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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a cooperative preschool?

A: A cooperative preschool is a program that is operated by a group of parents who take an active interest in their children’s first educational experience. Parents help the teacher in the classroom, are given opportunities for education, and are involved in decision-making. (from PCPO Website)

Q: What are the benefits to enrolling my child in a cooperative school?

A: Benefits a Cooperative School Offers Children:

  • New experiences and a wider world to explore and enjoy
  • A teacher who encourages their sense of self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Parents in the classroom which insures an above average adult to child ratio
  • Children of similar ages with whom to play and learn respect for the differences and rights of others
  • Play equipment, learning games, expressive materials, and art activities not generally available at home
  • Field trips, story-telling, musical and dramatic play, exercise for large motor muscles and activities to stimulate small muscle coordination
  • A positive attitude toward future school attendance

Benefits a Cooperative School Offers Parents:

  • Participation in their children's education away from home
  • A better understanding of their children''s individuality through observing them with other children the same age
  • A voice in school decisions and policy-making
  • Education in child development and parenting skills at parent meetings, PCPO Conferences, and through publications
  • Mutual understanding and moral support from other parents with the same concerns, interests, and problems
  • Memories of activities shared with children

Q: Can I visit the school and observe the class and teacher?

A:  We encourage you and your child to visit us and explore the preschool. Please email us at contact@littlefeetpreschool.org or call (541) 386-1744 to arrange a suitable day. Also, our open houses provide a great opportunity to meet the teacher and other parents currently enrolled.
Q:  What is the time commitment to belong to Little Feet Cooperative Preschool?

A:  Parents are required to sign up for duty days, emergency days, have a role with certain responsibilites, attend parent meetings and participate in school fundraising activities.

Duty days are about 4 hours one time per month depending on the number of members currently enrolled in the preschool. Parents also sign up for emergeny duty days.  

The parent education and general meeting is about 2 1/2 hours in the evening three times per school year.   If you are interested in being on the executive board, it would be one extra meeting of two hours per month. 

Your job in the preschool may take a few minutes a week or a couple of hours a week, depending on the role you choose. Parents are also expected to participate in fundraising activities.

Q: Can parents pay a higher tuition in order to reduce the parent teaching requirements?

A: No. We do not offer the option of reduced parent teaching requirements by paying a higher tuition.

Q:  Who runs the school?

A:  Little Feet Preschool is owned and operated by the parents of the children currently enrolled in the program. Parents form the administrative backbone of the school, employing a teacher and acting as parent teachers.

Q: Is Little Feet Preschool associated with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church?

A: No. Though Little Feet Coop has been located at the Church facility since it began in 1993, the school is not affiliated with the church or any other religious organization.

Q: What discipline methods are used at the school?

A: Parents and teachers provide helpful guidance to children by respectfully acknowledging feelings while redirecting or limiting behavior. The goal is to support young children as they gain the ability for self-discipline. We use a conflict resolution approach called High/Scope with its six step approach:
  • approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions or language
  • acknowledge feelings
  • gather information
  • restate the problem
  • ask for ideas for solutions and choose one of them
  • give follow-up support as needed.

We use positive discipline only.  Punishment, physical or verbal, is not used as a form of discipline.  At Little Feet, we have only easy-to-remember RULES of conduct:

  • Respect yourself and others.
  • Respect the school environment.

Q: Can I bring my younger child to the classroom when I parent teach?

A: No. The school's insurance policy does not cover siblings; therefore parents may not bring siblings into the classroom while they are parent teaching. This also helps us to minimize the disruptions of the classroom and to ensure our parent teachers are fully engaged in the classroom activities. Parents will need to make other arrangements for their care in advance.

Q: What is the adult to child ratio?

A: There are two parent teachers and one teacher in the each classroom daily. The adult to child ratio is 1:5.3.

Q: Are the parents responsible for developing curriculum and lesson plans?

A: No. The school employs three teachers, one for each class. The hired teachers are responsible for developing the curriculum and daily activities for the classroom.

Q: Does my child need to be potty trained to attend the school?

A: Yes.  While we understand that accidents do happen, we expect all children to be out of diapers (daytime) and able to use the toilet with little assistance.  In the event that the child soils him/herself, the parent is responsible for arranging for someone to come to school and change their child in a timely manner.

 Q: When does the school year begin and end?

A: Our school year typically begins in mid-September and ends in early June. Our holidays and in-service days correspond to the Hood River School District calendar.

 Q: How many children are in each class?

A: 16 is the maximum size for each class.

Q:  What types of jobs are available for parents Little Feet Preschool?

A:  There are a wide variety of jobs available and we try to match your interests or skills to the jobs.  Our Parent Responsibilites page contains a list of parent jobs and their respective time commitments.

Q:  Does the preschool have a gradual entry program to reduce separation anxiety?

A:  Parents and children often meet during the summer before class begins to help the children meet others in their class. As well, all the children meet with the teacher before preschool starts.  Our teachers will develop plans to work with parents and students experiencing seperation anxiety.

Q:  I work outside the home. Can I still do a parent participation preschool?

A:  We have many parents that work outside the home, or even work at home in various occupations, and every family finds their own way to make it work. Some parents share the duties with other family members and the preschool members are very accommodating to those members who can only help in the classroom on specific days.

Q:  I have a younger child as well as my preschooler. I'm worried I won't be able to find care for my younger child during my duty days.

A:  Parents may NOT bring siblings to stay at the school on their duty days. Many parents with multiple children coordinate babysitting with other preschool families – i.e. "I’ll babysit your child/children on your duty days, and you can babysit my child/children on my duty days." This cross babysitting alleviates the financial burden of hiring childcare and can be a fun and rewarding experience for the siblings.

Q:  What do the children do during their time in preschool?

A:  Since we're a play-based preschool we believe children need to discover and explore at their own pace and follow their curiosity. We have various stations set up around the preschool, including an art area, a library, a dramatic play area, and many puzzle and construction block toys to fuel the imagination. Our teacher also sets up a daily activity area.  We also have daily outdoor time and the preschool has access to a great playground as well as our own bicycles, and other outdoor toys.


Q: What accommodations does the school make for children with peanut allergies?

 A:  Parents provide nutritious snacks for their children to bring to school, in the event a student has an allergy to a specific food item, that food item is banned from the school property during the period in which their student is enrolled.