Joining our Co-Op
Cooperative preschools are more than just places of early childhood education; they are vibrant hubs of community building. In these unique educational settings, parents and caregivers actively participate in their children’s learning journey. By working together to plan activities, organize events, and collaborate on classroom responsibilities, cooperative preschool members create quality opportunities for their families to learn through play and build lasting friendships.
1. What are the parent responsibilities at Capitol Forest Cooperative Preschool (CFCP)?
As part of the CFCP family, parents are asked to play an active role in their child’s education. This structure helps strengthen a sense of community within the cooperative while keeping costs affordable. Responsibilities include:
– Parent Helping (2-3 times per month)
– Attend Family Education Classes & Class Meetings (avg. once per month)
– Sign-Up for a Preschool Job (whether on the Board or a support role)
– Participate in Fundraising (buyout option available)
– Support Weekend Cleaning Efforts
Other volunteer needs may arise.
2. What are my responsibilities during my Parent Helper days?
Parent Helpers assist their child’s teacher in creating a safe, fun and supportive environment for our little learners. Parent Helpers arrive 15 minutes early and help set-up the classroom. One Parent Helper will volunteer as the “Snack Parent” for the class who brings and prepares a snack for each child. Specific responsibilities will vary by classroom.
3. How do I participate in Family Education Classes & Classroom Meetings?
CFCP is affiliated with South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) in order to provide additional support to parents. As part of enrolling your child at CFCP, one parent or caregiver will be expected to enroll as a student at SPSCC (at no extra cost to you) and participate in a credit-bearing Parent Education course.
CFCP’s designated Parent Educator will host a variety of discussions and forums educating CFCP parents on child behavior, development, and age-appropriate activities once a month (on average). Make-up opportunities will be made available for those unable to attend.
Added benefits of this program include parents being able to access SPSCC student resources while also expanding their early childhood education knowledge and strengthening the sense of community within the co-op.
4. What types of jobs are available for parents to fill?
As a cooperative, parents are the ones in charge of preschool operations. Some parents will opt to serve in Board Member positions (incl. Board Chair, Registrar, Treasurer, etc.) while others may join support roles (Classroom Representative, Maintenance, Assistants, etc.). Each family is required to take one job and fulfill its duties throughout the year.
5. What is the fundraising commitment at CFCP?
Our nonprofit preschool relies on fundraising efforts to support funding for equipment, toys, scholarships and other operational needs. Your family may choose to actively participate in fundraisers held throughout the year, or choose a buyout option upon enrollment.
6. How do I participate in Weekend Cleaning & Work Party efforts at CFCP?
Many hands make light work! In order to keep our preschool clean and safe for all who benefit from our programs, we ask each family to sign-up to clean the preschool one weekend during the school year. This cleaning typically takes about 2 hours and you can bring the whole family to pitch in!
We also have Work Parties where we ask one parent or caregiver from each family to come to the preschool to team up and accomplish bigger projects. CFCP hosts one all-school Work Party each year, and each class has a separate Work Party each academic year.
7. How do I apply for my little learner to join the CFCP Family?
We’re excited you’re interested in joining us! Please fill out the Admission Inquiry form on this page to learn more about joining our CFCP Family and current classroom openings. You can also register online.
Openings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Your student’s spot will be secured once the registration forms are complete and registration fees are collected.
Come Visit Us
Capitol Forest Cooperative Preschool is grateful to partner with North Thurston Public Schools to provide a safe, educational, and welcoming environment for the families of our co-op.
Located on Sleater-Kinney Road, just south of North Thurston High School, we offer a convenient location for your child to thrive. With three separate classrooms for our Pinecone, Sapling and Evergreen classes, each is tailored to support the group’s learn-through-play objectives.
Each class also has outdoor play as part of their daily routine, which utilizes our private, fenced playground that features a play structure, mud kitchen, water table, space to ride bikes, throw balls and more!