What is a Co-op?

What is a Cooperative Preschool?

In a cooperative preschool, parents play a crucial role in the school’s day-to-day operation. In conjunction with the school’s director, the Mendham Co-op is administered and maintained by parents as a non-sectarian, not-for-profit institution. On a rotating basis parents assist experienced, professional teachers in their child’s classroom – generally, about once a month. Also, each family takes part in the operation of the school by joining a committee and providing services that range from cleaning and maintenance to fundraising and business administration. While the school director oversees the curriculum and day-to-day operations, the Board of Directors is comprised of volunteer parents who make decisions about finances, long-range planning, staffing, and more. Parents and teachers share the responsibilities – and the rich rewards – of creating a nurturing, stimulating educational environment for all the Co-op’s students.

The Cooperative Advantage

Most preschools offer children the opportunity to learn to socialize with their peers and to prepare themselves for their school years. But strong family involvement means that the Mendham Co-op offers something extra. By seeing their parents active in school, children learn that the adults who love them value education highly. They learn that education extends beyond the four walls of a classroom, involving not just themselves, but their families and community as well. Parents become an integral part of their child’s education right from the start.

As a parent, you will get to know all of the children in your child's class, as well as their parents. You will experience your child's education and classroom environment first-hand and see how your child relates to his peers. The co-oping experience facilitates a close relationship with your child's teacher and parents develop relationships with other families through their work together.
For the child, Co-oping eases the transition from home to school, helps him or her to make social connections easily, and offers a wider exposure to a variety of people as their world expands.  Children enjoy the community of parents and look forward to their "helping day" at school.