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.
1820 North Las Palmas
Hollywood, CA 90028
Size: 30 students max.
Tuition: $260 - $520/month depending on program chosen
Hours: Morning program (ages 3-6) 9am-12noon; Afternoon session (ages 2-4) 12pm-3pm; extended morning program until 3pm also available. Mommy and Me Toddler Program for ages 1.5-3 years, Tue-Thu, 10am-11:45am. Morning and afternoon summer program through July.
School Year: Sept-June, with summer program through July.
Parent Involvement: Parent must work one class session per week.
Admission Info.: Call school for tour information.
Special Features: The rich daily environment that includes ample outdoor play extends into the summer. Kids who attend in the summer participate in two the Summer Sounds Program at the Hollywood Bowl and can choose to spend Friday afternoons with classmates at the beach.
The Garden Nursery School
3602 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Size: 24 max. on any given day
Ages: 2.5 - 5 years
Tuition: $240-$315/month. Tuition for siblings discounted 10% during the time both are in attendance. Partial scholarships are available.
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-12:30pm; Afternoon enrichment 12:30pm-3:30pm, offered two to three times per week from age 3.5
School Year: Garden Nursery School loosely follows the LAUSD holiday and school break calendar. A four week summer session is offered in July.
Parent Involvement: Parents are required to work one class day per week, hold a family job (treasurer, animal care, etc.), participate in one four hour maintenance day per year, attend 10 monthly membership meetings, and help with the annual fundraiser.
Admission: Families are encouraged to attend an open house/information session. Families must visit the school two times before enrolling.
Special Features: Parents rave about the beautiful and inviting school space as well as the richness of the curriculum that includes everything from art and science to conflict resolution, all within the context of ample free play and exploration.
Hilltop Nursery School
3625 Marathon St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Size: 43 students max.
Ages: 2-5 years. Must be 2 by the first day of school. Toilet training not required.
Tuition: $500-$875/month, plus an annual $450 fee for maintenance, administration, and insurance.
Hours: 9am-12:30pm part-time, and 9am-4pm full-time. Extended care available mornings and afternoons, 7am-6pm
School Year: Sept-July
Parent Involvement: Hilltop offers both a coop and non-coop option. Coop parents are required to work one day per week (four hours) in the classroom. They are also expected to attend monthly meetings, join a committee (maintenance, fundraising, etc.), do laundry for one week, participate in fundraising, and volunteer 6 hours for school maintenance work.
Admission Info.: Orientations are offered the first Wednesday of every month (except for Aug. and Sept.) at 9:30am. Children are welcome. Interested parents are urged to attend an orientation before applying.
Special Features: Hilltop works to achieve socio-economic diversity and to offer its program to all families regardless of income. Financial Aid is available to low and moderate income families through a grant from the City of LA Community Development Dept., and from the school's own Scholarship Fund.
Los Angeles Family School
2646 Griffith Park Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Size: 12-20 kids per age group (2-3 year-olds, 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds)
Ages: 2-5 years. Must be 2 by Sept. 1.
Tuition: $4,944 - $12,360/year, plus $150 for field trips and materials.
Hours: 8:30am-4pm. Early morning care is available from 7:45am. Afternoon extended care is available from 4pm-6pm.
School Year: Year round program. Tuition is paid for 12 months.
Parent Involvement: Parents must offer eight hours per quarter helping with administration and/or maintenance (fixing bikes, laundry, etc.). Parents must also volunteer three hours per quarter on Saturday work days. They are also required to help with the planning and running of the annual Spring Faire.
Admission Info.: Sign up for orientation visit prior to applying. Orientations are Tuesdays from 4:15pm-6pm and are for parents/adults only. See schedule. One time $250 registration fee due upon enrollment.
Special Features: There's lots to admire here: a gorgeous site, fabulous teachers, and a vibrant developmental curriculum.
Los Feliz Cooperative Nursery School
3401 Riverside Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Size: 25 student max. on any given day.
Ages: Children must be 2 years and 9 months before September 1.
Tuition: $16/day. Tuition paid monthly.
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm. Choose from 2-5 days per week.
School Year: Sept-June
Parent Involvement: Parents must work one school day per week, and must provide a healthy snack for the school 4-10 times per year. They must also attend monthly parent meetings, contribute eight hours toward school maintenance, participate in fundraising activities, and choose a school "job" (gardening, librarian, etc.).
Admission Info.: $50 application fee.
Special Features: Many of the parents at this school attended the school when they were small. Their return and continuity speaks for itself. There is a loving community vibe here.
Neighborhood Nursery School
2700 Tesla Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Size: 24 students max.
Ages: 3-5 years. Toilet training not required.
Tuition: $225 - $265/month. Limited amount of tuition aid available.
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-12pm. Three-year-olds begin two days per week. Pre-K afternoon program offered two days per week in the spring, if there is sufficient interest.
School Year: Sept-June, with six week summer session.
Parent Involvement: If child attends two days/week, parent must work in the classroom once every two weeks. If child attends 3-5 days/week, parent must work one day/week. Parents must also join a school committee, help with annual fundraisers, participate in one maintenance day per year (Sat., 9am-5pm), and attend most monthly meetings (allowed to miss one).
Admission Info.: Must attend an open house and then schedule a visit with your child. See admissions for more information.
Special Features: The school has an active Green Committee that guides the school in creating a greener and non-toxic environment through parent and family education, purchasing eco-friendly supplies, and continually assessing how to leave the smallest foot print.
2414 Lake View Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Size: 24 students max. on any given day. The school strives for a 3:1 student-teacher ratio.
Ages: Must be 2 years, 9 months to enroll. Most students begin in Sept., though a limited number of places might open in January. Toilet training is not required. Tuesday Playgroup for ages birth-3 years meets 2:30pm-5pm.
Tuition: $262.50 - $367.50/month. Limited amount of financial support available.
Parent Involvement: Parents are expected to participate in the school's daily operations, participate in regular cleaning and maintenance, participate in committee work, facilitate fundraisers, and attend monthly member meetings. A limited number of "participation buyouts" are available to returning families for 50% more than the standard tuition.
Admission Info.: There is currently a waitlist. To enroll, interested families must complete a waitlist application, visit the school twice, and meet with the Director. See the Admissions page for more information.
Special Features: Rose Scharlin is LA's oldest cooperative nursery school. The school began in 1939 (!) as the Echo Park Cooperative Nursery School. Director Rose Scharlin took the helm when members decided to create a similar school in the Echo Park area in 1946. This school was (obviously) named after her. The school's longevity (and waitlist!) suggest that something special is happening here.