• Carmel Co-op Preschool

    1. How do I learn more about your program?
    Browse through our webpage or feel free to contact us. Visitors are always welcome at our school and we respond to messages and questions as soon as we are available.
    2. How much does it cost to attend your program?
    Our tuition for 2023-2024 is $265/month. Tuition is paid monthly and the first month of the school year is prorated. Please check our Tuition schedule for monthly rates. All tuition and fees are paid directly to the Carmel Adult School.
    3. At what age can a child attend your program?
    Our typical age range is from 2 and 9 months through 5. To attend, a child must be potty trained and be able to communicate needs as well as follow directions. We understand that children may have "accidents" at school and may not always follow directions the first time and we can work with them. However, we are not equipped to be able to change diapers. Typically, at around 2 and 9 months children become ready. Some children may be ready earlier and others may take longer. If you are unsure if your child is ready, please talk with us.
    4. What are your requirements for parents?
    As a co-op, we rely on the involvement of our enrolled families to make our program a success. Each enrolled family is expected to work in the classroom one day a week and attend two meetings a month. We ask that you plan on arriving 30 minutes before class starts on your helper day so that you can be prepared for the day's activities. If you can't make a meeting or a helper day, you may send a representative in your place.  Please inform the teacher.
    5. Are you part of Tularcitos Elementary School?
    One part of our program (Tular co-op) used to be located on the Tularcitos Elementary School campus, so we learned to work closely with the staff at Tularcitos, however, our program is part of the Carmel Adult School. Both of our programs are part of Carmel Unified School District and many of our students live locally and attend Tularcitos after completing our program. After combining with Bay School, we now primarily serve children that will be attending River Elementary and Tularcitos.
    6. What are the hours and days of the week your program operates?
    The program operates from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm. The days of the week depends upon the enrollment, with a lower enrollment possibly leading to fewer than five days a week or a slightly higher tuition. We are currently open 5 days a week, Monday- Friday.
    7. Does your program adequately prepare a child for kindergarten, especially with less than 5 days a week and younger kids present?
    Yes. Our program offers incredible ratios of students to adults. At present, we have a ratio of about 4 students per adult. Our students are able to get lots of individual and one-on-one attention. As the class size increases, we will increase the number of days we are open so that students will still have the same quality time with adults. As a co-op, all of our parent volunteers are trained by the teacher in how to work with and prepare each child for kindergarten, thus empowering them to better meet the needs of their own child not only in preschool but in future classes as well. The communication and community built in a co-op provide an excellent support network for all students and easy accessibility to the teacher.  Time in the classroom ensures that all parents' needs can be voiced and met. The younger children help our students to continue to develop their social skills while developing leadership and mentoring skills. Not only do older children learn compassion, patience, and acceptance, but they also learn to be an example and "teach" the younger children good kindergarten behavior.  Much as the elementary school uses a "buddy" system to have older children befriend and mentor younger children, the younger children in our program are an integral part of preparing our pre-kinder kids to be leaders and set great examples. The excellent ratio of adults to children prevents the younger children from being a distraction to the preparation of the older students. Instead, the younger children actually help the older children and the older children help the younger children. Our younger students not only learn from their older peers, but become experienced working with older children and navigating through the age differences - which helps them as they move on to elementary school in their future years.
    8. What does a typical preschool day look like in your program?
    Each day begins with an opening circle. We introduce group learning at this time and children practice many needed kindergarten skills. After opening circle, children break for a small group activity and go to free choice activities once they finish. Halfway through our day, our children eat a healthy snack that parents send to school with their children. Following snacks, there is outdoor time with the classroom open for a second indoor activity for those children that choose to complete it. The class ends with a closing circle.
    9. What are your learning objectives for the various age groups in your program?
    Our two-year-old students are focused on being able to accept separation from their families for short periods of time as they learn that school is a fun and safe place to be. They begin to participate in activities and follow general routines such as transitioning from one area to the next, eating snack at a given time and place with the rest of the class, and accepting guidance and direction from a variety of teachers in the classroom. Our three-year-olds are focused on transitioning from parallel play (playing next to others but without interaction) to cooperative play (interacting with other children and making decisions based on their responses.) This is an important transition as it is the time when many social skills that we take for granted are learned. They develop sharing, waiting for a turn, compromise, voicing their feelings and emotions, conflict resolution, handling disappointment, and learning empathy. Our four and five-year-olds are on the kindergarten prep track. They are focused on developing the skills needed to succeed in kindergarten. These begin with the behavior skills such as sitting in a circle, walking in a line, stopping an activity (even if not finished) when the teacher says it's time to do something else, completing an assignment, following directions, paying attention, sitting quietly, raising their hands, etc. These are the skills essential for a kindergarten teacher to be able to manage a class and teach all students so they will learn. Our four and five-year-olds continue to develop their social skills and refine social interactions to appropriate school behavior and also begin academic preparations (such as using scissors, writing their names, counting, simple pattern recognition, beginning phonics, beginning rhymes, and recognition of colors, letters, and numbers). There are additional themed topics included as well such as life cycles, professions, vocabulary development, holidays, and cultural celebrations. All children are taught to value one another and respect authority.
    10. Do your children go on field trips?
    Our children go on a variety of field trips to places such as Earthbound Farm, the Library, the Fire Station, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Our goal is to teach them good field trip etiquette as well as educate them on a variety of experiences.
    11. What happens if I have to be late to pick up my child?
    Please call the preschool as soon as you realize you will be late. Typically, in a co-op the parents build strong relationships with one another and may even become each other's emergency contacts. In this case, you may find that another parent is willing to watch your child until you can arrive, (just make sure you have given the preschool permission to release your child to them.) In the event that no one can watch your child, your child will be taken to the main office at Carmelo Child Development Center and wait there for you to arrive.
    12. What happens in an emergency situation?
    We participate in Carmelo Child Development Center's Emergency Procedures. In the event of an evacuation, we will evacuate to the backfield with the rest of the Child Development Center children. You may sign out and pick up your child from this field which can be accessed through the Carmel Valley High School parking lot off of Shulte Road.
    13. What is a co-op and is it right for me?
    A co-op is a cooperative preschool in which parents work together with a lead teacher to run the classroom. It typically costs less than a more traditional preschool model because parents put in additional time in the classroom to help with the education, training, and preparation of all of the children. The lead teacher is a fully trained and credentialed teacher that is qualified not only to instruct preschool students, but adults as well. A co-op works well for parents that want to play an active role in their child's early education and have the time available to commit to working in the classroom one day a week. There may be additional time commitments associated with a co-op such as monthly meetings, (to train and prepare for working in the classroom), craft preparation, and cleaning/sanitizing toys, etc. that are not typically associated with a more traditional preschool.
    14. Can a co-op preschool prepare a child as well as a traditional preschool?
    Both school types have their strengths and weaknesses and it is up to each family to decide what is best for them and their child. Many people are concerned that because a co-op has only one "professionally trained" teacher, it can't possibly prepare students as well as a traditional preschool. However, most parents know their own children better than anyone else and they bring that knowledge into the classroom. The monthly meetings allow for training and collaboration, which only serve to make the program stronger. The various age groups provide a unique opportunity for children to learn from one another, and the teacher in charge serves as a resource that is qualified to teach both parents (adults) and preschool children so that everyone gets what they need.  A co-op can mimic an elementary school classroom in which there is one teacher in charge of the whole group with many parent helpers that come in on various days to work in the classroom. Children in a co-op preschool can be just as well prepared for kindergarten as children in a traditional preschool, and parents can often leave equally prepared for working with their children throughout elementary school.
    15. Do co-op preschool teachers work with other teachers?
    Carmel co-op preschool believes strongly that the best program comes from the sharing of ideas from many minds. We collaborate with the parents involved in our program to address their concerns and implement their ideas as much as possible. We collaborate with the teachers at Tularcitos Elementary School so that we are always aware of what their needs are for our students that will become their future students. We talk with and work with the staff at Carmelo, and we collaborate with other co-op teachers in the area. We continue to work with the Pacific Grove preschool co-ops (which are so successful that parents put their children on the waiting list as soon as they are born). We encourage you to participate if a co-op is right for you.