What is a cooperative and how does it function?
We are a cooperative in that we corporately work together to create an environment of learning for our children, one that is more affordable than traditional schooling options. CHLG's preschool program is licensed by the District of Columbia and has seven paid staff members (three administrative staff and four classroom teachers). Families contribute by assisting their child’s teacher in the classroom on a rotating basis, by participating in at least one school wide clean up day, and by serving in a particular volunteer position for a total of six hours during the course of the year (parents choose from a list of opportunities).
How is the Christian aspect of the program implemented?
We approach things from a Christian worldview in the classroom. We talk about the fact that God made this world and each of us, and that we are called by God to walk in His ways because He made us, He loves us, He knows what’s best for us and He sent Jesus to be “God with us”. As we train the children in how to glorify God and helpfully live with each other (and with those in authority over them) they will hear things such as, "God calls us to be kind to our friends", "God wants us to share the good things we have", and "God calls us to obey all the way, right away, with a respectful attitude", etc.
Additionally, at CHLG we understand that God has given us His Word, and that we come to know Him through the Scriptures. Each class has regular Bible Story times and you may also see references to Jesus Christ and God as well as verses from the Bible on the children's crafts or work texts. We also learn scripture memory verses and sing songs which stem from truths we are learning from the Bible.
While we teach from a Christian perspective we welcome families from other faiths as well as families who do not consider themselves religious. Though our group is not a fit for everyone (and we certainly respect the choice not to participate with us) we are proud of the fact that we have always had wonderful support from the community-at-large.
How often do CHLG's Preschool classes meet?
We are a part-time program, operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00-12:45. Our classes meet three times per week for children three and above, and either one or two times per week for children under three (please note that children must be at least 30 months old to start at CHLG).
How often am I “on duty” and what do I do as the teacher assistant?
For three day a week classes parents serve 12 duty days per year, and for our two day a week class it's 10 days. Your job as the classroom assistant consists of preparing the morning snack, engaging in play with the children, participating with the children in the direct teaching times (and helping them stay focused), helping with hands-on activities, assisting with training and discipline, helping with diaper changes and/or potty breaks and hand washing, and generally having fun with the kids! Those serving duty for the day also help clean up at the end of the morning.
Can our nanny serve duty days for our family?
While our desire is that a parent/guardian (or a grandparent) be on duty in the classroom we do allow nannies to serve one duty day for every five duty days required (as long as they speak English and have the proper paperwork on file).
We both work outside the home full time. Is CHLG for us?
That depends. If at least one of you has flexibility with your work schedule, or your child's grandparents live in the area and want to be involved at CHLG, then yes. If neither of you have flexibility and the grandparents don't live nearby then CHLG will be a very difficult schooling option for you to manage.
Can I chose the days that I will serve duty in the classroom?
Yes. Each class has a dedicated google calendar which is used for the scheduling of duty days. Several weeks before the start of each semester parents are contacted with information about the required number of duty days for that particular semester, and are then informed of when they can begin signing-up for duty days. Those with less flexibility are given the opportunity to sign up first (ie: those with newborns or who are pregnant, those who have multiple children in the program, etc.).
What if I find that I cannot serve duty on my scheduled day?
If you have some notice, such as travel that you were not aware of when you initially chose your duty days, you can post to your class google group and request a trade. There is typically enough flexibility within the group that you will be able to find someone to trade duty days with you. This can also be done the night before or even the morning of, if you find that you or your child is ill. Families are encouraged to check their e-mail in the morning and, as a group, CHLG families seek to be helpful to each other, since we all have these emergency situations come up. If you or your child falls ill and a trade cannot be found we provide a list of qualified substitutes that parents can hire ($90/day) to serve a duty day.
What other responsibilities do participating families have aside from duty days?
1.) Provide snack foods for the entire preschool once during the course of the year
(it's about $80 of food and we give you a detailed grocery list).
2.) Send a representative to one of the four Saturday cleaning days scheduled throughout the year (3 hours of cleaning).
3.) Sign up for a volunteer position for the year (which requires approximately 6 hours of time). There are many ways to serve your volunteer hours. Most parents are able to find a volunteer position that easily fits their skill set and schedule. Some examples of volunteer tasks (you would sign up for one of these for the year) would be:
a.) Acting as the room parent for your child's classroom
b.) Watching teacher's children during a teacher meeting day
c.) Watching children of prospective parents during Open House
d.) Purchasing and delivering supplies approximately three times during the year
e.) Cleaning carpets with the school's carpet cleaning machine
g.) Helping coordinate a fundraiser
Does CHLG follow the DCPS school calendar?
We have our own calendar, which includes four teacher work days (one of which is for parent/teacher conferences). With regards to holidays we typically take off Wednesday-Friday for Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, and Good Friday and the week following Easter for Spring Break.
How do I figure out the group for which my child is qualified?
We have options for a 2-day a week class and a three-day a week class. You can find more information about our classroom goals and age ranges for the two options HERE. You don't need to apply for a specific group (unless you are applying to our two day a week class). We group the children who are applicants for our three day a week classes (T-TH-F) into appropriate groups based on age and gender just before the start of school. Our classes have an age span of 12 months or less between the oldest and youngest child. Please note that because all of the children in a given class are within a certain age window, we do not move any child up to an older group at second semester. All of the children in each group “age” together.
My child has allergies, how do you handle this?
We actually have many children who have minor to severe allergies. The first thing we do is ensure that everyone is aware of your child's allergies (staff and parents ). Secondly, we figure out how to make snack work for you. If your child has allergies to things like wheat or dairy we may encourage you to send along a special snack for your child, and we always discourage children from sharing their food at either snack or lunch times. Additionally, due to the fact that we typically have several children who have severe nut allergies, CHLG is a nut-free program. No nuts or nut butters or products containing nuts of any kind are allowed in the building.
Q: What are CHLG’s tuition costs?
A: Preschool tuition for the 2022-23 school year is as follows: Two day a week classes: $405/month ($4050/annually); and Three day a week classes: $545/month ($5450 annually). Our costs are considerably less than a typical preschool due to the cooperative nature of our program, which allows participating families to share in the work load in order to keep costs down.
Q: Do you offer tuition assistance?
A: We do offer assistance for families who qualify. If you’re interested in being considered please complete the Tuition Assistance Application on our website and submit it by January 15th, along with your most recent tax return, to the email address on the form. If you have applied for tuition assistance you can apply First Priority by February 1st without a financial commitment (no application fee or deposit is needed until awards have been decided, which typically happens by February 15th). Once you have received information about any award we are able to offer, you can then decide if you would like to confirm your First Priority application with the signed Membership Agreement and the deposit/application fee (the deposit will be determined based on any tuition award offered). The signed Membership Agreement and fees will need to be submitted by February 22nd in order to maintain your First Priority application status.
How difficult is it to get into the preschool program?
If you apply using the First Priority option (with deposit by February 1st) your chances are very high (we rarely turn people away during this phase of the application process). Additionally, DC is a transient place, and we certainly have families who move out of the area and leave open placements behind. Please use the contact tab to let us know about your interest in hearing more (we'd love to give you a tour and provide more information about our program). Even if we don't have a placement available for your child we always encourage interested families to apply in order to be placed on our waitlist (placements sometimes open up just before or during the school year due to families moving out of the area).
How can I find out more about CHLG's Preschool Program?
Attend our Parent Informational Session on January 10th at 7:30pm and/or our Open House on Friday, December 2nd. See our home page for more information about these events.
When can I make application for 2023-24?
Applications for the 2023-24 school year will be online by January 6th (you'll find everything you need for the application process under the "APPLY" tab). The First Priority application deadline (which gives your child the best chance of placement) is February 1st.