PCPO and Cooperative Preschools

Parent Child Preschool Organization (PCPO)

PCPO is a nonprofit organization of more than 60 cooperative preschools and kindergartens with a membership of approximately 2,400 families and teachers. PCPO was founded in 1956 by eight Portland preschools to promote the exchange of ideas among schools and to aid in the forming of new co-ops.

PCPO’s primary purpose is to act on behalf of the needs and interests of young children by:

  • Promoting developmentally appropriate programs according to the current consensus of the early childhood profession;
  • Strengthening and expanding the interdependence of the parent-teacher cooperative philosophy;
  • Promoting the development of cooperative schools through the exchange of information, while respecting the diversity of educational philosophies without compromising the standards of PCPO;
  • Providing resources and services for teachers, families and schools; and, studying and promoting activities and programs designed to further the health and well-being of children and families.

For more information about PCPO, you may visit their website at ParentChildPreschools.org.

What is a Cooperative Preschool?

A cooperative preschool is a program that is operated by a group of parents and guardians who take an active interest in their children’s first educational experience. Family members help the Teacher in the classroom, are given opportunities for education, and are involved in decision-making.

Benefits of a Cooperative Preschool for Children:

  • A wider world to explore and enjoy
  • Encourages self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Above average adult to child ratio in classroom
  • Children play and learn to respect others
  • Expressive materials, games and art activities
  • Builds a positive attitude towards school

Benefits of a Cooperative Preschool for Parents/Guardians:

  • Direct participation in their child’s education away from home
  • A better understanding of their child’s individuality through observing them with other children
  • A voice in school decisions and policy-making
  • Education in child development and nurturing skills at Parent Meetings, PCPO conferences, and through publications
  • Mutual understanding and moral support from other families with similar concerns, interests and problems
  • Feelings of community and togetherness
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