Co-op preschools involve parents as well as teachers in the education of young children. For parents, it’s both a good way to watch the beginning of their children’s schooling while saving on tuition payments.
The Virginia Department of Social Services is looking to upset this apple cart by imposing new regulations that would increase the training requirements for parents working at the co-op, writes Debbie Truong in The Washington Post.
Parents, teachers and school directors say the additional hours would prove onerous for parents, many of whom work full-time jobs and consider cooperative preschools an affordable option for early-childhood education. They say requirements under consideration by the Virginia Department of Social Services could inflate tuition costs, change the dynamic of cooperative preschools and possibly force some to close…
If approved…the updated requirements could mean some 30 hours of training for school staff, a designation that would include parents who assist teachers at cooperative schools where parents are counted in the school’s staff-to-children ratio.
In addition to taking time away from already busy parents, the regulations would make co-op schooling less affordable.
Without enough parents, the school would have to hire four assistant teachers for part-time slots that Sloane said are already difficult to fill — nearly doubling her six-teacher staff and probably increasing tuition. Cooperative preschools, she said, generally cost less than comparable schools because of parental participation. Monthly tuition at the Annandale Cooperative Preschool ranges from $233 to $416.
Wanting to improve the quality for education during a child’s formative years is all well and good, but this regulation imposes serious costs on parents without any clear benefit to their children.