COOPERATIVE: WORKING OR ACTING TOGETHER WILLINGLY FOR A COMMON PURPOSE OR BENEFIT.
Madison Park Cooperative is located at the historic bathhouse on the shores of Lake Washington. Founded in 1970, MPCP has provided families with a nurturing and supportive community, making their child's first school experience a positive and enduring one. According to our nation's leading educators, a key indicator of quality is the significance of play in a program's philosophy. Young children learn best by play – by actively thinking, experimenting, exploring and manipulating their environment – to make sense of their world, to understand and negotiate relationships, to develop creative thinking and to build a positive sense of themselves and their significance to a community. Play provides the important foundations for academic learning in the later years and is central to all aspects of a child's social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. Through art, cooking, singing, building, gardening and engaging in pretend play, children – with teacher guidance – build on their knowledge of emergent literacy, math and science concepts. Child-directed, teacher-facilitated play is central to all aspects of the Madison Park Cooperative Preschool curriculum. In addition, parents and caregivers gain useful information and guidance techniques with the support of Parent Educators.
THE INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS
MPCP is managed by a parent Board of Directors, each family attending the co–op serves on one committee, and parents assist teachers in each class.
Being part of a cooperative preschool offers parents the opportunity to watch their child grow in his or her first contact with a group outside of the family. It offers parents direct involvement with the teachers and children who define this new step in the child's life.
Perhaps the most lasting effect of joining the co–op is the sense of community support that develops among the parents.