My family has belonged to our local co-op preschool for the past two years. It is such a little gem, and such a wonderful community to be a part of. Our enrollment has declined a lot in the last ten years. From what I understand, we went from parents lining up for hours to catch a spot in one of the classes on enrollment day to having to combine two of our classes this year because of low numbers. Our problems may result from the the economy (we're in the hard-hit Detroit area), the aging of our city's population, or a combination of other factors. If others out there are involved in a co-op, how has your enrollment been lately, and how do you keep your school thriving?
Most of our classes fill up by the end of summer. There's sometimes a spot in one of the less popular times during the year. The two co-ops in our town are cheaper than most of the other preschools and have a reputation of being really good.
The poor economy has helped our co-op I think. Our school is much less expensive than other preschools in town and also has a very good reputation. This is our first year at the school and we've seen enrollment steadily increase. Right now all of our classes are completely full and we have about 20 families on our wait list.
I think what keeps our school thriving is our reputation and very low tuition rates. We have also received two grants this year for our school being "green". We grow most of our own food for snack, we use all natural cleaning products, we compost and we even have our own chickens :) All of that is quite popular in our area.