When Your Kid Goes to a Co-op

By Amy My daughter was born in January, two weeks past the cut-off date for kindergarten for September 2013. We decided to put her in preschool and found a good fit at Katimavik Cooperative Nursery School.

We took her to an open house during the summer and she started the afternoon program in September.


Katimavik has three excellent teachers, and my daughter has made fast friends. They do lots of crafts, which is her favourite thing, they play outside every day and they sing and tell stories. Some days she doesn't want to leave.

But this isn't about our great nursery school, this is about a cooperative.

When your child goes to a cooperative preschool, you as a parent become responsible for a lot of the things that happen with that school. Each family at KCNS has duty days, where a parent actually hangs out and helps out in the classroom. We have cleaning duties, we provide snacks for the whole class and we help supervise the kids when necessary.

The parents also make up the school executive – I accidentally volunteered for a position on ours – and committees. As cooperative parents we fundraise to help the school budget for resources and supplies.

I was a little overwhelmed when we went to our introductory meeting and learned about all the things we would be involved with at KCNS, but now that we're a month in I feel great about the school we chose. I got to spend a day watching my daughter interact with her peers and I've had the chance to have some great conversations with the teachers and other parents.

I think there are a lot of things I'll miss about the cooperative environment when the kid starts kindergarten next year.