Our Cooperative

Cooperative preschool is all about parent participation. We believe that you are your child’s first teacher, and you’re their essential link to home.

At Gonzales, you’re invited to volunteer regularly in the classroom. This precious time gives you a window into your child’s experience at preschool, and connects you with your child’s classmates and teachers.

These volunteer “duty days” are not required, but they’re the foundation of a cooperative preschool education. On days when you’re not in the classroom, your child will benefit from the presence of other caring and qualified parent helpers, who together with our experienced educators, form our supportive preschool ‘village’.

The cooperative commitment

When you join Gonzales, you become a member of our thriving little cooperative. Each family contributes their time to help our school run smoothly.

  • Monthly Meetings

    One parent from each family is expected to attend monthly membership meetings on the second Thursday of every month.

  • Family Job

    Your family will be placed in a volunteer role for the year. From playdough maker to cleaning crew, there's something manageable for everyone.

  • Duty Days

    Families who are able to volunteer in the classroom about 6 times a year are designated 'full participation' and receive a discount on tuition.

Why choose a cooperative preschool?

These are busy years for your family. When you join Gonzales Preschool, you'll trade a little of your time for a lot of wonder, growth, and connection.

Stay involved

Be a part of your child's preschool experience by volunteering in the classroom. Get to know their teachers, their classmates, and the world as they see it.

Build community

Monthly parent meetings, playground meetups, field trips, class picnics and special events give you reasons to connect with other families, building bonds that last.

Grow together

Enhance your parenting toolkit with tips from our educators and guidance from esteemed speakers and experts at regular parent education nights.

Feel supported

Parenting is hard, but you're not alone at Gonzales. Our educators and community of parents are always there for advice, ideas, and reassurance.

Feel included

Every child and family is unique, and all are welcome at Gonzales. We will work with you to provide the support your child or family needs to fully participate.

70+ years of providing quality, cooperative education.

As a member of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association (VICPA), Gonzales Preschool abides by the highest standards of preschool education. With the help of parent volunteers, we're able to maintain a low ratio of teachers/adults to children in each of our classes.

VICPA and government licensing require each volunteer duty parent entering a cooperative preschool to have a criminal record check and 20 hours orientation time prior to doing a duty day. These hours are accrued by the following breakdown: Observation Day (3 hrs), June General Meeting (2 hrs), Philosophy Evening (2hrs), September Orientation (3 hrs) and 10 hours throughout the year with Parent Education evenings.

Learning through play, naturally.