Why We Co-Op

It is our central belief that parents are children’s first teachers. We also believe that parent involvement at Cedar Lane Nursery School is good for both the child and the parent. By assisting in the classroom, and in helping with the operation of our school, parents play a significant role in the children’s experience. Working under the guidance of the teacher, parents also have the opportunity to learn a great deal about child development.

The special nature of Cedar Lane Nursery School is the partnership and working relationship between parents and teachers. This relationship fosters an understanding of child development and parent/child relationships, which parents can carry over into their home environment for the enrichment of their personal family life. The bi-weekly participation of parents in the classroom, the parent education presentations on topics of interest to the school community, and our active membership with professional associations such as Potomac Association of Co-operative Teachers (PACT), Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI), and National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) enhance our philosophy of children, parents, and teachers working and learning together.

The preschool years are much more than the time before “real school.” They are an unparalleled time of growth, joy, and wonder. What a wonderful time for parents to be involved in their child’s life! In return for an investment of time and energy, parents who co-op have opportunities to grow in knowledge and understanding of the world of young children, while enjoying a shared experience with like-minded parents. Co-oping is a responsibility and a commitment to the membership; it is also a gift to your child. We believe childhood is more than just preparation for adulthood. It is a one-way journey, to be enjoyed along the way by children and the adults who care about them.




What is Co-Oping?

Co-Op Responsibilities Include:

  • A parent works in the classroom approximately 2 times per month. Due to our focus on community building and fairness, CLNS does not offer a non-cooping option.

  • Supplying fresh food snack (e.g., fruit, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, hummus) for your child’s class approximately once a month on one of your co-op days.

  • Attending an orientation for new members to learn more about your role and classroom logistics.

  • Attending regular membership meetings.

  • Fulfilling duties of an assigned job (e.g.: librarian, field trip coordinator, newsletter, etc..)

  • Participating in two 3-hour workdays. Generally held on Saturdays in August and March. Buyouts are available.

  • Participating in fundraising events.


What is Expected of Co-Opers in the Classroom:

  • Get to know the children, their personalities and preferences.

  • Bring your talents and skills to the classroom.

  • Your primary role is to assist the teacher. Communicate with the teacher and help with the day’s schedule and plans.

  • Enjoy your time with your child(ren) and their classmates!

  • Embrace opportunities to learn more, and share, about early childhood development via articles, books, workshops and events.


Remember that the classroom belongs to the children, and their ideas may not be the same as adults. Take time to listen to their view; ask questions, and watch the beauty of childhood unfold before you!