How Our Co-op Works
What do parents or caregivers in a cooperative preschool do?
Being part of a cooperative preschool is a family commitment. Our structure is built on family participation, including parents helping in the classroom and holding a job within the preschool. As a non-profit organization, each family plays a role in keeping the school running smoothly and safely. Consider yourself an active participant in your child's education.
What makes cooperative preschools different from traditional preschools?
Our parents learn right alongside their children. Families are actively involved in all aspects of our children's education, from leading classroom activities, to planning field trips, to making pancakes for snack and playing board games.
ECP enthusiastically supports our teachers' and parents' efforts to make preschool an enriching experience for everyone. At ECP, we have two programs under one roof -- a children's preschool and a parent education college course. In addition to the college commitments, ECP families also support our teaching staff and operate the preschool as a non-profit business.
The Children's Classroom
Children aged 2-5 attend classes, up to three half-days a week, led by co-op hired teachers.
The Preschool Business Operations
Co-op member families assume responsibility for the preschool's business operations and supporting the teaching staff. Involvement can range from smaller classroom jobs to becoming a member of the preschool board. Each family selects or is assigned a job based on their skills and interests.
The bulk of the preschool and classroom jobs require minimal time and are necessary to support the teaching staff or ensure an efficient, safe classroom and grounds for our children. Examples include Playdough Maker (we use homemade playdough in the classroom), Library Assistant (check out books for teachers), Work Party Coordinator (organize three outdoor work parties per year), and Art Supplies Coordinator (makes sure art supplies in classroom are stocked and organized).
Some preschool jobs deal more with the business operations of the school or with needs specific to a class. Examples include the Treasurer's Assistant (deposits tuition checks), Purchaser (buys housekeeping supplies), Publicity Assistant (organize community events), and Field Trip Coordinator (arranges field trips for their child's class).
Board member jobs require a larger time commitment, but parents earn an extra college credit per quarter. Examples include Membership (runs annual registration), Health & Safety Coordinator (ensures classroom and ground safety) or Class Representative (liaison between teacher, class families and board).