What to Expect from the Co-op Preschool Experience
Co-op preschool can be a wonderful experience for your child and for you. The RVCP Community is a diverse, creative, and supportive group of families living in the surrounding Seattle area.
Our teachers have a wealth of experience in child development and teaching which is evident in creation of the play based curriculum. The curriculum emphasizes self-expression through play, and helps children develop skills to build community and relationships with each other.
We also believe when parents are engaged in their child’s learning, the experience is more rewarding for both child and parents. Our preschool is a parent-run cooperative, and its success depends on everyone doing his or her part. As part of the RVCP community, all families are required to:
Work in the classroom
Each family is required to work as an assistant to the teachers on a regularly scheduled basis in your child’s classroom. Generally, a parent/caregiver works once per week for half day classes, and 1 full day or 2 half days for families with Full Day students, depending on enrollment and how frequently the class meets. Full Day families also work out lunch coverage with other full day families. Certain conditions (maternity leave, health issues, enrollment, etc.) may require families to work more if needed.
Manage a Parent Job
Families are assigned a school job based on their interests, talents, and availability as well as the preschools’ needs. Parent jobs include a variety of positions such as Parent Job Coordinator, Field Trip Coordinator, Co-chair, Treasurer, etc.). For more information, see Parent Jobs.
Attend Monthly Parent Education Meetings
Families attend monthly parent education meetings. During our meetings, we discuss class specific activities, upcoming events, and preschool business. Our parent educator also leads us in variety of early childhood development topics. Parent meetings are another great way to connect with other families in the co-op community.
Participate in Fundraising Events
Participate in school fundraising events such as Fall Festival, Movie and Silent Auction Night, and Parents Night Out. We call it “fun”-raising but it still requires work! Our fundraising efforts build a strong community and provide for great preschool.
We believe a strong community builds a better school! As co-op parents, we have a unique opportunity to connect with other co-op families on a daily basis through classes. In addition to our fundraising events and parent education meetings, we also arrange social events to connect with our rich community. These include a variety of events such as family bowling, coffee chats, summer play dates, and our annual summer picnic.
We kick off the school year with our Parent Orientation in September. Throughout the year, we also ask that you participate in a one-time weekend school clean-up, and help set up and take apart the classroom at the start and end of the school year (about 2 ½ hour time commitment).
Rewards of our Co-op Preschool
We believe that there are many benefits of participating in our co-op:
- Our teachers provide a unique co-teaching environment that supports child development by encouraging your child’s self-expression and reflection as he/she practices the skills that will support them, as they become problem solvers, friends, and members of community.
- Our families are part of a wonderful, supportive community invested in and committed to the success of each child as well as the overall success of the organization. The RVCP Community is a wonderful way to foster friendships and build a stronger sense of community.
- In our classes, we maintain a low child to grown-up ratio to support an engaging, positive environment for children and their families.
- Parental involvement creates confidence in kids and parents.
- Participation in monthly meetings facilitated by a Parent Educator from SCCC is a valuable resource of current and supportive information.