by Steven (pre-3’s parent)

Our first year at Sandhurst Co-op Preschool with our daughter Alana is coming to a close. It has been a great experience for both my daughter and my wife. Our family has begun to make a connection to the local community and the co-op school model has a lot to do with that.

Sandhurst Co-op Preschool has been invaluable to us and I have come to find it to be integral in creating social cohesion within our community.

My admiration of Sandhurst and the co-op preschool system has led me to wonder about how such a great organizational system came into being. The history of the co-op preschool goes all the way back to 1916 and according to the website, it was started by faculty wives at the University of Chicago to provide social education for their children as well as parent education for themselves. Co-op preschools slowly began to pop up and spread throughout towns all across America and eventually the movement became big enough to warrant a national organization. This organization went through several iterations until finally becoming Parent Cooperative Preschools International or PCPI.

I find it fascinating that the co-op preschool model has developed so organically over time and how seamlessly the system is able to simultaneously provide both social and parent education. The added benefit of helping people develop stronger ties to their community is what enables co-op preschool to set itself apart from other types of early childhood educational institutions.

The myriad of benefits that Sandhurst Co-op Preschool provides outweighs the investment of time we are required to make by being a part of a co-op. As this year comes to a close my family is grateful for the experiences that have been afforded to us by our involvement with Sandhurst Co-op and I hope that co-op preschools continue to thrive all over the world.