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Steilacoom Cooperative Preschool

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Learning together through play

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The preschool program at Steilacoom Cooperative Preschool is designed to meet the needs of families and children of Steilacoom, Lakewood, DuPont, JBLM and surrounding communities. We provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment for children and families. The preschool is affiliated with Bates Technical College. We also operate annually on the Clover Park School Schedule in case of weather-related emergencies or school cancellations and/or holidays.

In a cooperative preschool, the parents work alongside the teacher to ensure that each child benefits fully from the curriculum. The tuition is affordable because of parent participation. Every parent is important to the success of our program. The participation of parents ensures the success and growth of every child that comes through our doors.

What is a cooperative preschool?

A cooperative preschool is a parent/child participation program. Parents enroll in a parent education program at Bates Technical College, and enroll their child in the cooperative preschool of their choice. While parents are enrolled in the program, they earn college credit in a continuing education program. (You do not have to be a college student to enroll your child).

Bates-trained cooperative preschool teachers plan the curriculum. The parents’ job is to help conduct the non-profit business of the preschool and ‘work’ in the classroom on a rotation or schedule.

Why choose Co-op?

Co-op Preschools...

  • are the best place to learn right along with your child.
  • let parents participate in their child’s education.
  • provide Parent Education opportunities.
  • have a high adult to child ratio, which means lots of helping hands and individual attention for each child.
  • have affordable tuition and a very high quality program.
  • have excellent teachers who regularly update their knowledge and skills at Bates Technical College workshops and seminars.
  • receive lots of support and information from early childhood professionals at Bates Technical College and in the community.
  • have a healthy and safe educational environment for children and their parents.
  • use approved practices within the guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • recognize that parents are the most important teachers children will have.

give parents a chance to celebrate those fleeting first few years with their children and build a great foundation of respect and cooperation.

Please explore our site and reach out to us with any questions you may have! We also have more information on our FAQ page.

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Registration for the 2024-25 school year starts 03.02.2024!

Red Class

2 and 3 Year Old's Tues./ Thur. 9:30 - 11 am Tuition is $82.50/ mo.

(this class has a waitlist for the 24/25 school year)

Children must be age two by October 1st.

Children and parents participate in a variety of fun, hands-on activities designed to encourage development appropriate for their age. They are free to do an art project, create a project at the stamping table, build with the blocks and cook in the play kitchen. Circle time is an engaging activity for the children to learn new songs, finger play, experiment with music or listen to a story. Children need to be nurtured and encouraged at all ages to build upon their own individual developmental stages.

Yellow Class

3 Year Old's and 4 Year Old's Mon./ Wed./Fri. 9:30- 11:30 am $120/mo.

(this class has a waitlist for the 24/25 school year)

Children must be age three by October 1st.

Parents work in the classroom two to four designated days a month. Working days are determined by an adult to child ratio of 1:5.Children spend most of their time in free play at the art table, building a tower in the block area, or doing puzzles at the tables. A number of age appropriate, sensory stimulating, fun activities are designed to create rich and memorable experiences for the students. The children participate in a science/discovery activity everyday designed to allow the students to explore and experiment. Many special activities and events are planned throughout the year.

Blue Class

4 Year Old's and 5 Year Old's Mon./Tues./Wed./ Thur. 12:00 - 2:30 pm $165/mo.

Children must be age four by August 31st.

Parents work in the classroom two to four designated days a month. Working days are determined by meeting an adult to child ratio of 1:5.The class provides an opportunity for children’s cognitive development to be enriched through emerging literacy, math, science, art and music activities. Story time, writing centers, keeping a journal, language activities and dramatic play offer an opportunity to practice pre-reading and writing skills. Counting, sequencing numbers, estimating and observing patterns helps develop an understanding about numbers. Art and music enhance creativity and provide an opportunity for children to express their feelings. Art and music are woven into the curriculum to reinforce learning concepts. Every day is filled with messy fun and exploration.

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Our Classrooms

Children are hands-on learners – they need to be free to feel, touch, hear, manipulate and explore in order to help them learn and remember information and concepts about the world around them!

You will see kids in the art area with their fingers in paints of every color of the rainbow. You will see kids elbow deep in the texture table playing with rice, beans, ice or dirt. You will see kids exploring the world in the reading corner. You will see kids measuring ingredients for a hands-on snack center, exploring new foods with different tastes and textures during snack time. You might see fairy princesses dancing or cooking and serving their friends in our pretend kitchen. You will see kids working and playing together, doing science, learning to use scissors, glue and tape to create their own art. We let the children decorate our space with their artwork; there is even a bulletin board for the kids to display their own work. We encourage children to think and act for themselves, because “the greatest minds, think for themselves.” Please see images & videos of our spaces in the below slides.

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Parent Responsibilities

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  • Earn a minimum of nine (9) parent education credits by attending monthly parent meetings and/or school events.
    • Examples include: Parent Orientation, Trunk or Treat, Parent to Parent Events, Parent Shares, Auction Night and Parent Education Events at Bates Technical College.
  • Participate in one or more school committee or board positions.
    • Examples include: Classroom Representative, Board Member, Librarian, Scholastic Book Order Chair, Fundraising Committee, Field Trip Chair, Member-At-Large.
  • Attending a Classroom Training day to learn classroom procedures and safety to prepare you for volunteering in the classroom.
  • Work in classroom as scheduled on assigned days. Number of days per week/month depend on class size.
  • Attend field trips with your student.
    • Transportation to and from location is up to the parent and can range from two to eight field trips a year depending on the class.
  • Snacks
    • We are a peanut free school and encourage whole foods as snacks such as fruits, vegetables, crackers, etc.. Each parent is provided with snack ideas during the parent training session at the start of the school year.

Financial Responsibility

Registration Fees:

A registration fee of $65.00 per child is required . A child is officially enrolled when registration is paid and registration forms are completed. The registration fee is non-refundable after August 1st.

Tuition for 2023-24 :

  • 4/5 Year Old Class (Pre-K): Monday through Thursday: $150.00 per month.
  • 3/4 Year Old Class: Monday, Wednesday and Friday : $110.00 per month.
  • 2 Years Old Class: Tuesday and Thursday : $75.00 month.

First and last month’s tuition is due and payable at the start of school.

Bates Technical College Fees:

Bates fees are charged quarterly 3 times a year. They are based on annual tuition rates and vary due to State funding changes. For the 2022-2023 school year the fees are $34.00 - 2 year old class and $51.00 - 3 year old and 4-5 year old (pre-K)classes

Cleaning Deposit - $75 Please view our section on safety below to learn more about this.


  • Participate in fundraising activities as outlined by the Fundraising Coordinator/Committee. There is a $250.00 buy out for families wishing not to participate in fundraisers.


  • We will be following all Health Department guidelines.
  • Keep your child home if there are signs of a cold, flu or any other communicable disease.
  • Alert teacher if you see any unsafe school conditions or your child or family has any signs of disease that may affect school members.
  • Click here for a copy of the Parents Health and Safety Checklist that we discuss during classroom training, and our Health and Safety Checklist that the Health and Safety chair performs on our school and the official Risk Management Manual.

  • Classroom cleanliness: There is a cleaning checklist completed at the end of each class. Each month parents will conduct a more thorough deep cleaning of each classroom. The classroom cleaning dates will be scheduled with the cleaning coordinator at the beginning of the school year and only one cleaning day is required per family for the entire year . Parents that keep their scheduled cleaning time will get their $75 deposit back in full after the cleaning requirement is met. If the cleaning obligation is not met or if the parent chooses to just pay the $75 fee, the check will be cashed and the money used for facility cleaning. The decision to pay in lieu of fulfilling cleaning duty must be made well in advance of the scheduled cleaning day.

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School Calendar

Registration for the 2024/25 school year begins 3/2/2024! Please contact us to sign up.

Click the calendar below to view/download a PDF version.

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Bates Affiliation

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The cooperative preschool program is a parent-and child-participation program. Parents are enrolled in the Bates Technical College parent education program, and on a monthly basis, they attend a parent education opportunity presented by the co-op preschool, Bates Technical College, or a community agency, as part of the lecture requirement. While parents are enrolled in the Bates parent education program, they earn college credit in a continuing education program.

Child Studies Instructors from Bates Technical College provide the cooperative preschools with teacher and leadership training, parent education seminars, technical assistance, information and support.

Parents enrolled in affiliated cooperative preschools have access to many parenting resources on the Bates campus, including parenting seminars and the Resource Center, an early-childhood work center where parents can create projects to take home and do with their children. There is also an early childhood library, laminating and book binding, and over 500 die cuts for scrapbooking and craft activities.

What does registration as a Bates student mean?

Registration with Bates Technical College means that parents are enrolled in a continuing education program and are earning clock hours toward a Parenting Certificate. Working in the classroom is considered laboratory hours and attending parent education meetings is the lecture for the program. No other classroom time or visits to the Bates campus in Tacoma are required.

The Bates fees are based on tuition rates and vary from year to year due to State funding changes.The Bates Quarterly Tuition fees for the 2022-23 school year are $34.00 per quarter for the 2 year old class and $51.00 per quarter for the 3 year old and Pre-K classes.

Bates fees are paid 3 times per school year (in October, January, and March). You will be notified of the amount at the beginning of the school year and will be given the option to pay the whole year. One parent per family is registered and one Bates fee per family (class with most days).

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Our People


Our Teacher

Samanta Schlipp

"Ms. Samantha"

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Our Bates Instructor

Diana Stone – Child Studies Department Instructor

Our Board Leadership

President, Andréa

Vice President, Michelle

Treasurer, Amanda

Secretary - Role Open

Membership Coordinator, Role Open

Red Class Rep,

Yellow Class Rep,

Blue Class Rep,

Fundraising/Auction Coord., Kendra

Publicity & Newsletter, Michelle

Health, Safety, & Cleaning Coord., Bethany

Member at Large: Chris

Committee Members:


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Support Us

Annual Fundraising Opportunities

Trike-A-Thon - Annual event held in our front parking lot in September. Kids can be sponsored per lap or a flat donation can be contributed in their names. Forms are distributed during parent training and orientation.

Wreath Sales - A local wreath vendor provides beautiful wreaths, swags and garland for our students to sell ahead of the the winter season. This fundraiser is typically held in the month of October and items sold are provided to the families to distribute to supporters in early-mid November.

Auction Night - This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and the most fun for all parties involved! The auction anight is typically held in March or April, in the school’s recreation room. It is an adult-only silent auction and 50/50 raffle. There is something for everyone in the auction and everyone always has a good time!The goal for each family is to create or donate items or services for the auction baskets (valued at $50 a basket). In-lieu of creating their own basket, families may procure items from businesses. Families who sell the most entry tickets to the event and 50/50 tickets will win prizes!

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Donate Items to our Classrooms

Several of our classroom materials and supplies are generously donated by parents, family members and supporters. Keeping the students engaged with a variety of enriching activities requires lots of supplies! Please inquire with Ms. Samantha about her current wish list!

Donate Directly to Our School

We also appreciate cash donations! All donations are tax deductible and you will be provided with a receipt and our tax ID number. Donations are also much appreciated by our volunteer parent board, participating member families and dedicated teachers.

Donate on our Zeffy site by clicking here.

Please make checks payable to Steilacoom Co-op Preschool and mail to:

Steilacoom Co-op Preschool:

PO Box 88804

Steilacoom, WA 98388

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School Communications

Our school uses the Band App to communicate news to families.

If you are a parent or family member who will volunteer at our school, please reach out to your child's teacher/class rep to join your class's Band.

For up-to-date news on our happenings, this is the link to our school's Newsletter Band. Click here to join, and you can keep up with the latest news! Membership to this Band would depend an admin's approval.

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Contact Us


Address & Map

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 88804,

Steilacoom, WA 98388

School Phone: 253-905-6009

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Bates Instructor:

Diana Stone – Child Studies Department Instructor

(253) 680-7507


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Send us a note!

Ready to register or have additional questions? Please view our Leg-up page to see our open spots or contact us with more questions. Some answers may also be found on our FAQ page here.

Physical Address:

10630 Gravelly Lake Dr SW,

Lakewood, WA 98499

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Steilacoom Cooperative Preschool

10630 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

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