KIGS BEACH, Cliaf. — The Kings Beach Parents’ Co-op (KCPB) started eight years ago stemming from a need for alternative care and preschool education.
The north shore of Lake Tahoe has always had a limited amount of care and education available for preschool age children, excepting the established few that have provided throughout the decades.
When the first KBPC class graduated preschool, many families did not want to leave the co-op. Therefore, the KBPC kindergarten was started in 2008.
The kindergarten did well as a transitional kindergarten and provided the need for the children who would fare better with an extra year before going into public school. From that point, there continued to be a need for an alternative elementary education and the KBPC elementary was born. When our elementary switched to a kindergarten readiness class in 2010, it was due to the needs of older preschool age children.
As the years went on, needs changed and so have we.
Thankfully within the last couple of years there have been more choices available both in elementary and older preschool programs. Right now, it seems there is a need for all day care for families who work full time and for care for 2 to 3-year-olds.
We’ve realized our role in the community has always had a theme of fulfilling the need for specific care and education, and we are proud to be in this role. Though we are unable to fulfill the drop-off type care needed because we are a cooperative, we are supporting other programs in the community to help create this type of day care center.
We can, however, fulfill the need for the 2 to 3-year-olds.
For the 2013-2014 school year, KBPC is offering cooperative preschool for children ages 2 to 5-years-old, Tuesday-Friday with choices of part time or full time, half day or full day.
So many families have benefited from the cooperative preschool model. E. Kim Coontz from the University of California describes cooperative preschools as “today’s best kept secret.”
Parents get the opportunity to be more a part of their child’s early education and not only gain a tremendous support system from other co-op families and teachers, but also learn essential skills to support their child’s development and their own parenting.
Children benefit from the security of having their family close while gaining a bigger “family.” The multi-age component of the program has proven to give children, younger and older, a boost in self esteem, empowerment, and a wider educational spectrum.
KBPC currently has a few spaces left for the 2013-2014 school year.
For more information or to schedule a visit, go to www.kingsbeachparentscoop.org or call 530-546-7519.
Lorelei van Peborgh is the director at Kings Beach Parents’ Co-op.