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What Is a Charter School and How To Find One in Los Angeles

In last week's Mommy Poppins LA schools feature, we provided an overview of school choice and promised more information on each of the available choices. This week, due to rapidly approaching application deadlines, we are focusing on independent charter schools, attempting to separate myth from reality and address commonly asked questions, including: What is a charter school? Why are so many families choosing charter schools? What sets charter schools apart from traditional public schools? Why is there controversy around charter schools? And how do we build alliances between traditional neighborhood schools and charter schools?

SoCal Moms Toddler Camp: Traveling Playgroup for Parents & Toddlers

For some moms, the toddler years are a golden era in which every outing is a glorious and gleeful first to be experienced together. For others, the toddler years feel like a string of stressful, overwhelming days in which entertaining an 18-month-old seems sooo much more complicated than it was supposed to be. Either way, SoCalMoms offers a great way to get more enjoyment out of the toddler years. The group's Toddler Camp treks around some of LA's most kid-friendly destinations (like the ones on our 100 Things To Do with Kids Bucket List), making all of the arrangements as a sort of traveling playgroup - with SoCal as the playground. (And read on for the Mommy Poppins discount!)

Co-Op Preschools and Nursery Schools in The Valley

I spent many moments marveling at our coop preschool teacher's magical (and at times herculean) way of negotiating a conflict between a cluster of adamant four-year-olds who, say, all wanted the same sandbox shovel (or the same wagon, dress-up hat, easel...the list went on). She alighted into their space, fully present, intent upon listening to each desire, confident there was a way through to a peaceful settlement. And there always was.

Cooperative preschools require lots of hard work from both teachers and parents. But oh the rewards! If you're curious about coops, have a look at the lists we've compiled previously - Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside  and in Hollywood & Los Feliz - and if you live in or near the Valleys, read on!

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools in Hollywood & Los Feliz

Oh, to be three again. You run; you climb; you pretend; you sing; you snack; you dance; you nap (if your parents are lucky), then you climb some more. Play is your work (imagine that!), and you wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

If you're the parent of a three- (or four-) year-old we wonder: have you ever considered a coop? Coops are typically play-based, and they invite your kids to do just that. And even better (perhaps), you're invited, too. In addition to our listing of Co-Op Nursery Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside, we offer you below a round-up of coops in the Hollywood, Los Feliz, and Eagle Rock areas.

Co-op Preschools and Nursery Schools on the Westside

I'll be honest: when my kids were preschool age, I didn't think they needed school yet. I was full-time with them. So, hrmph. What could a nursery school give them that I couldn't? But I now know that whether or not they needed preschool, the truth is I​ needed preschool. Or, more specifically, I needed to be a parent at a coop nursery school. 

Whether or not you think you might, too, we bring you our series of greater Los Angeles cooperative preschools. We start here with the Westside, but we have similar shout outs to coop preschools in the Valleys and Hollywood/Los Feliz.


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