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Hi, can anyone tell me if you can make a coop preschool work when you also have a one year old at home? im not sure how to give time to the preschool, can i bring the baby as well?
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Yes! We started at our co-op preschool (Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool) with my son when he was 3 and my daughter was 1 and it worked great for us. The 3yo class meets only on Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 a - 12 pm. Our in-class participation requirement was about once a month. Both my husband and I took shifts in the classroom to fulfill our participation requirement. The days I was in the classroom, my husband either worked from home (worked great when my 1 yo had a morning nap) or he took the morning off.
Our co-op is focused on creating a community amongst our families and one way they facilitate that is to match parents with younger siblings for childcare swaps. It ends up being a play date for the younger siblings while one parent is in the classroom.
And now that my 3 yo is a first grader and that 1 yo is in the 4 yo class at Linda Beach, I offer to babysit younger siblings. Gives me an opportunity to get a baby fix without committing to having another baby ;)
It depends on the coop! You have to ask each one what their policy is. Most will allow a baby in a sling and then they get antsy about the little one running around, but often you can find another family with a kid your age -- esp in the larger coops -- and do a babysitting trade for your work days. But again, you have to just talk to each coop about their policies.
Hi there. Both our kids went to a co-op preschool and we loved the experience. It was such a wonderful community of children and parents -- some of whom we are still dear friends with. It does depend on the co-op whether you can bring your younger child to school with you for your work shift. Ours did not allow it, so my son usually stayed home with a babysitter or went to daycare on those days. I was working part-time, so we already had child care set up. If you are a SAHM, you will probably have to find a sitter or else start a babysitting co-op. Also, most co-op parent communities are super supportive, so you may be able to work out some sort of child care swap with another family. Even though coordinating work shifts and child care (not to mention all the other school jobs) was extremely exhausting, I wouldn't have changed it for the world. Feel free to contact me for more info and good luck on your journey!
You can definitely make it work. At our coop, there are a number of us do childcare swaps, which has been great and means that when my now 2yo enters, he will already know a bunch of his classmates because they regularly play together with our playdate/swap days. It also means that those of us dealing with touring kindergartens already had friends to turn to to swap for those times as well (since they're for adults only at most schools). I think some coops are ok with it until the baby is mobile. After that, it's usually not allowed, as far as the few that I looked into. Our coop doesn't allow babies to come on participation days at any age, because it's such a distraction from the work of participating, and after initial concern of leaving my then tiny baby with a friend, I found I agree with that. It's a skill unto itself to observe, model, mediate etc. when you participate, and I say that as a former teacher, and there's enough going on that managing the needs of a baby would take away from your ability to do your job. I found it very rewarding to have just the time to focus on my older one's age group (and her, though most of the time she didn't have anything to do with me when I was there - but she liked knowing that I was there). Now, in her second year, she says she loves the days when I participate because she gets time with me without her younger sibling.