Cooperative Preschools

For: Children who are 3-5-years-old by August 31.


Video with information about cooperative preschools at Bellevue Colege

 Watch our video to see what co-op preschools are all about!


We sponsor nine low-cost cooperative preschools, in seven cities on Seattle’s Eastside. Your child would attend 2 – 4 days per week, for 2 – 3 hours per class session. Our preschools are very hands-on, play-based, and experiential because that’s how children learn best. Parents work in the classroom periodically and attend monthly parent education sessions. At all Bellevue College programs, parents and children learn together!

What your child will experience at a coop preschool:

Preschool days are full of learning and exploration. Children are guided by a trained, experienced teacher, with the parents assisting. Your child will sing songs, listen to stories, create art, practice drawing and writing, build with blocks, engage in pretend play, explore new materials and experiences, learn pre-academic skills that form the foundations of mathematical and scientific learning, play on the playground or indoor big motor activities, go on field trips, make new friends, build social skills, and get excited about learning and about school.

The programs are play-based because brain development research shows children learn skills and retain information best through hands-on exploration in places where they feel safe and free to explore. Each classroom has several stations around the room, with developmentally appropriate activities to help kids build the skills they need. Children are encouraged to move around and explore at their own pace.

Classes also include “circle time” where the teacher leads the class in singing songs, playing musical instruments, reading stories and developing early literacy skills. This is a chance for children to practice sitting still, listening to a teacher, and participating in a group activity, all essential skills for kindergarten readiness.

What you will experience:

In our classes, both parents and children learn by doing.

When parents work with kids in the classroom, they develop a better understanding of their own children and other children: what’s developmentally appropriate, how temperament affects each child, and how social interactions between children play out. The children’s teacher assists parents in guiding children’s age-appropriate activities and in ways to support children’s learning. Parents are encouraged to continue to develop concepts and experiences with their own children at home.

Research clearly indicates meaningful parent involvement in schools is one of the most powerful predictors of high student achievement and healthy development. During the early years, there is no better way to begin this involvement than by joining a Cooperative Preschool Program.

Parents also attend monthly parent education classes. They are typically held in the evening, in conjunction with the monthly business meeting for the coop. They include lectures, videos, and discussion groups on topics such as:

  • Developmental milestones
  • Children’s emotions
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Discipline
  • Family communication
  • Early learning, literacy, and school readiness

How it works:

In a cooperative preschool, parents play an essential role in the school’s success. Your responsibilities as a parent vary a little from school to school, but, in general, are:

  • Periodically helping in the classroom (typically: twice a month for three-year-old classes, 2 – 3 times a month for four-year-olds)
  • Providing snacks several times a year and helping with periodic cleanings
  • Attending mandatory monthly meetings and participating in the business of the non-profit Cooperative Preschool
  • Taking on an administrative job: serving on the board, taking pictures, making play-dough, etc.

The best part of a coop preschool experience is having your child clearly receive this message: “My school is so important, my parents give it the most precious commodity they have – their time and attention.”


What Our Students Say About this Class and Our Educators

I don’t think our transition to kindergarten would have been the same without [the] Co-op and all of the support and kindness received from the school. My son is excited about school, but I truly miss the preschool. I appreciate your passion for helping families raise the best children we can.



Bellevue (Crossroads, Eastgate, Bellevue-Overlake), Carnation, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Renton (Sunrise), Sammamish (Pine Lake), Snoqualmie (Alpine Coop). Each coop is an independent program. Click on the class name below to see their address and to find a link to their website to learn more about the details of that program.

Here’s an overview map of all of our locations (as of fall, 2018).

Age requirements:

Classes are for three, four or five-year-olds. Many classes are mixed ages (multi-age classes). Your child must reach the minimum age for the class by August 31, prior to beginning class.  Children are not required to be potty trained to attend, but diaper changing may require parental assistance.

Learning more:

Check out our FAQ page and an article on What Makes Our Classes Special.

How to Register or Learn More about a specific program:

Check out each school’s individual website. To find links to websites, click on the location name in the chart below, then click on the link you’ll see in the blue box. Registration policies vary greatly between the co-op preschool classes. Each individual co-op Board sets tuition.

Contact the Registrar listed for the co-op class of your choice to register for the 2019-20 school year. You can also contact the registrar to learn about open houses, observation times, registration dates, costs, or other specific information not available on their website.

Registrars are parent volunteers. If you find that the co-op Registrar is not responding right away (perhaps on vacation), please contact Gabriel, the Registrar for our one-day-a-week classes, for interim assistance.

Cooperative Preschools Class Schedule for 2019-20


Co-Op LocationItem#AgeDay & TimeRegistrar
Mercer Island Learning Lab70463'sT,Th
Mercer Island Learning Lab70564'sM,W,F
Mercer Island Learning Lab7059Explore More
4 3/4 - 6's
Bellevue - Overlake70513's and 4'sT,W (3's and 4's)
Optional STEM for all ages
T 12:00-1:30p
Th (4's only)
BC Crossroads Preschool
70423's to 5'sM,T,W
with optional M,W 11:30-1:15
STREAM classes
BC Crossroads Preschool
7043Pre-K, 4's and 5'sM 12:15-2:30p
(Register for 2, 3 or 4 class times in combination with 7042)
Eastgate Co-Op
70483's and 4'sW,Th (3's and 4's)
9:30a–12:00p Optional STEAM
for all ages Th 12:00-1:15p
F (4's only)
Sunrise Co-Op
70573's and 4's
STEAM class T,W,Th 12:00-1:15p
Sunrise Co-Op
70584's only (age 4 by 8/31/19)F 9:00-12:00p
Issaquah Co-Op 3's70403'sT,Th
Issaquah Co-Op Pre-K70504'sT 12:30-2:45p
W,F 9:30a-12:00p
Pine Lake Co-Op
70443's (3 by 8/31/19)T,Th
Pine Lake Co-Op
7054Pre-K (4 by 8/31/19)M 9:15a-1:00p
W and F
Sammamish Art & Science Enrichment Lab
70453 1/2 - 6 years old by start of sessionT 1:00-3:00pLauran
Alpine 2nd Year Toddler Co-op 70362's (2 by 8/31/19)W 9:30-11:30aEmily
Alpine Co-Op
Snoqualmie Valley
70523's (3 by 8/31/19)
4's & 5's (4 by 8/31/19)
T, Th 9:30-11:30a
T,W,Th (4's & 5's only) 12:00-2:30p
Carnation Co-Op
Snoqualmie Valley
70493's to 5'sT (3's and 4's) 9:30a-12:00 noon
W (4's only) 9:30a-12:00 noon
Th (3's and 4's)
9:30a-12:00 noon
Note: Co-operative Preschool classes start mid to late September and run through May each school year.

Last Updated January 8, 2020