Frequently Asked Questions
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. 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.
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.
What are the Responsibilities Required of Parents?
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 the first month's tuition, cleaning deposit and registration fee at or prior to orientation.
All working parents must attend a parent training before being allowed to work in the classroom.
You will receive a Parent Education Credit for each meeting. (Max 2 credits at Orientation and max 1 credit for Parent training)
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, but is typically 2-4 per month.) Working parents are required to arrive 15 minutes prior to class for set up and stay 15-30 minutes after class for clean up.
3. Accumulate eight (8) Parent Education Credits.
4. Participate in Ways and Means "Fundraising" to help meet the school's operating budget and help keep tuition low. The Fundraising buy out is $100.00 for the first child and $50 for the second child.
5. Participate on the board or participate on a committee.
6. Participate in one classroom cleaning during the school year. The Cleaning Deposit is $75. The cleaning deposit will be returned after completing your assigned cleaning day.
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 eight (8) Parent Ed. credits.
For more detailed information from Bates please see the Bates Parent Cooperative Preschools Handbook.
What are the Age Requirements to Register my Child?
**Seedlings (2/3) - age 2 by August 31st
**Saplings (3/4) - age 3 by August 31st
**Cedars (4/5) - age 4 by August 31st
What do I Need to do to Register My Child in Preschool?
Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will begin March 2019 for families who are not currently enrolled at PVCP. Priority enrollment is offered to returning students, Alumni and the church's congregation.
Please contact Membership for class availability, prior to sending in registration forms and fees.
Please refer to the Parent Info page, print and complete the Puyallup Cooperative Preschool registration form and return it with the co-op registration fee of $55.00 (This fee is Non-Refundable).
Mail registration forms and registration fee(s) to:
Puyallup Valley Cooperative Preschool
P.O. Box 745, Puyallup, Washington, 98371.
This will reserve your child’s placement in the preschool. Please do not send correspondence or checks to the preschool's physical address.
You will then fill out a Registration Packet (also found on the Parent Info page). The registration packet is due at our Paperwork in the Park event, or orientation night if you are unable to attend Paperwork in the Park.
Enrolled families will receive a Welcome Letter, Preschool Calendar, and additional preschool information at or before Orientation Night in September.
For the safety of the children at PVCP, all working parents must fill out a background check through the Washington State Patrol.
What Fees are Required?
A non-refundable Co-op registration fee of $55.00 (this fee helps pay for classroom supplies and does not go towards tuition or fundraising requirements.)
Preschool Monthly Tuition Fee
Saplings --- $65.00
Bates Annual Tuition Fee
(Updated 19-20 Bates fees coming soon.)
$75.00 - this check will be voided and returned after your cleaning day has been completed.
Do you offer maternity leave?
We offer 6 weeks leave from your board/committee position and from 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 and/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 15-30 minutes after to set up and clean up. If you're running late please call your class representative. Communication is key!
What are the Class Size Limits?
Seedlings class size is 12 students (adult to child ratio is 3:1)
Saplings class size is 14 students (adult to child ratio is 4:1)
Cedars class size is 16 students (adult to child ratio is 5:1)
Holidays and School Closures
Our preschool follows the Puyallup School District for school closures, holidays and in-service days. We have adjusted our upcoming school year's schedule to allow for more in school days.
Parents are asked to provide healthy snacks on their specific snack day. These may include but not limited to crackers, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables. Snack days are rotated between parents. Please Note: We are a nut free facility. Please be sure that snacks do not contain any sort of nut or nut products in the list of ingredients. When preparing snacks please prepare extra for the teacher and other working parents in class that day.
Additional Costs or Fees
Other costs during the year may include fundraising, class and student photos, event nights, field trips, etc.
Our interactive field trips are meant to stimulate all of the child's senses. Past field trips have included a local organic farm, pumpkin patch, Fire Station, Post Office and a visit to a local grocery store. Upcoming field trips will be noted in the school calendar, reminders sent home with students, as well as be continually updated on our private family FaceBook page. Once registered Membership will reach out via e-mail with instructions to join our private families FB group. Please note field trips may vary year to year.
Family Events and Activity Nights
Some of our past family events have included a Trike-a-thon, Trunk-or-Treat, participating in the City of Puyallup's Santa Parade, Winter Holiday Make-n-Take, Field Day, Raffle, and End of the year Picnic. You can receive Parent Ed credits by attending these events, (1 credit per event per family). Parents can sign up to bring a bake sale item and/or treats to share with the group. Families with more than one child enrolled only need to accumulate the minimum eight (8) credits.