Cooperative Preschools

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

teacher smiling while children play


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. At all Bellevue College programs, parents and children learn together!


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

What your child will experience at a coop 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 learn skills and retain information best through hands-on exploration in environments where they feel safe and free to explore.

Whether we’re meeting online or in-person: Classes include a circle time where the teacher leads the students in singing songs, exploring musical instruments, playing movement games, reading stories and developing early literacy skills. This is a chance for children to practice paying attention to a teacher, and participating in a group activity, all essential skills for kindergarten readiness and lifelong school success. They will have an opportunity to show and tell, share stories from their week, and engage in conversations with their teachers and classmates.

In-Person (when health guidelines allow for a return to the classroom): Typically children sign up for anywhere from 2 to 4 days a week, with 2 – 3.5 hours of class time, depending on their age, and on the programs at that preschool. In the classroom, there are several stations set up, and children are encouraged to move around and explore at their own pace. Your child will create art, practice drawing and writing, build with blocks, engage in pretend play, explore new materials, gain academic skills, play on the playground or join indoor large motor activities, and go on field trips.

Online (Fall 2020): Children will have approximately one hour of interactive online classes (e.g. “circle time”) for each day they are signed up for class. Schedules will be set by each preschool.

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.

Our cooperative preschools are all independent organizations, so please check their websites for more specific details.

What parents will get out of the co-op experience:

Parents attend monthly parent education classes. They are typically held in the evening, in conjunction with the monthly business meeting for the co-op. (And in fall 2020, will be held online.) They include lectures, videos, and discussion of topics such as: developmental milestones, emotion coaching, positive discipline, managing screen time, sibling rivalry and family relationships, and foundations for school success.

Parents are also part of a supportive community of families, building close connections and long-lasting friendships.

Parents also learn from the children’s teacher and the parent educator about how they can best support their child’s learning, both in a class, and in daily life at home. By participating in online classes or working with kids in the in-person 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.

How co-op works:

In a cooperative preschool, 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. You also take on additional roles.

Your responsibilities as a parent vary a little from school to school, but, in general, for online classes might include assistance with administrative tasks, planning, or preparing take-home materials for pick-up.

For in-person classes, tasks would include assisting in the classroom 2 – 4 times a month, providing snacks, helping with classroom clean-up, and administrative tasks.

Your participation in class helps us to offer a lower cost option than many other preschools, but it also gives you a deeper connection to the community and to your child’s learning. The best part of a co-op preschool experience is having your child clearly see that their education is important to you, as you give it your most precious commodity – your time and attention. Research clearly indicates that meaningful parent involvement in schools is one of the most powerful predictors of high student achievement and healthy development.


What Our Students 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!


In Fall 2020, all programs will be online. When we return to in-person classes, our coops will meet at their facilities in Bellevue (Crossroads, Eastgate, Bellevue-Overlake), Issaquah, Mercer Island, Renton (Sunrise), Sammamish (Pine Lake), Snoqualmie (Alpine). Each co-op is a unique community of families. Here’s an overview map of all of our locations (as of spring 2020).

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 31st, prior to beginning class.  For in-person classes, children are not required to be potty trained to attend, but diaper changing may require parental assistance.

How to Register or Learn More about a specific program:

Cooperative Preschool classes start mid to late September and run through May each school year. Our co-ops are independent programs and differ in policy, schedule details, and tuition. Check out each school’s individual website to learn details. To find links to websites, check our Locations and Registrars page.

Registration policies also vary between the co-op preschools. Contact the Registrar listed for the co-op class of your choice to register. You can also contact the registrar to learn about open houses, observation times, costs, or other specific information not available on their website. You can find a link to the registrar’s contact info in the table below.

Registrars are parent volunteers. Be patient as you wait for a response. If the registrar does not respond (perhaps they’re on vacation), contact the registrar for our infant and toddler classes, at, for interim assistance.

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

Co-Op LocationItem#AgeDay & TimeRegistrarAvailability
Mercer Island Learning Lab70463'sT,Th
Mercer Island Learning Lab70564'sM,W,F
Mercer Island Learning Lab70594 3/4 - 6'sM,W,F
Bellevue - Overlake70513's and 4'sT,W,Th (3's and 4's)
F (4's only)
BC Crossroads
70423's to 5'sM,T,W
Optional STEAM
M,W 11:30a-1:15p
70483's and 4'sW,Th, (3's and 4's)
Optional STEAM
all ages Th 12:00p-1:15p
F (4's only)
70573's and 4's
Optional STEAM
T,W,Th 12:00p-1:15p
Issaquah 3's70403'sT, W,Th
Issaquah Pre-K70504'sT, W, Th 9:30a-11:30a
W,F 9:30a-12:00p
Pine Lake
Pine Lake
7054Pre-K, 4'sM, W 9:30a-1:00p
and F 9:30a-12:15p
Alpine 2's
Snoqualmie Valley
70362'sW 9:30a-11:30aSaraOpen
Snoqualmie Valley
4's & 5's
T, Th 9:30a-11:30a
T,W,Th (4's & 5's only)

Last Updated August 14, 2020