FAQ's about Co-op

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 administered 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.  While the child is enrolled in the cooperative preschool, the parent enrolls in a parent education program at Bates.  While parents are enrolled in the program, they earn college credit in a 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.



How do Parents and Children Benefit from a Co-op Preschool?

For Parents

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.

For Children

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.  To read about our curriculum see: About Learning

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 their cleaning date and board or committee position as well as pay first month's tuition and cleaning deposit at orientation.  All working parents must attend a training before being allowed to work in the classroom.  You will receive a parent ed credit for each meeting.


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.)  Working parents are required to arrive 15 minutes prior to class for set up and stay 15 minutes after class for clean up.  


3.  Accumulate eight (8) Parent Education Credits


4.  Participate in Fundraising to help meet the school's operating budget and keep tuition low


5.  Participate on the board or a committee:  See Board & Committee Positions


6.  Participate in one classroom cleaning during the school year


            

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

 


What are the Age Requirements to Register my Child?

Toddlers/Yellow class - age 2 by August 31st

Juniors/Red class  - age 3 by August 31st

Pre-K/Blue class - age 4 by August 31st



What do I Need to do to Register My Child in Preschool? 

Go to:  Forms and Docs, print and complete the Cooperative Preschool Registration form and return it with the co-op registration fee of $60.  Registrations for new students will be accepted at the spring open house.  To mail registration send to:  Sumner Cooperative Preschool, P.O. Box 295, Sumner, WA 98390.  This will reserve your child’s placement in the preschool.  Please Contact Us to confirm space availability in your desired class.

You will then fill out a Registration Packet (also found on the Forms and Docs page).  The registration packet is due on or before orientation night in September and can be mailed to the above P.O. box, brought to one of our Summer Park Play Dates, or turned in on orientation night.

Enrolled families will receive a Welcome Letter, Preschool Calendar and additional preschool information at or before Orientation Night in September.


What Fees are Required?

Go to: Tuition and Fees

Co-op Registration Fee (non-refundable)

Preschool Tuition

Bates Quarterly Tuition Fee

Cleaning Deposit


Do you offer maternity leave?

Yes.  We offer 6 weeks leave from your board/committee position and working in the classroom while your child continues classes.  Infants are allowed in the classroom (in a front pack or sling) with the working parent up to 6 months of age.  

Can I bring my child's sibling when I work in class?

Due to insurance limitations, children over the age of 6 months 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 daytime parent education classes.  

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 15 minutes before class and stay 15 minutes after for set up and clean up.  If you're running late, please call the school, the teacher, or your class representative.

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 attend the parent training class in September. 

What are the Class Size Limits?
 
Toddler's/Yellow class (2's and 3's) limit 12 students
Junior's/Red class (3's and 4's) limit 12 students
Pre-K class (4's and 5's) limit 15 students
 

What is the Adult to Child Ratio?

19 months to 35 months - 1 adult per 3 children minimum
 3 years to 5 years - 1 adult per 5 children minimum
 

Are You Affiliated with the Church?
 
While we are very appreciative of our hosts, we rent our space, and we do not have a religious affiliation.
 

What do you do to keep kids healthy?


Our policy requires children be kept home if:  The child has had a fever within the last 24 hours, has colored nasal discharge, has vomited and/or had diarrhea in the last 24 hours, or the child has a congested cough that is not related to asthma and/or allergies.

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.  Any item that has been in a child's mouth will be set aside to be disinfected.  Tables, sink, toilets (hard surfaces) are disinfected daily.  A complete cleaning of the school is scheduled once a month.

Children are asked to wash hands when they arrive at class as well as before snack time.  Children are encouraged to cover their coughs/sneezes with their elbow.

Parents are encouraged to bring healthy snacks for the class on their assigned day. 


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.

Go to the Forms and Docs page and open the "immunization requirements list" to see Washington State 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.

For more information on Health and Safety please see our preschool handbook.


How do you handle discipline?

In trying to redirect or extinguish disruptive behavior, teachers use developmentally appropriate practices laid out by the National Association for the Education of Young Children or NAEYC.  According to these practices, the purpose of child guidance, or discipline, is not to control young children but to help them learn to be cooperative.  The most effective techniques help children learn how to accept responsibility for their actions and empower them to exercise self control.  

Discipline should not be punishing.  Instead it should provide children with learning experiences that nurture an understanding of social consciousness.  Those learning experiences include:

Participating in generating class rules and expectations
Receiving positive reinforcement for pro-social behavior
Experiencing the natural and logical consequences of their behavior
Observing adults in pro-social, person to person interactions



What happens if it snows?

SCP follows Sumner School District for inclement weather closures.  If SSD is closed for ice/snow, SCP will also be closed.  If SSD has late start due to inclement weather, SCP morning classes will be canceled but afternoon classes will still be held that day. 


How long have you been in business?

Sumner Cooperative Nursery School was established in 1967
 

For more information see the Preschool Handbook under: Forms and Docs 
    Preschool Standing Rules and By-Laws
    Membership Rules & Obligations
    Work Flex Policy
    Liability
    Health & Safety Policies