MCPC is a non-profit, parent-operated, cooperative preschool. Founded in 1933, we are a supportive community of 25 different families, working together to facilitate our children's development. Our focus is on creativity, socialization, independence, cognitive growth, and sensory-motor development. Our objective is to create a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment, in which our children can learn to build self-esteem, and to value diversity. The programs at Montclair Community Play Center are based on three key principles: Developmental Model of Learning Emphasizes free-choice play and hands-on experience that satisfies our childrens' needs, interests and abilities. Parental Involvement Daily interaction supports learning for both parent and child. To promote parental involvement, we offer parent education on a variety of child-rearing topics throughout the year. Focus on Conflict Resolution Parents and children learn the skills they need to resolve discord at both school and home. Our programs are also mindful of different races, abilities, religions, gender, social class, and family structures. Our anti-bias orientation allows children to explore the differences and similarities between peoples, in a safe and open environment. We have designed our programs to help our students develop the skills necessary to identify and counter the hurtful impact of social bias.
Daily Schedule 8:40am On-duty parents arrive with their children to set up the planned activities under the guidance of the Director. 8:50am Meeting for on-duty parents and Director to discuss what has been going on in the childrens' play, ideas for engaging the kids, and any concerns. One parent is assigned to care for on-duty parents' children while meeting takes place. 9:00am Children arrive at school. Free choice of play activities, indoors and outdoors. Children prepare and eat snack at their leisure with adult assistance. 11:00am Age-combined circle time. Children act out stories they have dictated earlier in the morning, sing songs, learn fingerplays, and talk. 11:15am Balloon Groups: Combined-age children break into small groups and focus on Movement & Dance, Gross Motor Activities, or hands-on Discovery (science projects). 11:30am Children continue outside play. 11:45am Closing circles. Children are divided into 2 circles by age, and have time to discuss important events or issues that came up during the day, hear a story, and then say good-bye in a special song. 12:00pm School ends for children. Meeting for on-duty parents with the Director to discuss the day. Children of on-duty parents hear stories while they eat a brown-bag lunch and share conversation.