Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to raising children, questions come with the territory! We’ve put together the answers to the questions we hear the most so you can get the information you need 24-7. If we haven’t answered your question here, please give us a call. We’re always happy to help.

What is a cooperative preschool?

A co-op is a non-profit preschool owned and managed by the parents of the children enrolled. The parents assist the professional teachers in the classroom on a rotating basis and participate in the classroom activities. A co-op offers parents the opportunity to be a part of early education and witness their child(ren) interacting, growing, and exploring while they learn through play.

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Why choose a co-op?

Parents gain insight into child behavior by observing other children as well as their own in the classroom setting. You observe how other parents and the professional teachers handle various situations and gain greater understanding and enjoyment of your own children by actively participating in their education. You have the opportunity to share your child’s experiences and your expertise with others while working together in a cooperative setting. You also learn useful ideas for helping your children at home and in the world around them.

Children participate in supervised play and learning experiences with their peers. The smaller class size helps your child learn how to participate in a classroom setting more gradually, preparing them for a larger kindergarten and grade school environment. The co-op setting also lets children interact with adults other than their own parents, benefiting them socially as they grow. 

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How old does my child need to be to participate in Little Lambs Preschool?

We offer classes for four- and young five-year-olds (must be four years old by September 1 of the year they will begin preschool) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and for three- and young four-year-olds (must be three years old by September 1 of the year they will begin preschool) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Do the children participate in field trips?

Yes, we love to take opportunities to have fun and learn outside of our classroom. Our lead teacher coordinates field trips, and we love it when parents can go with us. If you prefer, however, to keep your child home that day instead of participating in a field trip, that’s okay too. We’ll make sure you get all of the information you need before our next trip.

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Will the preschool provide snacks for my child?

Yes, and parents help with that. Our parent aide calendar will let you know what you can bring for snack on your assigned day. Those who have children with specific food allergies will provide suitable snacks (with the lead teacher’s approval) for their children when needed.

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Is the school open during severe weather conditions?

We close our preschool whenever Caledonia public schools close due to weather conditions. When the public schools have a two-hour delay, we will be closed for the day. Our board of directors will assess whether additional closure is needed. We will keep you updated by email and/or other means on any closure.

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Besides weather, what other reasons could close down the school for the day?

If we must close the preschool when the public schools remain open, we’ll be sure to contact parents. Although the state does not dictate guidelines for school closure due to illness, it is our policy that if 50% of the class is absent for two consecutive days due to illness, we will close the school for one day to sanitize the facilities. 

Please be aware that we do not give refunds for school closings or cancellations due to inclement weather, sickness, or any other reason.

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Is there a cost to enroll my child in the Little Lambs Preschool?

Yes, and the fees vary depending on the age of your child and whether or not he/she will attend the two- or three-day class and whether a parent chooses to work as a parent aide or not. At Little Lambs, we strive to be competitive with other schools in our area. Fundraising and parent involvement help us keep our tuition rates low. Each year, we adjust the tuition rates depending on class size and overall operation costs. For more information and a tuition breakdown, please see our Enrollment page.

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What does parent involvement look like?

Parent involvement is what sets a co-op apart from other preschools. Through various assignments and opportunities, you will spend valuable time with your child and get an inside look into their day. The following is a list of ways parent volunteers help our school succeed:

  • Volunteer in the classroom.
    • Depending on the class size, every four to six weeks
    • Responsible for bringing the snack for the day
    • Attend parties and field trips throughout the year
  • Fulfill a “parent job.”
    • Clean art supplies.
    • Make phone calls.
    • Collect and distribute fundraising items.
    • Cut out materials.
    • Work in the classroom library.
    • Plan parties.
    • And more!
  • Parents will be on a rotating schedule to clean the preschool each weekend to eliminate germs and keep the environment safe and healthy for our children (eliminates the cost of a professional cleaning service).

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What should I do as a parent aide?

Throughout the duration of the school year, you have the opportunity to serve in the classroom as a parent aide. As a parent aide, you get to interact with children and assist the teacher with hands-on projects and activities. This position gives you a unique look inside the daily workings of the classroom and lets you see your child and their friends learning and interacting in real time. The parent aide rotation is approximately every six weeks but varies depending upon class size. 

Oh, there are so many ways you can help! Please be sure to read the student handbook for more details about volunteering, but here is some of what it involves:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early to receive instructions from the lead teacher and so the class can begin on time.
  • Come comfortably dressed.
  • Participate in the activities—don’t worry about making mistakes.
  • Use your best judgment—your instincts are probably correct.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Help the lead teacher and teacher aide in the daily functions of the classroom.
  • Spend time with the children in the big playroom and help them get involved in activities with their classmates.
  • Clean the tables before snack time.
  • Get the snack ready.

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What does it mean to fundraise for the school?

As a non-profit organization, every dollar we collect goes towards the general operation of the preschool. The actual costs per child are higher than the tuition each family pays; therefore, we have built in a fundraising requirement per student to help cover additional operating costs. Parents may choose to raise the required funds through our fundraising opportunities, or they may choose to pay the additional amount each year. We host a variety of fundraisers for families to participate in, and we are always open to suggested ways to raise more support for our school. Please see the Support Little Lambs page for more details about ways you and others can support our school.

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