Frequently Asked Questions

Garden Preschool Cooperative Philosophy

Becoming Part of the Cooperative

What does it mean to be part of a cooperative school?

Being part of a cooperative school provides an unparalleled opportunity to be involved in your child’s early educational experiences. Parents staff the board, participate in all aspects of running and maintaining the school, and assist the teachers in educational duties. Every day a parent is present at the school as the “parent of the day” (or POD) to help with educational plans, play with the children and help serve snack and lunches.

How much does it cost?

For the 2021-22 school year, tuition is $13,250 ($1,325 per month, September through June). Before and after care time is charged either as a monthly flat fee of $150 for full extended care hours (8am to 6pm). There is also an annual supplies fee ($500) and billing administration charge ($50). (Fees are subject to change.)

How long is the school day?

The day starts at 8:45am and ends at 4pm, which includes a lunch period, rest/nap time, and two snacks. Extended care is typically available beginning at 8am and ending at 6pm. We also host a summer camp.

What age does my child need to be at the start of the school year?

Children must be between 3 and 5 years old when they enter school in September. This ensures that there is an appropriate span of ages in the mixed-age classroom.

Does my child need to be toilet-trained at the start of school?

No. We understand that toilet-training is a gradual process and that children will not all be fully trained by the start of the school year. We do ask, however, that toilet training be in progress: this gives children a sense of mastery and feeling of maturity, and at the same time allows the teachers and parent of the day to stay involved in helping children through the daily activities rather than needing to take time out to change diapers.

How often is a family expected to participate as a parent of the day?

With an enrollment of 18 to 20 children, families can expect to spend 1 day per month on POD duties.

What happens if my child cannot be offered a spot?

We maintain an active waiting list. Spots do occasionally open up!

Participating in the Cooperative

What is the POD?

POD is the Parent of the Day.

What if our family cannot be parent of the day on our scheduled day?

You can swap POD days with another parent in the current or a subsequent month. You could also have your babysitter or another family member substitute for you (they would need to go through the same pre-screening process as all parents at the school). If neither of these are possible for you a substitute can be hired for the day. Your family would be charged a fee for hiring the substitute.

How do you manage nap time with the children of various ages/sleeping demands?

The younger children and those that still need to sleep during quiet time (1 - 2:45 pm) lie in their cots in low light at the rear of the classroom. The other children are asked to sit/lie quietly at the front of the room for 45 minutes or so. They can then start to read or engage in quiet activities (Lego, drawing, etc.) until the younger children wake up.