Our History

The Pre-school was developed in 1974 by a group of parents who were interested in a positive group experience for their pre-school-aged children. They, together with an Early Childhood Educator and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, set up the policies and by-laws, acquired furnishings and secured accommodations in the Elora United Church, and the Elora Co-operative Pre-school was born.

Since that time, the pre-school has expanded its programs, facilities and equipment. With the hard work and co-operation of many families, the pre-school has become better and better. The key word in our name is co-operative. We are a pre-school where everyone works together to make our program successful. In the triangle of children, parents and teachers, we all have an important role to play.
With so many families involved in our program, each having different ideas and interests, communication is essential. At any time in the year if you have any concerns, suggestions or questions, please bring them to the teachers or any member of the Board of Directors.

What are the benefits of a COOP?

There is no doubt about it, parenting is a tough job. One of the best ways to handle the pressure is to surround yourself with parents who understand and support you. The same can be said for your pre-schooler. They need to be around other children to learn the value of sharing, and playing with their peers.

One of the best aspects of this environment is the friendship created between both students and parents. During the year, social networks are created to support one another and the co-operative spirit grows as families help one another.

The co-operative experience allows parents to see their child blossom in the pre-school setting. Parents can see how their child interacts with peers and other adults. Field trips and special events are open to all parents/care-givers and our students’ siblings. Our calendar is full of special events and activities that involve the entire school.

Pre-school can also be a safe start in the transition to “big school.” In the pre-school age group, separation anxiety can be as difficult for the parents as it is for the child. We hope to ease this situation. Because the environment of a co-operative pre-school is about family, you are always welcome to remain at school with your child if they are feeling anxious.

What is a Co-op?

Co-operative pre-schools are democratic organizations operated by the families enrolled. Parents are directly involved in every aspect of the pre-school’s operation, from the classroom to the Boardroom. This gives parents a key role in developing our classroom programming and in making financial decisions regarding tuition and expenses.

Each year, a volunteer Board of Directors is elected from within the membership. They meet monthly to monitor the pre-school’s business operation. This Board is made up of the following positions:

  • Chair Person
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary/Communications Officer
  • Fundraising Officer
  • Operations Officer
  • Membership (Registration) Officer

The Board is guided by the Chairperson and our staff of Early Childhood Educators.

Parents contribute time to the school in various ways depending on their interests and personal schedules. Being a part of a pre-school can be a very rewarding experience for the whole family and allows parents to be a part of a key time in their children’s lives. Your involvement may also provide an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

For all classes, we have two qualified Early Childhood Education teachers. In a co-operative environment, the teachers set up the day’s curriculum, and is supported by the scheduled Classroom Helper. This person helps to supervise the classroom, increasing safety and promoting the development of social skills. The classroom becomes a place with trusted adults in a supportive network. Best of all, every parent gets to see their child interacting in the classroom environment.