However, Cooperative preschools, including ours, are different from other play-based preschools in some important ways. The main difference is parental involvement. The Center for Families Cooperative Preschool isn't just a preschool, but a community of involved families. Family members are assigned a workday in the classroom once a week during the preschool meeting time. Families are also asked to attend a mandatory monthly parent meeting the second Wednesday of the month, Sept. through May, at 6:30 in the evening. During this time, official co-op business is conducted, and parents participate in parenting education discussions.
When a family becomes a member of the cooperative, one adult in the family also becomes a student at Edmonds Community College. Parents receive three college credits for working in the classroom and regularly attending the parent meeting which includes their parent education. The parent education class is both supportive and interactive, and parents "pass" the class simply by attending and participating. There is no extra cost beyond their child's monthly tuition for being involved in parent education.