FAQ's about Co-Op
We moved to the Key Peninsula in 2013 and started our oldest son at the Evergreen site. Six straight years later the Co-Op has become a huge part of our lives and has been like a family to us. I would recommend the Co-Op to anyone!
What is a Co-op Preschool?
A cooperative preschool is a parent/child participation program. Parents run the school, hire the teachers, and work in the classroom on a rotating basis. The preschool is governed and maintained by the parents. Each family shares in the business operation of the school, thus making it truly a cooperative venture.
Our school is affiliated with Bates Technical College. Once enrolled in our preschool, one parent is enroll in Bates and earns credits in their Early Childhood continuing Education Program. Bates trained cooperative preschool teachers plan an enriched, fun and challenging curriculum for the children. The parents assist the teachers in the classroom and participate in the educational program of all the children.
What are the Benefits of a Co-op Preschool?
Parents gain insight into child behavior by observing other children. They observe how other parents and the professional teachers handle various situations and gain greater understanding and enjoyment of their own children through active participation in their education. They have the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise with others while working together in a cooperative setting. Through serving on the Board, parents learn about administration, running meetings and other skills useful to them in other areas and states of their lives. They also learn useful ideas for helping their children at home and in the world around them.
Children participate in a supervised play and learning experience with children of their own age. Equipment, materials and physical facilities are scaled to child size. An opportunity is provided to interact with adults other than their own parents. The children are able to find security and a feeling of belonging in a world which is non-threatening and interested in them. Learning to respect and accept the rights and differences of others is emphasized. Children have hands-on experiences in creative arts, music, science, literature, and language geared to their needs and developmental level.
For the Community
Parents and children develop an extended family with friendships they carry through their lives. Parents gain a strong sense of responsibility and develop positive self worth which carries over into every aspect of community life. The cooperative organization provides preschool experiences within the financial means of most families.
How Will I Need to Participate and What Responsibilities are Required?
1. Attend Orientation and Parent Training meetings at the beginning of the school year. Both meetings are mandatory. Families will sign up for a committee position as well as pay first month's tuition and Bates fees at Paperwork in the Park. All working parents must attend a training before being allowed to work in the classroom.
2. Work in the classroom as assigned on the monthly class working schedule. (The number of days you will work in class varies by month, class size and schedule but average between 2-4 per month.) Working parents are required to arrive 10 minutes prior to class for set up and stay 10 minutes after class for clean up.
3. Earn eight (8) Parent Education Credits
4. Participate in Fundraising to help meet the school's operating budget and keep tuition low
5. Join the board or a committee: See Board & Committee Positions
What Does Registration as a Bates Student Mean?
Parents are enrolled in a continuing education parenting program and are earning college credits. Working in the classroom is considered laboratory hours and attending Parenting Education opportunities is the lecture for the program. (see Parent Education Credits) Some of the Parenting Education classes are presented at Bates South Campus in Tacoma, some classes are offered online, and other Parenting Education opportunities are provided at the preschool during your child's class time. This gives parents numerous choices and opportunities throughout the year to learn more and earn the required 8 parent ed. credits.
For more detailed information from Bates see the: Bates Parent Cooperative Preschools Handbook
Can I bring my child's sibling when I work in class?
Due to insurance limitations, children not enrolled in the preschool are not allowed to attend classes with the working parent in a sibling's class. However, siblings are allowed to come to the school and stay with parents attending quarterly Parent Shares.
What if I'm unable to work in class as scheduled?
If you're scheduled in the classroom and your child is sick, a sibling has to stay home or you are unable to work in the class for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact other families in your class to find a replacement or switch days. You will be provided with a parent working calendar each month and a class roster. Working parents are required to arrive 10 minutes before class and stay 10 minutes after for set up and clean up. If you're running late, please call the school, the teacher, or your class representative. Class will be canceled if you don't find coverage.
Some families choose to have an alternate parent or guardian available to work in class to make scheduling easier. If you have a grandparent, family member or babysitter/nanny who will be helping out in class as well, they will need to be finger printed through the Peninsula School District and attend Classroom Training.
Are You Affiliated with Grace Church?
While we are very appreciative of our hosts, we are not affiliated with any religious organizations and we pay rent for our classroom space at Grace Church.
What do you do to keep kids healthy?
Our policy requires children be kept home if they have had any of the following with in the last 24 hours:
- Colored nasal discharge
- Congested cough that is not related to asthma and/or allergies
For example, if your child has a fever or other symptom Monday afternoon their 24 hour period does not start until they are fever free. If they are fever free Tuesday morning and remains so, they would be able to return to class on Wednesday. This 24 hour period is to help prevent the spread of illness within our classrooms.
In addition, any child who is known to have a communicable disease must be kept home throughout the communicable period and the Health and Emergency Preparedness Chairperson must be notified. Any child that is identified as having lice or nits must be kept home until successfully treated.
Dishes, plastic food & utensils from the dramatic playroom as well as dress up clothes, aprons, and play dough toys are cleaned and/or disinfected weekly. A complete cleaning of the school is scheduled quarterly.
Children are asked to wash hands frequently in class including when they arrive at school, before snack time and after outside time. Children are encouraged to cover their coughs/sneezes with their elbow.
What about snack?
When it is your turn to provide snack for the class, please bring 2-3 items per child. Please provide the class with a nutritious and “snack sized” portion. Snack time is an opportunity for children to try new and healthy foods. There are times when allergies or other dietary restriction are present in the classroom. Your teacher may provide you with a specific list in which to follow for snack. Please help us to make the classroom a healthy and inclusive place for all of our children. If you would like to bring a special treat for your child’s birthday or other special occasion please okay it with your teacher first.
What are the Immunization Requirements?
We follow the Washington State guidelines for immunization. Completed immunization form or doctor signed exemption form must be submitted on or before the first day of school in order for your child to attend.
Click here for immunization requirements list requirements.
What are your safety policies?
Our preschool door is kept locked during school hours. We require that a child release form be filled out at the beginning of the year, only adults on the release form are allowed to pick children up from school.
Fire and earthquake drills are conducted throughout the school year. An emergency kit with first aid, food, water and other supplies is kept on school grounds at all times.
What happens if it snows or we have bad weather?
KPCP follows the Peninsula School District for inclement weather closures. If PSD is closed for ice/snow, KPCP will also be closed. If PSD has late start due to inclement weather, KPCP classes will most likely be canceled.