Whatcom Family Cooperative Preschool 
(located inside Happy Valley Elementary School) 
1041 24th street
Bellingham, WA 98225


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. 

Play is really the work of childhood.”  

-Fred Rogers

Our Preschool is a unique program that operates in collaboration with the parenting education program at

Whatcom Community College and the B

ellingham School District's special education preschool program.

Whatcom Community College offers parenting skills classes, parent-cooperative preschool classes and specialized programs to meet the changing needs of families. Parents/guardians can earn college credit, with short-term certificates in parenting skills.

The Co-op offers:
  • a play based curriculum.
  • developmentally appropriate activities.
  • programming with an emphasis social skills.
  • programming that is integrated with Bellingham School District Special Education Programs.
  • a parenting class in conjunction with the Whatcom Community College Parenting Education Program.
  • an affordable, whole-family preschool experience.

The Basics:

  • The Co-op meets throughout the public school year on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15-10:45am and 12:15-2:45pm.

  • Children ages 2-1/2 to 5 years old are welcome! In general, children must be 2-1/2 by mid-September of the school year to attend.

  • Tuition is $1450 per year (divided by 10 months = $145 per month).

  • Registration fee: $100 per child due at time of registration (non refundable)

  • Parents/guardians are expected to volunteer for 2 - 3 class periods per month, to participate in fundraisers, annual end-of-year cleaning and to perform one parent job.

  • Parents/guardians automatically become enrolled at Whatcom Community College as students and must attend educational, two hour monthly meetings presented by the Whatcom Community College Parenting Education Program. Parents/guardians earn 9 college credits per year and are eligible for student benefits.

Frequently asked questions:

What is a normal day like at Whatcom Family Cooperative Preschool?

Led by our experienced teachers, children are encouraged to make their own discoveries in many different interest areas, including art, science, drama, and construction. Through structured and unstructured activities in both large and small groups, children have countless opportunities to develop social-emotional skills and fine-tune the skills necessary for future success in reading, writing, and mathematics.

How is the Co-op different than a standard preschool?

Whatcom Family Cooperative Preschool is affiliated with the Whatcom Community College (WCC) Parenting Education Program. Parents/guardians assist in the classroom approximately twice a month and attend monthly parent education meetings on topics such as emotion coaching, power struggles, nutrition, and literacy. This collaboration between WCC, parents, and the school allows the co-op to charge less for tuition than the many other, local preschools.

Follow WCC's parenting education page on Facebook!

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