Unit One The Children and You
Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc.
as a requirement of enrolling their child in the
program. They also attend meetings and assist
with preparing budgets, hiring teachers, and
setting program policies and goals.
Cooperatives provide developmental
experiences for adults as well as children.
Specifi cally, parents
• obtain guidance in their jobs as parents
• learn what children are like at different
ages and stages
• gain several free mornings or days each
• become familiar with creative activities,
materials, and equipment
• gain a more objective picture of their
Due to all of these experiences, many
parents have reported feeling a greater sense
of self-satisfaction in their parenting roles. The
number of parent cooperatives has diminished
as mothers’ participation in the workforce has
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are many advantages to teaching in
a parent cooperative. Since the parents assist in
making the administrative decisions, collecting
fees, and ordering and repairing equipment, the
teacher can devote more time to the children and
curriculum. Another advantage can be the special
relationships that many times develop between
parents and teachers.
A major disadvantage of a parent cooperative
is the lack of control on the teacher’s part.
Although the teacher acts as an adviser, parents
are usually responsible for making rules. At
times, there may be differences of opinion
between teacher and parents. For instance,
parents may feel that children do not have to help
return toys to the storage place. The teacher may
feel differently. This can cause problems for many
Parent cooperatives usually operate for two
or three hours, two to fi ve days each week. These
programs may offer full-day or half-day programs.
Some programs only operate on selective days
of the week, such as Tuesday and Thursdays or
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sometimes these
groups are structured by the children’s ages. For
example, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, a
group of two-year-old children will be scheduled.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings,
three-year-olds may attend. Other centers may
prefer to use the “family-type” grouping. In this
type of setting, children of mixed ages may all be
included in one group.
Due to the parent’s involvement, fees charged
at a parent cooperative are usually less than
at other programs. Hiring only a head teacher
helps reduce operating costs. Parents serve as
the classroom aides. Generally, each parent will
assist in the classroom several times each month.
In addition, parents volunteer to perform many
of the service activities. They may clean and
maintain the building, prepare snacks, type
newsletters, and do some special jobs, such as
painting the classroom.
Laboratory schools, or university- and
college-affi liated programs, are located on a
postsecondary or college campus (Figure 2.6).
Although they provide excellent programs for
children, their primary purpose is to support
practicum experiences for future teachers and
provide research opportunities. Most of these
schools have a highly qualifi ed staff, a well-
planned curriculum, up-to-date facilities, and
excellent equipment. Campus child care centers
typically provide care for students and faculty
children. They also provide research facilities for
High School Child Care
In the last few decades, many high schools
have started providing vocational training for