Why a Co-op?
Advantages of a co-op preschool for your child:
- Higher adult to student ratio. With a teacher and several parents working in the classroom children benefit from greater richness and variety in the program and the chance for more attention and more help for individual children. Grace Cooperative Preschool’s child to adult ratio is around 4:1 to 3:1.
- Easier transition between home and school. Since parents are such an integral part of the school, they are able to stay with their child until the child becomes comfortable with separation from the parent. Additionally, with parents participating in the classroom they are more likely and able to provide consistency in the environments provided at home and school.
Advantages of a co-op preschool for the parents:
- An opportunity to learn and develop with your child.
- A chance to share experiences with other parents and create lasting friendships. Since parents don’t just drop their child off at the door, they get to know each other. Working together in the classroom, sharing during parent meetings, and working together to run the preschool tends to bring parents close together.
- A place to gain useful ideas for parenting your child at home and outside of school.
- A way to understand your child and other children from an educational and developmental perspective. Co-op parents see their child’s behavior in the group, they see other children’s behavior, they see a school program at work.
- An opportunity to shape your child’s school with your energy and ideas.
- A chance to share and participate in your child’s first school experience.
- Co-operative preschools cost less than non co-op preschools. Co-op parents pay less, but in turn, they obligate themselves to some very definite responsibilities.
Responsibilities of co-op preschool members:
- Co-oping in the classroom. Parents are scheduled to participate approximately 2-3 times per month in the T/Th classes and 3-4 times per month in the MWF class.
- Attend regularly scheduled membership meetings. There are 5 parent meetings throughout the year including orientation.
- Participate in 1-2 maintenance work parties during the year. Maintenance parties are usually held on Saturday mornings from 9-12. Families who are not able to attend on Saturdays may arrange with the staff to work on alternative days and/or take projects home.
- Hold one or two committee jobs or parent board positions throughout the year. Parents are matched with jobs that align with their interests and talents. Some examples of parental job assignments are: preparing the monthly newsletter, helping the teacher prepare art projects, arranging the monthly co-oping calendar, or being the class photographer.
- Participate in fundraising projects. Grace Preschool has one major fundraiser each year, the Pancake Breakfast, which is usually held in February and is lots of fun for everyone. Parents plan, decorate, and work at the Pancake Breakfast. Grace parents are also encouraged to support the school through participation in the eScrip and Scrip programs and Scholastic book orders.