What Does it Mean to be in a Cooperative Preschool?

Being a member of a co-op preschool is a wonderful experience for children and families. Children benefit by learning from and building relationships with many caring adults. Parents benefit by being involved with their child’s learning and development and by getting a special perspective on their child’s first school experience. Parents also learn new ways to guide and interact with children that have a positive impact on their own parenting and can last a lifetime.

Being a member of a co-op also involves some responsibilities:

  • Parent-Helping Shifts: assisting the teacher in the classroom. 1-2 times/month for 2-day class, 2-3 times/month for 3-day class.
  • Co-op Job: each family takes on one job that requires a few hours a month. Examples of jobs are: washing toys, shopping for supplies, maintaining the website, or taking care of our class pets.
  • Summer Work Party: before school starts, one parent from each family participates in a work party to get the classroom ready for the new year.
  • Monthly cleaning: our classroom gets an extra cleaning once a month. Four families at a time work together to do this, so each family is only required to do this once a year.
  • Fundraising: because we keep our tuition rates low, we fundraise throughout the year for school expenses such as art supplies, books, playground equipment, and scholarships. We make this as easy as possible by using the SCRIP program, which allows us to earn money for Tillamook while we make our usual purchases at the grocery store, coffee shop, etc.
  • General Meeting Attendance: Part of being in a co-op is being on the same page as the rest of the community. Once a month our community gathers to share information about our school and hear from selected parent education speakers. One parent from each family is required to attend and childcare is provided.

Perhaps the best part about being in a co-op preschool is becoming part of a community of people that cares about the well-being of each other’s children. The coop experience is unique and will bring lots of reward for all your hard work!