We have started a pre-school co-op. There are about 10 kids, 8 moms. Ages from 2 mos - 4 1/2 y.o.
We just started this a few weeks ago and are still trying to figure it out (guess t hat never ends
We do it 3 days a week for 3 hours at a time. 10am -1pm.
You stay with the kids one day and then get the other 2 days off.
We are discovering that 3 hrs are pretty exhausting. By 1pm, kids are getting cranky, wanting their nap, lunch, one on one time w/ Mom. Most kids have SAHM.
Why exhausting? Perhaps the range of ages is too wide. Working on different activities that can be done w/ the older ones w/out the wee ones getting in the way.
We pay about $30 per month per mom for use of the facility and supplies.
Thankfully, a lot has been donated: toys, crib, chairs, kid sized kitchen set, books, tumbling mats.
Whomever stays brings the snack/meal. There are 3 or 4 moms who stay. Ratio of 3:1 We alternate taking kids outside.
Diaper changing happens one right after another - that way, we don't miss a dirty butt
Also, we check every 1/2 hour for the potty trained ones.
Label the sippy cups. Keep plastic foodware there.
Duties at the end of the day are posted as are allergies.
There is also a binder/log of the days events.
We want to raise money with community dinners, yard sales, bake sales (any more ideas?) to offset the cost.
We had several meetings before starting to determine most of the above. It is good to have meetings every other week to discuss schedule, discipline, ideas, bolster each other, etc.
Problems/issues: food allergies, difficult children, sick moms/substitutes (we have one person who is the shift coordinator).
We are, of course, still fine tuning. This is our 3rd week. Whew!
I am amazed at how much my dd is picking up from the others. She is saying more words, sharing, loving on others, throwing the ball better.... All in all, it is a major blessing!!