Cooperative Preschools

For children who are 3 – 5 years old by August 31.

teacher smiling while children play

Overview

We sponsor seven cooperative preschools, in six cities on Seattle’s Eastside. 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.

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

What your child will experience at a co-op preschool:

Preschool activities are full of learning and exploration. Children are guided by a trained, experienced teacher, with parents assisting. The programs are play-based because brain development research shows children most effectively learn skills and retain information through hands-on exploration in environments where they feel safe and free to explore.

For in-person classes, children attend for 2 to 4 days a week, with 2 – 3.5 hours of class time per day, depending on their age, and on the programs at that preschool. In the classroom, there are several engaging and developmentally appropriate learning activities set up, and children are encouraged to move around and explore at their own pace. Your child can create art, practice drawing and writing, build with blocks, engage in pretend play, explore new materials, gain academic skills, practice social skills at the snack table, play on the playground or try out large motor activities indoors, and attend field trips. Classes also include a group time where students sing songs, explore musical instruments, play movement games, and work on early literacy skills. They practice paying attention to a teacher and participating in show and tell presentations and group activities, essential skills for kindergarten readiness and lifelong school success. Our cooperative preschools are all independent organizations, so please check their websites for more specific details. Here is the full schedule for co-ops for 2021-2022.

For online preschool, children have 30 – 60 minutes of class content for each day they are signed up for class. This includes interactive online circle times on Zoom with the whole class, typically around 30 minutes long, scheduled at convenient times throughout the week. Group times include songs, movement games, stories, show and tell, and opportunities to engage in conversations with their teachers and classmates to practice social skills.

They may also have online small groups or online one-on-ones with the teacher, to allow for maximum interaction. Some preschools offer some asynchronous learning – custom made videos or other activities that families can fit into their schedule wherever convenient and repeat as often as they choose. Specific schedules are set by each preschool – see their websites for details.

Also, teachers will provide ideas for optional activities parents can offer at home that cover the range of child development/learning needs.  Ideas may be communicated by email, or during online circle time, or via an app like Seesaw. Some activities will be intended for children to do independently with minimal parent support, but some will be parent-child projects so you have the opportunity to learn together. Some co-ops may offer packets of materials for monthly pick-up,  as well as guidance and helpful suggestions.

 

What parents get out of the co-op experience:

Parents attend monthly parent education classes, which cover topics like developmental milestones, emotion coaching, positive discipline, managing screen time, and sibling rivalry. Parent meetings help to create a supportive community of families, who build close connections and long-lasting friendships. Parent education and business meetings are held once a month, in the evening.

Parents also participate in the classroom with their child. This lab experience helps parents develop a better understanding of their own child and other children, they learn from the children’s teacher and the parent educator how they can best support children’s learning in class and at home, and they can observe their child’s developing social skills.

How co-op works:

Parents play an essential role in the school’s success. You attend mandatory monthly meetings and participate in the business of the non-profit preschool. Your additional responsibilities vary from school to school, but, in general, tasks would include assisting in the classroom 2 – 4 times a month, serving on the board, providing snacks, helping with classroom clean-up, taking photos, and more.

Your participation in class helps us to offer a lower cost preschool, but it also gives you a deeper connection to the community and to your child’s learning. The best part of co-op preschool is having your child clearly see that their education is important to you. Research clearly indicates that meaningful parent involvement in schools is a powerful predictor of high student achievement and healthy development.

 

Locations:

Our coops will meet at their facilities in Bellevue (Eastgate, Bellevue-Overlake), Issaquah, Mercer Island, Renton (Sunrise), Sammamish (Pine Lake), Snoqualmie (Alpine). Here’s an overview map of all of our locations. In Fall 2021, we expect to be in-person, unless the COVID situation unexpectedly worsens significantly. For families that prefer an online-only program, Alpine Co-op offers a weekly online circle time, and we offer an online art and science lab.

Age requirements:

Classes are for three, four or five-year-olds. Your child must reach the minimum age for the class by August 31st.  (So, for 3’s classes, they must be at least 3; for 4+ classes, they must be at least 4.) Children are not required to be potty trained to attend, but the parent is responsible for diaper changes.

Learn More about a Specific Program / How to Register

Our co-ops are independent programs and differ in policy, schedule details, and tuition cost. Check out each school’s individual website to learn details. You can also email the registrar with questions not answered on the website. To find links, check our Locations, Websites and Registrars page.

To register, contact the registrar for the program of your choice. Note: Registrars are parent volunteers. Be patient as you wait for a response. You can also contact the parent educator at that preschool for interim assistance.

Cooperative Preschool classes start mid to late September and run through May each school year. Here is the full schedule for 2021-2022.

Co-op Preschool Schedule for Fall 2021 to Spring 2022

Viewing from a mobile device? Scroll right to see full content of the tables below.

Co-Op LocationItem #ScheduleRegistrarAvailability
Issaquah Co-op70403's TTh 9:30a-11:30a;
4+ T 12:45 – 2:45p
and WF 9:30a-12p
Jeannine, AlaniWaitlist
Pine Lake -
Sammamish
70443's TTh 9:15a-11:30a;
4+ M 9:15a- 1p and
WF 9:15a - 12:15p
RadkaWaitlist
Mercer Island
Learning Lab
70463's TTh 9:15a-11:45a;
4+ MWF 9:00a-12:00p;
Explore More MF 12 – 3p
and W 12 - 1:30p
William, KimOpen
Bellevue -
Eastgate
7048WTh 9:30a–12:00p
4+ also on F 9a-1p
STEM option Th 12-1
OlgaOpen
Bellevue -
Overlake
7051MTW 9:15-11:30
optional pre-K and
extended day
DianaOpen
Alpine -
Snoqualmie
70523’s TTh 9:30-11:30.
4+ TWTh 12-2:30
Online M 10-11
LindsayOpen
Renton -
Sunrise
7057TWTH 9:30a – 12p.
4+ also meet F 9:30a - 12:30p.
Optional TWTh 12p - 1:15p
NoraLimited
Online
Art & Science
7093Sat 3:30-4:30 pmLearn MoreOpen

What Parents Say About Our Preschools

I don’t think our transition to kindergarten would have been the same without co-op and all their support and kindness. My son is so excited about school. I appreciate your passion for helping families raise the best children we can.

I have had such an unexpectedly exceptional experience in my years here. After going to 3 other preschools in my time as a mom, I’ve found my place! The teachers are fantastic, the activities are diverse and engaging and the kids have a fantastic time. Doesn’t hurt that it is affordable!

I am a product of Sunset Cooperative Preschool in Renton, and it was an amazing experience for both me and my mom. When it was time to choose a preschool for my oldest, I knew I wanted a Co-op experience… One of the best parts of the Bellevue College Co-op Preschool program is the Parent Education classes. Not only did [our instructor] teach us things every month that were applicable to our daily lives… it was incredible to meet with other parents, too, and discover that parenting issues you have are more common than you think, and have that source of compassion, discussion, understanding, and affirmation.

Meet and Greet

We had a virtual meet and greet in February. Here is the video from that. From 5:00 into the video till 17:00, we begin with the overview of co-ops: our locations, what all our programs have in common, the advantages of co-op preschool, and how to register. Then we had representatives from each of our preschools talk about their programs. We heard from parent educators, children’s teachers, and parents. From 17:00 – 23:00, you’ll learn about Alpine Co-op in Snoqualmie. Bellevue Overlake is 23:20 – 29:00. Eastgate 29:00 – 34:00. Issaquah 35:00 – 41:45; Mercer Island Learning Lab 42:30 – 45. Pine Lake 45 – 52. Sunrise 52 – 57:00.

Last Updated August 6, 2021