What to Look for in a Cooperative Preschool

-Do you agree with the school’s educational philosophy and religious orientation?

-Do you and your child like the teacher?

-Is there a large block of time for the children to select their preferred activity and companions?

-Are different, age appropriate toys and materials offered?

-Is there group time to enjoy developing social skills such as sharing, helping, negotiating, and cooperating?

-Is there time to explore in-depth an activity connected to a well-planned, developmentally appropriate curriculum?

-Is there time and space for large-motor, noisy activity?

-Are the children's individual abilities, differences, and preferences respected?

-Is their creativity encouraged by emphasizing the process rather than a finished product?

-Do discipline and guidance strategies used teach self-control and respect for others?

-Are health and safety issues addressed?

-Is there valid state licensing and are they members of VCPC?

-What are the parent participation requirements? Different schools have very different policies. Some schools let parents buy or opt-out of a great deal of the day-to-day routine.

-What is the maternity leave policy?

-Who provides the snack? Are there policies in effect for allergy-prone children?

-Who drives on field trips?

-What else is expected besides classroom participation?

-What opportunities to be involved are available to parents?