What is a Co-op Preschool?
A cooperative preschool is a member-driven preschool that brings together parents and caregivers with skilled educators to collaboratively provide a rich learning experience for children.
Caregivers are joint owners in our preschool operation. While teachers run classroom activities, caregivers and teachers work together to maintain, beautify, and run our preschool. Members of our preschool are required to participate in activities that keep our preschool functioning.*
At Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool caregivers assist in their child's classroom once a week. They are assigned to a learning center where they facilitate learning and play through art, sensory experiences, and dramatic play. Caregivers coach, guide, and interact with the children—in the classroom, during circle time, and in outside play—modeling appropriate behavior while still encouraging independent thought and creativity in the children.
Community of Learners
At Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool we believe in the power of community. We strive to help families feel supported, known, cared for, and respected. The community is created by our members—both in the classroom and throughout the preschool. During the year, a variety of social events, such as family nights, informal park dates, and adult-only evenings, give members an opportunity to gather. In this way, our preschool community extends beyond the classroom, as many long-term friendships are formed for both the children and adults.
Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool is an affiliate of the Shoreline Community College Cooperative Parent Cooperative Preschool Program, which means adult members are enrolled in a credit course in parent education that takes place alongside the children's learning experience. This affiliation greatly benefits the preschool, as SCC tuition paid by our members greatly subsidizes teachers' salaries, and keeps our tuition low. For members, there are some great perks that come with being a SCC student. Parent Education occurs through several forms:
- Small group parent education meetings in the classroom give caregivers opportunities to learn skills and strategies for supporting their child’s development. These occur weekly, with half of the caregivers participating every other week.
- Evening parent education meetings allow monthly discussion on how things are going in the classroom and planning for upcoming activities.
- Quarterly all-preschool events bring speakers from the community in to share expertise on preschool development and parenting topics.
In order to support the functioning of the preschool and keep tuition costs low, each family commits to a yearly assignment. This can range from serving on the preschool board to participation on a committee. Committee options include facilities maintenance, curriculum preparation, classroom coordination, communications and fundraising. Everyone's role is important and most offer opportunities to connect with parents in other classes, building community as we work together.
Families are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the facility and grounds. There are two all-preschool work parties—one in the fall and one in the spring. These occur on a Saturday morning and families must select one work party to attend. In addition, each family will be asked to clean one area of the preschool one to three times during the year, depending on the class(es) they are enrolled in.
Fundraising helps cover the costs of running a high-quality preschool, while keeping out-of-pocket tuition costs for families low. The annual fundraising requirement can be met through participation in any number of fundraisers, or families may choose to write a check for their fundraising obligation. Past fundraising efforts have included selling Chinook books, holiday wreaths, and procurement for our spring auction.
After careful review, Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool is announcing changes to its fundraising program for the 2018—19 school year. Instead of a fundraising requirement per student, monthly tuition will be raised slightly in all classes. Fundraising will continue to be important to our school, but this shift will allow us to adjust our fundraising efforts to community-centered activities such as restaurant nights, book swaps, raffles, and movie nights. Our goal is to continue to fundraise for the preschool while supporting our preschool's mission and building community.
In addition, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we welcome financial donations, and encourage your support via Amazon Smile when you shop at Amazon.