"Cooperative nursery school can be a rewarding experience for the preschool child. This is a place where each child's enjoyment, needs and feelings are of primary importance to the adults present. A place with new and exciting toys, opportunities for creative play and - perhaps for the first time - many playmates. Nursery school allows children to enjoy themselves while learning social skills.
From the parents' viewpoint, the advantage of nursery school is that it provides play experiences under the direction of a trained and objective teacher, in an environment that is carefully planned to match the developmental needs and abilities of the preschool-age child. A step toward kindergarten, nursery school introduces the idea of cooperation and group play, and allows children to become acclimated to leaving home and accepting other adults as authorities. The presence of the assist parents also helps facilitate the transition from home to school.
To your child, the teacher represents continuity - as the one person who can be counted on to be present every school day, ready to give comfort and encouragement as your child adjusts to this new experience. The teacher helps the children to channel their emotions and to accept the rules and limits on behavior that promote good social relations.
The teacher has a complex role in a cooperative nursery. In addition to her responsibilities to the children, she is in the position of supervising your participation. She will help you to become increasingly independent and confident in your relationships with the children, and to understand your own child on the days you assist. She points the way for you to help other children in the group. She welcomes your suggestions and encourages you to initiate activities and try out your own ideas. You can benefit from her knowledge of children; she needs your knowledge of your own child's reactions. Together, you must strive to keep the channels of two way communication open and to maintain a friendly relationship of mutual giving. You also share the responsibility of providing a happy play atmosphere for the children.
The unique quality of the cooperative nursery lies in the fact that you, the parent, and your child go to school together. It is true that your child goes two or three times a week, while you may go only a few times a semester; but, as each of you interacts with the group - including the teacher, the other children and the other parents - the learning experience is shared.
Because the cooperative nursery is so dependent for its success on parents taking part, it is of the utmost importance that each parent understand the operation of the school. While not all parents will contribute equally to the school, the talents of all of you are needed. The experience of previous Stone School parents tells us that the more you contribute, the more you will gain. While certain minimum requirements are made of parents, you are also asked to assume responsibility for the many small, unscheduled needs that arise in the daily operations of the school.
Through the full cooperation of the teacher and the parents, the cooperative nursery becomes an important instrument in the emotional, mental, physical and social development of our children."
Excerpted from the preschool's website