What is a Cooperative Preschool and is One Right for You?

Choosing the right preschool for you and your child is one of the most important decisions you will make in your child’s life.  When choosing a preschool you need to keep in mind that some schools allow the parents to be involved as much as they want and others don’t allow any parent involvement at all.  If you are looking for a school that gives you as a parent the opportunity to be involved within the preschool as well as the classroom you may want to look into putting your child into a cooperative preschool.

What is a cooperative preschool?  A cooperative preschool is one that requires a lot of parent involvement.  You are required to volunteer in


Cooperative Preschool, Is it right for you?

Cooperative Preschool


the classroom 2 to 3 times a month.  You must hold a position/job within the preschool.  You are also required to participate in numerous fund raisers to help raise money for the school.  You will usually be required to attend orientation, parent help training, and monthly class meetings.  You may also be required to attend one weekend school cleanup and one maintenance work party or project each year.   In return you receive lower tuition rates, better child to adult ratios, and the opportunity to be directly involved with your child’s early education.  Parent education workshops and CPR classes are also available.

In the Olympia Washington area there are five different cooperative preschools.  There is the Westside co-op, Lacey co-op, Eastside co-op, Steamboat Island co-op, and Rochester co-op.  If you live in Olympia you are almost guaranteed to have a co-op preschool near you.  Remember, cooperative preschools are not for everyone.  Before you enroll your child make sure you have the time and energy it takes to be involved because it is required.

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