Summer has only just begun, but fall quarter classes at Pierce College’s six cooperative preschools are already filling fast.
Boasting small class sizes, vast networks of parent support, and skilled instructors, the cooperative preschools are an invaluable resource for parents of young children in Pierce County.
The preschools are now enrolling for fall classes in Puyallup, Sumner, Lakewood, Orting, and Eatonville. Because the classes are capped at 16 students each (the ratio of children per adult is 4:1), parents are encouraged to reserve their child’s spot immediately. Orientation sessions typically begin after Labor Day in September, with classes starting in mid-September.
The six parent-run schools are operated by a parent board and overseen by Pierce College, which provides each school a highly-skilled instructor to advise the board, oversee the curriculum and school environment, and teach monthly parenting classes. These classes cover a wide range of important topics, including nutrition, guidance, and child development.
Since parents are such a critical part of the education provided, they learn firsthand how best to teach and care for their child, while building a large support network of other parents facing the same joys and struggles.
“The parent education instructor and other parents in the school provide parents a network of resources and support,” explained Michelle Barnes, Pierce College’s parent education coordinator. “At the same time, children are working in a developmentally appropriate preschool, exploring their world and developing emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically. Each environment is designed to capture the child’s interest and help the development in each domain.”
Pierce College’s parent co-op preschools have been operating for about 35 years and have provided critical support and care to thousands of families in Pierce County.
Hours, ages, and costs vary per school. See the list below for more detailed information on each school, its location and hours.
- Fort Steilacoom Parent Education Cooperative, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Drive S.W., Lakewood. Children ages 18 months to 3 years have classes from 9 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. Children ages 3 to 5 have classes from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call (253) 964-6691 or (253) 840-8445.
- Eatonville Cooperative Preschool, 210 Fir Ave. N., Eatonville. Morning sessions are available for 4- and 5-year-olds from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Afternoon sessions for 4- and 5-year-olds are available from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Classes for 3-year-olds are from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call (360) 832-4966.
- Midland Parent Education Preschool, St. John of the Woods Catholic Church, 9903 24th Ave. E., Puyallup. Children ages 24 to 36 months have class Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Children ages 12 to 24 months have class either Thursday or Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call (253) 840-8445.
- Orting Cooperative Preschool, Orting Methodist Church, 113 Varner Ave. S.E., Orting. Children ages 3 to 5 years have classes from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call (360) 893-3441.
- South Hill Cooperative Preschool, Living Hope Church, 11618 E. 122nd St., Puyallup. Children ages 4 and 5 years can attend morning classes from 9:30 to 11:30 or afternoon classes from 12:30 to 2:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Three-year-olds can attend morning classes from 9:30 to 11:30 or afternoon classes from 12:30 to 2:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call (253) 435-1740.
- Sumner Cooperative Preschool, Christ the King Lutheran Church, 245 Valley Ave., Sumner. Children ages 3 and 5 have classes from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call (253) 862-2174.