grade 2, from Fordham University (2012), a certificate in Health Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (2014), a 25-hour Yogi Beans Teacher Training (2018), holds an Early Childhood American Montessori Society (AMS) credential (2019), and was formerly a Co-lead Early Childhood Educator for WeGrow. She currently creates for The Pure Play Collective on Parenting + where she shares holistic ideas on play and learning for families and their children.


    Please fill out this application, including uploading your resume and cover letter.