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What is a Co-op Preschool?

A Cooperative or "Co-Op" Preschool is a parent participation preschool. It is a non-profit, nonsectarian, democratic organization where each family shares in the planning and operation of the school. Parents participate in the program on a rotating basis, serving as assistants to professional early childhood development teachers and staff. The efforts of parents and their direct involvement during the school day make a parent participation school a unique educational endeavor.

What are the age requirements for each class?
The 2-Day class is for children from ages 2.5 to 3 (children must be 2.5 by September 1). The 3-Day class is for children from ages 3 to 4. The 4-Day class is for children from ages 4 to 5.

May I enroll my 4-year-old child in the 2-Day class? May I enroll my 2.5 year old child in the 3-Day class?
No. Please see above for age requirements. Our classes are carefully structured around what is developmentally appropriate for the children, which is why the number of days they attend is dependent upon their age group.

Does everyone work in the class? How often?
Many of our parents do, but there are options available.
Generally, working parents of children enrolled in our 2-Day program can expect a minimum of 2 days per month. Parents of children in 3-Day can expect a minimum of 3 days per month.  There are no scheduled working parents in our 4-Day class, though we may allow a limited number of 4-Day parents to work in our other classrooms in exchange for reduced tuition.  There are also a limited number of buy-out options for those who are unable to work in the class as often, or at all. This can range from a partial buy-out with a lighter schedule to a full buy-out of all your working days.

What does it mean to work in the classroom?
On your work day you will arrive 30 minutes before class starts and help prepare the yard, tidying up and setting up for activities. During class you will essentially be another teacher with all hands on deck. Be observant and listen to the children around you, and be available when the children need you. Play on the ground with the children; if there are no children around you, take out a puzzle or a game etc., and start working on it, the children will come to you. Teachers may direct you to do something specific, otherwise, just be present and available. After class, you can expect to stay about 30 minutes to help tidy up.
How will I be prepared for working in the classroom?
All parents attend an orientation and receive a handbook that further explains our philosophy and your role as a working parent. We also have daily task lists posted to help as visual reminders of what needs to be done, and we are happy to help answer any questions you have along the way.

What else is needed to work in the class?
In order to meet legal requirements, all parents working in the classroom need to obtain documentation of current Tdap, MMR, flu vaccine, a negative TB test or clearance form, a statement of good health, and a criminal record statement LIC 508. We also require current Pediatric CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification. We will provide you with the forms needed and help guide you during registration.

What are parent jobs?
Parents share in the administration responsibilities with the director and teachers. Every family has a job in the school; This could include anything from gardening in our yard to holding a board position. We try to fit the job to your interests and availability. Most jobs require about 1/2 hour a week commitment. Some jobs, for instance, working on a special event may require more time initially but after the event, the job is done for the year.

What are chore days?
Parents share in the care and creation of the school; we have a beautiful space and we all take pride in helping take care of it. Tasks may include gardening, cleaning, organizing, painting, repairing, building, etc.
Chore days are held one Saturday each month.  All families are required to attend two a year - one in the fall and one in the spring.

Why do I need to attend monthly general meetings?
Families form a supportive community and meeting as a group is essential to the functioning of the school. A monthly general meeting is required for the parent working in the classroom. These are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. The business of the school is done at these meetings and often times a conversation will be facilitated by the teachers to engage parents deeper in their child's school experience. Topics may include anything from a deeper conversation on our philosophy, what to expect in Kindergarten, art in the classroom, etc.

What is the adult to child ratio?
We hold a 1:5 ratio.  We strive to keep a high adult to child ratio to provide the best care for our children.

Does my child need to be vaccinated?
Yes. In accordance with state law, all enrolled children must show proof of current vaccination unless they have a medical exemption signed by their doctor. Required vaccines include DTap, Polio, Hep B, MMR, Hib, and Varicella.

Does my child need to be potty trained? How are bathroom needs handled?
Children are not required to have obtained full toilet learning skills, however, it is recommended for 3 Day and 4 Day. As a child-directed school, we encourage the children to monitor their own toileting needs, especially once the child has fully developed toilet learning. The teachers will be happy to help your child by being observant of their body language and suggesting a visit to the bathroom at appropriate intervals during the learning process. There are no scheduled diaper changes or bathroom visits throughout the day. If a child asks to use the restroom or soils their diaper or clothing, one of the teachers will take the child to the bathroom and assist as needed.

How does the school handle food allergies?
We can accommodate most dietary restrictions and are happy to discuss your child’s needs.