973-540-1537 8 Cleveland Ave., Morris Plains, NJ 07950

Is the Co-op a State Licensed Preschool Program?

Yes. The Co-op is licensed by the State of New Jersey. 

What is Morris Plains Co-op's approach to education?

The Co-op’s child-centered philosophy is based on the belief that children learn best through play. Research has repeatedly shown a link between play and the development of the prerequisite skills necessary for more complex learning.

Our school utilizes The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool. This comprehensive, research-based curriculum features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills. It is designed to help educators plan and implement developmentally appropriate activities to encourage cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.

Additionally, our teachers incorporate Handwriting Without Tears® in our classrooms, which helps children develop their writing skills through multisensory, play-based instruction. Children move, touch, feel, and manipulate real objects as they learn habits and skills essential for writing. The program also provides an integrated approach to language and literacy to make learning meaningful and engaging.

What is a cooperative school?

A cooperative school gives parents the opportunity to participate in their child’s early education by assisting the teacher in the classroom (referred to as “co-oping”). This allows parents to see first-hand how their kids are growing and developing, and witness their day to day interactions in the classroom. Each adult working in our school receives training in classroom procedures and completes a background check, which includes fingerprinting. If neither parent is available to co-op, the family may choose the non-co-op option, or the role of helping adult may be filled by another adult family member or the child’s caregiver. Approximately 75% of our families co-op, while 25% choose to be non co-op. The choice to be co-op or non co-op may also be changed during the year, if desired, and the tuition would be prorated to reflect this change.

Morris Plains Cooperative Play School was founded in 1939. Our co-op program provides a unique learning experience for our children, cultivating a strong sense of community and giving parents the opportunity to work with teachers and meet other parents while making a valuable contribution to the school.

What are responsibilities of each Co-op family?

The Co-op could not exist without the support and participation of our families. Each enrolled family is a member of the Morris Plains Co-op Play School. As part of your membership (whether you choose to be co-op or non co-op), each family will be responsible for the completion of one parent job during the school year. There are a variety of jobs from which to choose, including year-long, quarterly, and one-time job responsibilities, to suit your family’s time and schedule preferences. Examples include laundering dress-up clothes, gardening, being a room parent, or putting up seasonal decorations.

Additionally, we rely on parent participation in one Parents Pitch-In session each year to help with small maintenance projects, such as spreading new mulch on the playground and classroom repairs. Parents Pitch-In sessions are scheduled throughout the year, both on weekends and weeknights, providing families with a number of options to fit their schedules.

What does the co-oping adult do during class?

Our teachers plan the daily activities with the Creative Curriculum framework. Under the teacher’s direction, co-oping adults assist with facilitating learning in the interest areas through conversation, questioning, and engagement. In addition, they participate in large group activities, set up for snack, and complete some light classroom cleanup at the end of the session.

How many days does a person co-op during the year?

Adults who choose the co-op option sign up for the days they will work in the classroom at the class meetings which are held in September, November and March. The exact number of co-op turns depends on the amount of scheduled class days and the number of children in the class. On average there is one turn every 3-4 weeks.

What are the qualifications of teachers at the Co-op?

Our teachers are experienced, certified childhood educators. The entire staff regularly participates in local, county, and statewide professional development workshops to keep informed about the most current research and ideas in early childhood education. In addition, all staff are required to maintain up-to-date First Aid and CPR training. 

What is the teacher to child ratio at the Co-op?

Every class at the Co-op is led by a qualified teacher. The teachers are assisted by one or two other adults depending on class size. The additional adults consist of co-op adults and/or aides hired by the school. Our child to adult ratio is 6:1 in our preschool program, and 7:1 in our 4 Morning Pre-K program. These ratios are much lower than what the State of New Jersey mandates.

In addition to the classes shown on the class and tuition sheet, extended day and enrichment opportunities are offered throughout the year. Early drop off is available Monday through Friday beginning at 8am. Lunch Bunch is available everyday giving children in the morning classes the option of staying until 1, 2, or 3pm. For children in the afternoon classes, Lunch Bunch is offered from 11:30am to 12:30pm. We also a variety of afternoon enrichment classes throughout the year.

Does the Co-op offer early drop-off or extended day?

In addition to the classes shown on the class and tuition sheet, extended day and enrichment opportunities are offered throughout the year. Early drop off is available Monday through Friday beginning at 8am. Lunch Bunch is available everyday giving children in the morning classes the option of staying until 1, 2, or 3pm. For children in the afternoon classes, Lunch Bunch is offered from 11:30am to 12:30pm. We also a variety of afternoon enrichment classes throughout the year.

Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend?

As part of the Co-op’s child-centered philosophy, we believe that children learn to complete the potty-training process at their own pace. Parents of children in diapers are asked to provide a supply of diapers and wipes to be kept in their child’s classroom. As your child becomes ready,  staff will work to support families through the process of potty-training.

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