FAQ

What is a Parent Co-Operative Preschool?
Why choose co-op?
What are the responsibilities of a Bunker Hill participating family?
What does it mean to be a NAEYC accredited school?
What am I expected to do when I’m working in the classroom?
How can I co-op if I have younger children? Do you have a nursery?
Do you offer extended care before or after school?
What (program years) does Bunker Hill Parent Participation Nursery School offer? What are the ages served at (BH) and what days/times are classes offered?
What is the school calendar?
Do children have to be potty trained?
How much is the tuition?
When do you start accepting applications for the following school year?
When is your Open House?  How does the registration process work?
Can I have a tour before Open House?
Do you accept new students mid- year?
Is there any financial aid?
What if I’m scheduled to assist in the classroom and myself or my child is sick or I cannot otherwise work on my workday?
Are snacks provided?
How do you handle food allergies?
Do you have a summer program?

What is a Parent Co-Operative Preschool?
In a co-op preschool, parents are actively involved with the daily class activities of children, the creation and implementation of the school philosophy and rules, and gain the rewards of watching your child grow as well as learn from the knowledge of the teacher, other staff and fellow participating parents. At Bunker Hill, families work in conjunction with our teachers and director to run the school, create the emergent curriculum, and become involved in your child’s early education, such that both you and your child benefit from participation. Even the Board of Directors is comprised of parents and oversees the financial and operational functions of the school.

Why Choose Co-op?
You are directly involved in your child’s first school experience and participate in your child’s education giving you a better feel for how your child learns and interacts with others.

  • You have a chance to observe, celebrate and enjoy those the early years of your child’s education and recognize that parents are the most important teachers a child will have.
  • You learn from parents, teachers, and other children right along with your child.
  • You increase your understanding of the developmental needs of children and learn parenting techniques for handling children at school and at home.
  • You will help your child to build a great foundation of respect and cooperation between parent and child
  • Your child will be assured a high adult-to-child ratio, meaning lots of helping hands and individual attention for each child
  • You receive lots of support and information from early childhood professionals.
  • You are given a strong and direct voice in decisions and policy-making
  • You will meet your child’s friends–when your child comes home and talks about whom they play with during the day, you will be able to interact on a deeper level.
  • You will be a part of an exceptional community, make connections, and share experiences and concerns with parents just like you!


What are the responsibilities of a Bunker Hill participating family?

  • Participate in the classroom: work one class day a week under the guidance of a certified preschool Teacher, including providing an appropriate snack for all children when assigned (this responsibility is rotated among working families
  • Complete your Assigned Job: select and complete a school job as arranged with the Jobs Coordinator (over the school year approximately 40 hours of work outside of class time). Examples: Yard Maintenance, Big Room Maintenance, Paint Cup Upkeep, Librarian, etc.
  • Parent(s) attend one evening membership meeting a month (the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7-10 pm) where we discuss the business of the school, upcoming events and meet as individual classes.
  • Pay tuition: due in advance-due at the monthly membership meeting or by the 2nd of each month at which point it becomes delinquent.
  • Parent participation class project: complete one project during class time that shares your skills, interests, or values with the children.
  • Snack: Provide an appropriate snack for all children; this responsibility is rotated across working families.
  • Maintenance: each family is responsible for one school weekend clean up AND one Class clean up throughout the year.
  • Set-up/clean-up or provide snack for 2 membership meetings during the year

What does it mean to be a NAEYC accredited school?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the biggest organization in the U.S. of early childhood educators. Since 1985, NAEYC’s national, voluntary accreditation system has set professional standards for early childhood education programs and helped families identify high-quality programs for their young children. To be accredited, a program has to meet more than 160 criteria that go above and beyond regular state licensing standards in the following areas:

  • Interactions among staff and children
  • Staff and parent interactions
  • Curriculum
  • Administration
  • Staff qualifications and development
  • Staffing patterns
  • Physical environment
  • Health and safety
  • Nutrition and food service
  • Program evaluation

A NAEYC-accredited preschool has gone through an extensive process whereby the program evaluated every aspect of the school based on the criteria, made improvements to meet all the standards, and went through a site visit to compliance in every area. Less than 10% of preschools have earned this accreditation.

What am I expected to do when I’m working in the classroom?
When in the classroom, parents are given a tag reflecting their responsibilities that day. The tag lists the class schedule and details the parent’s responsibilities for the day.  The class Teacher will provide instructions for the days special projects. As parents, we help monitor the children facilitate play in manners consistent with the philosophy of Bunker Hill Parent Participation Nursery School. Parents work with the children on projects, help teach them, help inspire play, find teachable moments, and help them be successful.  Needs change organically and a parent may find themselves reading to the children, listening to tales, aiding in an impromptu puppet show, or helping the children build a fort. Parents also make sure the class runs smoothly by preparing for activities, assisting the children with clean up, getting ready for snack time and making sure that the classroom is put back together by the end of each class.

How can I co-op if I have younger children? Do you have a nursery?
We have a space available for sibling care; however, each family is responsible for arranging for a caregiver. This could be a relative, nanny or babysitter, or another parent in the school.

Do you offer extended care before or after school?
We do not offer extended care but many Bunker Hill families have caregivers locally and have provided successful recommendations to other Bunker Hill families over the years.

What (program years) does Bunker Hill Parent Participation Nursery School offer? What are the ages served at BH and what days/times are classes offered?

Bunker Hill provides classes for children from 2 years old as of September 1st of the school year until enrolled in 1st grade.

Our 2-day class is open to children who are 2 as of September  1st of the school year. This class is held Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-11:30am.

Our 3-day class is open to children who are 3 as of September 1st of the school year. This class is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am-11:30am.

Our Pre-K class is open to children who are 4 as of September 1st of the school year. This class is held Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30pm-3:30pm.

Our Freestyle Friday class is a mixed-age class, and is open to children who are 2 as of September 1st of the school year up to children enrolled in 1st grade. This class is held Friday from 12:30pm-3:00pm.

Children may attend Bunker Hill until they are enrolled in 1st Grade. They may attend our school in addition to morning Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten, or in lieu of those classes. California does not require Kindergarten enrollment.

What is the school calendar?
Our school holds classes September through June and holidays conform to the San Mateo Public School District’s schedule.

Do children have to be potty trained?
No, but we do ask that parents provide sufficient clothing changes and diapers for the child’s needs. Bunker Hill does not supply diapers or wipes.

How much is the tuition?
The Board sets tuition annually. For the 2017-2018 school year, tuition is as follows:

2-Day Program: $230.00/month
3-Day Program: $3345.00/month
Pre-K Program: $460.00/month
Freestyle Fridays: $115.00/month
There is a non-refundable $75.00 school registration fee.

Tuition is charged for 9 months, with September and June charged together in August as a single payment.

When do you start accepting applications for the following school year? How does the Registration process work?

New for 2018-2019! Bunker Hill will now enroll new families through a lottery process. We accept applications for the next school year from September onward. Applications can be found here.

Our Open House will be the morning of the first Friday in February (Friday, February 2, 2018).  Come see the school for the first time, or all over again.  We will no longer be enrolling the classes based on Open House attendance or arrival time so feel free to come any time from 9-11 that works for your family, or turn in an application before Open House to ensure inclusion in the lottery.

All applications that are completed and accompanied by a check for the application fee received during or before our Open House will be placed into our Lottery.  As the names are selected through the lottery, consideration for availability is based on gender and age to ensure that the classes are appropriately balanced.

All completed applications with fees received after our lottery will be entered onto the waitlist in the order received, and spaces in the classes will be filled through this list, still respecting the class balance.

When is your Open House?
Our Open House is held the first Friday in February from 9am-11am.  Children are welcome!  You will have the opportunity to meet the teachers and the Director, tour the school, and ask any questions you may have. We will accept your completed application along with a check for your application fee ($75) at the Open House. You may also drop off your completed application at the school, or send it through the mail to: Bunker Hill Parent Participation Nursery School, c/o Vice President of Membership, 2145 Bunker Hill Drive, San Mateo, CA 94402.

Can I have a tour before Open House?

We offer monthly tours. We would love to show you and your children our facility!  Please RSVP on our Tours page.

If you are interested in enrolling for the current school year, we are happy to schedule a tour for you. Please contact bunkerhillnursery@gmail.com for current openings and to schedule a tour of the school.

Do you accept new students mid- year?
Yes, we do accept students throughout the year, provided there are spaces available.

Is there any financial aid?
Bunker Hill Nursery School is fortunate to be able to provide financial aid to families in an effort to partner with parents in the education of their children. Please see our Tuition page.

What if I’m scheduled to assist in the classroom and myself or my child is sick or I cannot otherwise work on my workday?
This is a common concern among parents as we all take our responsibilities seriously; we understand that as parents of young children the unexpected should be expected. Illness and other obstacles occur, and it is the responsibility of the working parent to find a substitute for coverage.  At the beginning of the year, each parent is given a roster with contact information for all the families in their class.  As soon as you know you won’t make it, post on the Bunker Hill Yahoo group, email other families directly, or start calling other parents to find a sub. We’re all parents, and we all face this issue from time to time, so we work together and help each other out.  You are expected to return the favor to the family that subs for you or you can agree instead to pay them a $40 sub fee.  While finding a sub parent from within your class is ideal, asking parents from the other Bunker Hill classes is permitted and they can even bring their own Bunker Hill registered child to class with them.  NOTE: This is a great way for parents and children in other classes to get to know the other teachers and families.

Are snacks provided?
Parents take turns providing healthy snacks for the children in the class. A snack parent is assigned as part of the schedule.  At your orientation, guidelines for snacks (according to NAEYC guidelines) and allergy information for each class will be provided.

How do you handle food allergies?
Bunker Hill Parent Participation Nursery School must be informed of the type and severity of any allergy.  Each class will adjust snack requirements based on these allergies.

Do you have a summer program?
Yes, a mixed-age Summer Session may be held with adequate enrollment and a maximum of 20 children.