Soquel Parent Education Nursery School is a non-profit co-operative preschool. We are one of the 3 PENS (Parent Education Nursery Schools.) Established in 1949 by a like-minded group of parents, we were the first co-op preschool in Santa Cruz County. Parent participation, alongside of our skilled teachers, is the foundation of our unique program. Parents are involved in all aspects of running our school, including maintenance and clean up, administration, fundraising, curriculum, and community building. Preschoolers and their parents participate in a developmentally appropriate program emphasizing children's expression, ideas, and creativity. Our skilled teachers provide training in supportive parenting techniques via seminars, observation, and discussion; positive guidance and problem solving strategies are emphasized.
Parents are actively involved in the daily program, working with small groups of children. This participation results in lower tuition rates and a higher adult to child ratio than found in typical preschool settings. We believe the most important part of the parent education program is the parent's participation.
To nurture and support the whole family through our unique parent education program. Together we create a meaningful community where children and parents learn side by side. Soquel PENS admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
At the Soquel Parent Education Nursery School, we provide a wonderful, supportive, stimulating learning environment for children and parents. Our program is designed to meet the developmental needs of each child. We offer varied activities that encourage growth in all areas such as fine and large motor skills, language development, creative expression, social and emotional development, sensory-motor development and cognitive development. We believe children and parents learn best through active, hands-on discovery. We also believe that play is the child's medium-the way they make sense and learn about their complex world. Children freely choose their activities and participate in two circle times that feature storytelling, music, puppetry and dance. At the same time, we tune in to each individual child, offering guidance and support to continuously build on their strengths and assist them with their unique developmental needs. As part of our parent education program, we use the textbook, "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years" by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser to enrich the class seminars and provide support for families.
what is a co-op preschool?
A parent cooperative preschool is a preschool managed and run by parent members alongside of the teachers. Co-op preschools are usually administered and maintained by the parents on a non-profit basis. The parents assist the professional teachers in the classroom on a rotating basis and participate in the educational program of all the children. Each family shares in the business operation of the school, thus making it truly a cooperative venture. Parents, preschool children and their teachers all go to school together and learn together.
For Parents Parents gain insight into child behavior by observing other children. They observe how other parents and the professional teachers handle various situations and gain greater understanding and enjoyment of their own children through active participation in their education. They have the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise with others while working together in a cooperative setting. Through serving on the Board, parents learn about administration, running meetings and other skills useful to them in other areas and states of their lives. They also learn useful ideas for helping their children at home and in the world around them.
For Children Children participate in a supervised play and learning experience with children of their own age. Equipment, materials and physical facilities are scaled to child size. An opportunity is provided to interact with adults other than their own parents. The children are able to find security and a feeling of belonging in a world which is non-threatening and interested in them. Learning to respect and accept the rights and differences of others is emphasized. Children have hands-on experiences in creative arts, music, science, literature, and language geared to their needs and developmental level.
For the Community Parents and children develop an extended family with friendships they carry through their lives. Parents gain a strong sense of responsibility and develop positive self worth which carries over into every aspect of community life. The cooperative organization provides preschool experiences within the financial means of most families.