About Us

First Children Learning Services grew out of the First Children School in Fanwood, NJ. Joseph J. Hess, Jr, its president and owner since 2009, recognized the opportunity to begin providing educational, therapeutic and behavioral health services to children in the most natural settings possible. This may be at home, in the local school district, early intervention programs, hospitals, private schools and residential treatment facilities.

First Children operates an approved private school serving children ages 3 to 12 in Fanwood, NJ, which was established in 1978 by Children’s Specialized Hospital and acquired by First Children in 2009. In addition, the organization operates a child care program at its site in Fanwood serving children from infancy through pre-kindergarten, a unique program that serves both children with and without challenges.

Mr. Hess has spent the majority of his career administering organizations serving children with special needs. Over that time he has served in positions as chief financial officer, chief operating officer and president for large, multi-state agencies. In 2004 he established Mountain Eagle Group to help organizations serving children and others in need operate as efficiently as possible within their means.

Mr. Hess has a long association with Eden Autism Services in Princeton, NJ. First Children and Eden work together on projects that benefit the children of New Jersey, similar to that described here. Eden Autism Services got its start in Princeton in 1978 and operates schools, residences and clinics for children and adults with autism throughout New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida.