FAQ - Frequently ASked Questions

My child won't be 3 years old yet on August 31. Can they attend?

No. We do require that children be at least 3 years old to start at Eastgate Co-op Preschool. The Bellevue College Parent Education program offers toddler classes that might meet your needs.

My child will be 5 years old on August 31. Can they attend?

Yes. They would be part of our Dinos program, which is mostly 4 year olds, but we often have a few 5 year olds participate because their families decide to do another year of preschool before starting kindergarten. As a small play-based preschool with a high adult to child ratio, we are able to adapt activities to challenge the learning needs of these older kids.

I am looking for preschool for a child who will be 3 in fall of 2023. Should I choose the 2-day option or 3-day?

Some parents, especially those of children with summer birthdays who are just barely 3 in September, may feel that their child is not yet ready for 3 days a week and choose the 2 day a week option as a chance for their child to get used to preschool more slowly, and they switch to 3 days a week later in the year when the child is ready. Some families have other things they have to fit into the week's schedule (like speech therapy or another preschool program) and having the 2-day a week option works better for their family's schedule. Some children, especially those who are fall birthdays who are almost 4 in September, are very ready for 3 days a week. We want you to be able to choose which option you think is best.

My child speaks a language other than English at home - is that OK?

We have many children who are bilingual in English and their family's language. They do fine. We have a few children each year who do not speak much English when preschool begins, and we have always been able to make that work well, and we welcome those families. However, we do require that the parent who participates in the class be able to communicate well in English, spoken and written, since class business and parent education is all conducted in English.

Does my child need to be potty trained to attend?

Children are not required to be potty trained. However, the teachers cannot assist with toileting or diaper changing - the most we can do is stand at the door of the bathroom and remind them of what to do. So, if the child can't toilet independently, parents send them in a pull-up style diaper, and we may call you if a change is needed.

What is the class size and what is the adult to child ratio?

We have a maximum of 22 children. We are typically between 17 and 21 children. For each class day, there are 2 teachers (3 on the days the parent educator is there) and 3-4 parent volunteers.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. The Bellevue College Parent Advisory Council provides scholarships for up to 50% off of tuition. Parents submit an application in September which is reviewed, and typically approved, in October. To learn more, contact our parent educator Janelle Durham at janelyn@bellevuecollege.edu

Can I bring my other children to the preschool on the days I work in the classroom?

Children who are not enrolled in the co-op cannot attend classes. If you have an infant under 6 months of age, you can wear them in a secure baby carrier while working in the classroom. (Babies in car seats or strollers are not allowed.)

Opening gathering time, which is just after drop-off time (from 9:30 - 9:45) is an exception to that. Non-working parents may choose to bring another child to opening gathering but they must depart as soon as gathering time ends. We have many children who came to opening gathering with their older siblings when they were babies or toddlers who then join the program when they're old enough and settle into the routine so easily based on how comfortable they feel at Eastgate.

How can I find childcare for my other children for the days I work in the classroom?

In some families, the parents are able to coordinate things so one parent watches the sibling while the other is working at the preschool.

Another common solution is to connect with another family in the class with a sibling who you can take turns with to babysit on alternating work days. Coordinate with the Parent Leader to ensure you are never scheduled to work the same days. This solution has worked for many co-op families over the years and often leads to lasting family friendships.

Other families have found a drop-in daycare or hired a babysitter, or reached out to unexpected neighbors, church members, old friends, etc to inquire about childcare. Sometimes there is someone in your network who would be happy to help out with watching your little one a few mornings a month.