Frequently Asked Questions

What is a co-op?

A Parent Cooperative Preschool is a school in which the parent's take an active role in the program.  At SMPNS families are required to work one session a week.  Each family has the same co-op day and session each week.  Every family is also required to fulfill five maintenance hours each semester.

What is it like to co-op?

On your co-op day, you will sign up for a particular job, including: Inside or Outside supervision, Snack Preparation, Art Supervision, facilitating a Special Activity.  The teachers will work with you to find an activity in which you feel comfortable. You will get a 15 minute break during your co-op day.  

How many times do I have to co-op?

Each family will co-op one day each week while your child is enrolled.  The co-op requirement is per family.  If you have two children attending, you still only co-op once a week.  The day and session are the same each week.  

What happens if I can't make it to my co-op day?

If you can't come in to co-op (you are sick, you have an appointment, you go on vacation, etc.) you can find someone to “swap” co-op days with you, or find a substitute.  Swapping means you would work the scheduled co-op day of the person working for you.  If you need a sub, there is a sub list that you can use to find a substitute ahead of time.  The sub list is comprised of parents and aides who have volunteered to be subs.  You would pay your sub $40 to come in for you.  

In order for us to maintain our ratio of 1 adult to 5 children, if you cannot find a sub or swap, you will be charged a missed workday fee of $45 and your child can not attend that day. 

Who can co-op?

At SMPNS, many people co-op.  We have moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nannies, and friends of the families who co-op.  Whoever does the co-op has to have a current TB test as well as the Flu, MMR, and Whooping Cough immunizations on file.

Does my child need to be potty trained?

No.  Because children reach certain milestones at different times in their lives, we do not have potty training requirement.  There is a cabinet to store your child's diapers.  The school provides wipes.  Each session, a teacher changes all diapers and reminds children to use the potty.  Many, many children have learned to use the toilet at SMPNS.

Is there a nap time?

For children who stay all day (both Am and PM sessions)  there is a “rest time”  Mats are set up in the classroom.  Each child has a designated mat with a cover and a sheet.  Some children bring a “lovey” to rest with.  A teacher reads books to group for about 20 minutes. Some children sleep and they are moved to the back of the classroom to finish their nap.  A list of children who slept is written on a calendar so that you can check to see if your child fell asleep. 

How are  birthdays celebrated?

You will receive  a note in your cubby as your child's birthday approaches.  Your child will choose a snack (often an Oreo or Fruit Gummies)  that all the children will share together at snack time. A teacher helps your child make a special crown on their birthday, and the class sings to your child if they so choose.

How are holidays celebrated?

We have a diverse community at SMPNS.  We encourage families to share their traditions with us.  Our celebrations reflect the different holidays that the families and staff celebrate at home.  

How does SMPNS handle food allergies?

You will be asked during your Intake Conference what food allergies your child has. A list is comprised and posted in the kitchen and in the snack area.  The teacher checks the list before the snack is made.  We will change the snack if necessary.  

What kinds of snacks are served?  

During each session a snack is served.  We offer many types of foods; some foods will familiar and others may be new for your child.  Some typical snacks are: 

graham crackers, yogurt, and berries, cheese, crackers, and apples, hummus, pita chips, cucumbers, and tomatoes, udon noodles (Japanese wheat noodles), oatmeal and fruit, scrambled eggs with toast and fruit, waffles and berries

All snacks are served with a choice of water or milk.  

Do you serve lunch?

If your child comes for nooncare, you may pack a lunch.

What are your hours?

We are open from 7:30 am until 6:00pm.  The AM session is held from 9am-12:00pm.  The PM session is from 1:00pm-4:00pm.  We have noon-care and before and after school care available.

What are my scheduling choices?

At SMPNS, we work to accomodate your needs.  You can have as few as two ½ day sessions a week or a full time schedule 7:30 am-6pm. For example you could choose Monday AM, Tuesday AM +nooncare, Wednesday all day,  and Friday PM. Or you may need Tuesday ,Thursday PM's + extended care until 6pm.  There are many, many possibilities.  If there isn't space available, you can put your name on the waiting list for that session and the Admissions Chairperson will contact you if space becomes available.  

Can I change my schedule once we've enrolled?

Yes, depending on availability.  You will need to turn in a “Schedule Change Request” form, or email the Admissions Chairperson before the 15th of the month before you want to change.  For example: If you want to add a session in December, you must turn in a request before the 15th of November.