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Fremont Parent Nursery School - a parent co-op

4200 Alder Terrace
Fremont, CA 94536

(510) 793-8531


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Established in 1961, Fremont Parents’ Nursery School (FPNS) is a parent-run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a high quality, affordable preschool experience for children aged two to pre-K. FPNS relies on the commitment, involvement, and enthusiasm of participating families to create an enriching educational environment where children can learn, grow, and have fun!

As a parent-participation preschool, FPNS strives to nourish and strengthen children as well as their families. Parents participate in the daily program on a rotating basis, serving as assistants to a professional nursery school teacher. This allows parents to share in, contribute to, and support their child’s first educational experience. A key goal at FPNS is to support children cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally as they develop at their own pace. It is important to us that parents and children feel respected as individuals and that they gain the skills and confidence that will foster lifelong learning.

• Ages two years to pre-K • Low student/instructor ratio • Parent participation enriches child’s school experience • Academic readiness through developmental learning • Flexible, low-cost programs

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led, Co-op

From the Director:

We are a parent co-op -- taught by credentialed teachers (2 per class) and governed by a board of elected member parents. The teachers prepare and lead the developmentally balanced curriculum. Each parent assists the teachers in the classroom once a week. This partnering of teachers and parents provides the children with a loving and high quality preschool experience. Our adult to child ratio is the best you will find, and our children love to learn in a carefully prepared play-based environment. Come spend the day with us and see if our program is for you.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Cooking projects, field trips, parent-led activities (we encourage parents to share their enthusiasms with the children - for example one parent who is a sushi chef did a cooking demonstration for the prek class and then everyone enjoyed the resulting California rolls)

From the Director:

Each year is different as your child grows: As our two year olds play, they are learning to follow a basic classroom routine and to gain independence from their parent. As the year progresses they begin to learn sharing, making friends, and participating in circle time. In our three year old class, friendships bloom. They learn to express their feelings and needs appropriately. They enjoy coming to circle time. Finally, a wide variety of activities teach them the joy of exploring: art, cooking, science, pretending, planting, outdoor play, and more. Our four year old class is preparing your child for the big world of kindergarten. We encourage children to care for their personal needs (like potty and dressing). The children learn to negotiate differences with their peers. We prepare them for math with hands-on activities and songs/stories/rhymes. We prepare them for reading with rhyming, art activities, and games that teach them letter recognition and letter sounds. In ALL our classes, we ALWAYS have fun! We believe a child must be happy and feel secure to truly learn.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We have a unique partnership of teachers and parents working together. In each class we have two credentialed teachers, The lead teacher prepares the curriculum and oversees the running of the classroom. The assistant teacher works closely with the lead teacher, supporting her throughout the day. The team of parent volunteers help with projects, plays with the children, and helps to keep the children safe and happy. The lead teacher provides them with guidance on how to work with the children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"One of the basic tenets of co-op philosophy is shared leadership whereby each participant feels a responsibility to make the group work. There is not only acceptance of individual differences, but faith that the real strength of the group can only be realized when each individual feels free to make his own contribution in an atmosphere of real acceptance"

Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

From our PreKindergarten class: Theme of month is "SUMMER - the small creatures who live around us"

The children trace their name when they arrive and post it on an easel by the door

12:30 - choices time - the children may examine real caterpillars and their cocoons, make a small habitat for a toy caterpillar, play in our play house area, do number puzzles,or read with a parent in our library

1:30 - Circle time - We all count the children together to see how many are here today. Then teacher reads "Otto and Bob" - story about a worm and a caterpillar who are friends. We talk about caterpillar life cycle together and recreate it through dance with giant scarves.

1:50 - snacktime

2:10 - outside freeplay - swings, sandbox, bikes, climbing, searching bushes for snails, water garden, sidewalk chalk or easel painting

3:00 - small group time. We have previously read "Chickaboom" and have been talking about upper and lower case letters. Today the children are painting large lowercase letters to put on a coconut tree on the bulletin board. Tomorrow we will do the uppercase letters.

3:20 - singing favorite songs and goodbyes

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

This is one our greatest strengths. Each parent works in the classroom once a week. When they are not in the classroom, teachers and other parents can tell them how their child's day was. With our high adult/child ratio, you can always know how your child's day went.

Teachers are always available for one-on-on conversations with parents: either during class or after class. Once a month all the parents come to a two hour night time meeting with the lead teacher. Here parents and teacher can discuss any concerns and share ideas. The teacher also leads a short parent education discussion each month.

The parents and teachers belong to a yahoo group which makes email communication easy. All parents also have each others phone numbers as well as the lead teacher's phone number.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

When parents join the school, I ask if they are expecting separation problems. In general, I recommend the parent stay in the classroom until the child is ready to separate. They allows the child to get comfortable with the classroom, make friends, and bond with the other adults. Then separation is usually easy. If the parent is not able to stay, I discuss with the parent how they want to handle the separation. If a child is crying for their parent, I find the adult they are most comfortable with to comfort them - it may be a teacher or it may be a parent.