Madison Park Cooperative Preschool offers a play-based preschool program that provides a solid foundation for future academic learning.

Parents are students, too – gaining access to a Parent Educator and resources to strengthen their parenting.

We are a cooperative, working together to administrate and operate the school.

And we are a community, building a supportive network for families.

Who We Are

Madison Park Cooperative Preschool (MPCP) is located at the historic Madison Park bathhouse on the shores of Lake Washington. MPCP has provided families with a nurturing and supportive environment for nearly 50 years – since its 1970 inception as a babysitting cooperative.

MPCP is a parent-child study laboratory affiliated with Seattle Central College and a larger network of local cooperative preschools. Through this program, MPCP is required to provide a safe, age-appropriate and supportive atmosphere where parents, additional caregivers and children learn together.

How It Works

We provide preschool programs for ages 1-5, through seven different classes each week. View our schedule and learn more

Cooperative preschools rely on caregivers’ in-class participation in a predetermined number of class sessions, varying with age level. This allows us to offer low-cost tuition and provides parents/caregivers the chance to learn from the preschool environment, be a part of their child’s early school experience, and build community with fellow caregivers.

Classes are led by our talented teaching staff. Learn more about our teachers

Our Curriculum & the Value of Play

The MPCP curriculum emphasizes social development of the child and learning through play. Of primary importance is the building of the child’s positive self-image, self-esteem, and self- confidence. We strive to create a warm and accepting atmosphere for children to explore their world through art, music, stories, and play.

According to our nation’s leading educators, a key indicator of quality is the significance of play in a program’s philosophy. Young children learn best by play – by actively thinking, experimenting, exploring and manipulating their environment – to make sense of their world, to understand and negotiate relationships, to develop creative thinking and to build a positive sense of themselves and their significance to a community.

Play provides the important foundations for academic learning in the later years and is central to all aspects of a child’s social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. Child-directed, teacher-facilitated play is central to all aspects of the Madison Park Cooperative Preschool curriculum.

Parent Education

Parents become students of Seattle Central College, which provides us with our Parent Educator. At monthly class meetings, the Parent Educator leads a discussion on a topic selected by the class, like “When Your Child Pushes Your Buttons” or “Emotion Coaching.” Additionally, parents or other in-class caregivers can check in with the Parent Educator during preschool class sessions, gaining instant advice on current parenting struggles.

Additional Parent Involvement

Madison Park Co-op is managed by its current families. In addition to in-class responsibilities, each family is required to hold a co-op job – ranging from a more active role, like serving on the Board of Directors, to less active, like staffing one-time events, or securing needed supplies. Each family is also required to participate in monthly class meetings. Learn more about Parent Responsibilities 

Being part of a cooperative preschool offers parents the opportunity to watch their child grow in his or her first contact with a group outside of the family. It offers parents direct involvement with the teachers and children who define this new step in the child’s life.

Perhaps the most lasting effect of joining the co–op is the sense of community support that develops among the parents.