A parent cooperative preschool is organized by a group of families with similar philosophies who hire a trained teacher to provide their children with a quality preschool experience. The preschool is administered and maintained by the parents on a non-profit, non-sectarian basis. The parents assist the professional teachers in the classroom on a rotating basis and participate in the educational program with the children. Each family shares in the business operation of the school, thus making it truly a cooperative venture. Parents, preschool children and their teachers all go to school together and learn together.
Because parents run the school and work in the classrooms, cooperative preschools are often much cheaper to attend than their drop off counterparts. Parents are responsible for a number of duties that keep the school running smoothly.
Parent responsibilities include:
- Working in the class one day per week. This also means you have 2 or 3 days a week to yourself while the kids are in class!
- Bring snack on a rotating basis. Usually once every 4 – 6 weeks, depending on how many students are enrolled. We have a color group system for snack: when it’s your color week, you bring snack on the day you work in class.
- Hold a classroom job or board position. We have a variety of jobs to do that keep class running, such as Material Manager, Safety Manager, Photograher, etc.
- The board is made up of parents elected annually at our end of year meeting. Positions include President, Treasurer, Registrar, Secretary, Marketing Coordinator, Fundraiser Coordinator, and Classroom Chairs. Board meetings are held monthly on a Thursday morning at a member’s house or the preschool.
- Keep the school clean. Each family is responsible for helping clean the school thoroughly twice a year. Usually, two families sign up for each weekend, and cleaning takes 1 – 2 hours. We also help setup and take down the classrooms in the fall and spring.
- Raising funds for the school. We love to keep tuition low! We actually keep it lower than our operational costs, which means we have to do fundraisers just to balance our budget. Our logic is that this allows us to spread the cost of education into the community. You do have the option to increase your tuition rather than participating in fundraisers.
- Participate in community events like Family Nights and Parent Nights Out. Family Nights are a big potluck dinner where families from all the classes get to hang out. Games and art projects are available for the kids. Parent Night Out is like organized babysitting for date night! It’s a fun night for the kids with dinner, games, crafts, and an age-appropriate movie.
If you love the sound of having hands-on experience in your child’s early learning process, and you are willing to work with us to make school a great place to be, contact us to schedule a visit! But if this all sounds like a lot to do, we understand. And maybe a drop off preschool is a better fit for your family.