We at ECPC value the cooperative nature of our school. Working together as a community has immense value for our children, our families, and our community. We work together as parents and teachers to enable our children to grow and learn in a safe and fun environment.
What are Parent Cooperative Preschools?
A parent cooperative preschool is organized by a group of families with similar philosophies who hire a trained teacher to provide their children with a quality preschool experience. The preschool is owned, administered, and maintained by the parents on a non-profit, non-sectarian basis. The parents assist the professional teachers in the classroom weekly on a rotating basis, participating in the educational program of all the children. Each family shares in the business operation of the school, thus making it truly a cooperative venture.
When you join ECPC, you are administrators, builders, cleaners, etc. of the school you own and operate. This parent cooperative is owned and run by the members, who all share in the work and fun. Some jobs are shared by everyone; members are elected, sign up, or are appointed for other jobs. To keep the school running smoothly, it is necessary for all members to contribute.
Benefits for Parents
Parents gain insight into child behavior by observing other children. They observe how other parents and our 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.
Benefits 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 that 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.
Benefits 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.
Obligations of ECPC co-op families are:
A parent or guardian must participate one day per week for each child enrolled in the preschool. You are responsible for arriving on time, supervising and cleaning up your assigned area, and then attending a brief “end of the day” meeting with the teachers. Participating parents bring snack once every 6 weeks. In addition to working once a week, they are also “on-call” one day a month.
Family Jobs/Board Position
All families are required to hold an administrative position. These jobs vary but the average time commitment is 4 hours/month. Some administrative jobs, such as the board of directors and committee positions, have more responsibilities.
At least one family member must attend the monthly membership meeting, held at 7pm on the first Wednesday of every month and lasting 2-3 hours.
Maintenance Work Party
At least one family member is required to attend a 3.5-hour weekend work party three times during the school year, including one all-hands maintenance party.
Each family is required to raise $188 for the school by participating in fundraisers held throughout the school year. Parents also have the option to pay the fundraising commitment outright if they prefer.
Each family is required to work 3 shifts throughout the year (2-3 hours each). Two of those shifts are at an Open House or Yard Sale. Messy Art Day Weekend is a required “All-Hands” event, and all families choose one set-up, day-of-the-event, or clean-up shift.