What is a co-op? A co-op is a parent-run, non-profit organization where parents and teachers work together to create a positive, nurturing environment in which children can thrive in all aspects of their development.
Downey is a less expensive school than others in the area. What is the catch?
Downey is a parent-run school. Downey’s only paid staff members are the teachers. All other functions are covered by families on a volunteer basis. We do charge less than other schools, but we do require a more significant time investment of families. Please click here for more details of those requirements.
What are the expectations of a family?
Family involvement at Downey is a required component of the school. In order for the school to function smoothly, all families are needed to pitch in. Families volunteer in the classroom as teaching assistants, have a family job for the school year, fundraise, and participate in training. Please click here for more details on family expectations.
Can a family register and not volunteer in the classroom or opt out of one of the requirements?
No. At this time, we do not have a mechanism that allows a family to opt out of a requirement and still ensure that the school runs smoothly and that other families will not be taking on additional duties. If, after reading through the expectations of families, you feel that you cannot or do not want to do the required activities, Downey Cooperative Preschool may not be the right fit for your family.
We really love the idea of co-oping but are unsure of how to make the family requirements work. Do you offer any flexibility with the requirements?
Yes. We recognize that families often have more than one parent who works outside the home and that there are families headed by one adult only. We do not require that only the parents volunteer in the class. Parents can designate other caregivers to volunteer in the class (as long as those adults receive the required training). For family jobs, the time commitment varies. Some jobs are for one-day events; others last the duration of the school year. Training sessions, for the most part, are held are various times – weekends, evenings, during the day, etc. We also offer a childcare swap. If a family has a child too young to attend Downey, they can arrange to swap childcare with other families in the same situation.
We are a family that loves to be outdoors. Do kids at Downey play outside?
Yes, as much as possible! The older classes – Frogs and Leapfrogs – tend to be outdoors in all types of weather (unless it is storming or below zero). The Tadpoles and Polliwogs are outside in most types of weather. In addition to being outside on our playground, Polliwogs, Frogs, and Leapfrogs may go on nature hikes around the neighborhood or walk to area attractions for field trips. Leapfrogs have a Forest Kindergarten day each month, where they spend the day at Southeastway Park. Click here for more details.
Do kids need to be potty-trained to attend Downey?
No. Kids are able to attend any of the classes whether or not they are potty-trained.
Are kids with special needs welcome at Downey?
Absolutely! We do recommend that families that are interested in Downey take a tour of the school first and talk with a board member or teacher to make sure that Downey can meet the needs of your child.
I see that Downey meets in a church. Are you affiliated with the church?
We are a secular school. Downey was started years ago by families who attended Downey Christian Church. Over time, the school became its own entity and has maintained a secular program. The school does have a very strong and positive relationship with the church, and partners with Downey Avenue Christian Church on things such as the Spring Egg Hunt.