A Valley preschool is making the move to a new, expanded location after 60 years, but leadership says that their supportive, nurturing focus will not change.

Established in 1961, the Early Education Cooperative Preschool (EECP) is a parent-involved cooperative preschool that focuses on developing the whole child, supporting the growth of parents, and creating meaningful connections within an inclusive community. After over 60 years at its original location at 40th Place and Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley, EECP will be moving to a new expanded location this fall, renting space from Shepherd of the Hills, UCC at 5524 E. Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix.

Preschool directors Sarah Root and Nancy Wilson, both parents of EEC graduates and North Central residents, say that they’re looking forward to the move and having an even greater impact with their unique preschool model.

“Our new location will have five classrooms and an expanded outdoor space for playing and gardening,” said Root. “And with the new space, we’re looking forward to adding a mixed-age 3’s class to our programming!”

Wilson says the longevity and success of the preschool is largely due to the thoughtful incorporation of parent involvement. “We are the only preschool in the Valley with regular parent participation in the classroom twice a month, plus monthly parent education meetings,” she said. “Our unique preschool model helps our students gain the skills and confidence to thrive once they are ready to move on to elementary school.”

Sarah Corwin is uniquely qualified to comment on the EEC preschool, having one daughter who completed the program, twin girls currently enrolled – and having attended the preschool herself as a child in the 80s.

“If you want a warm and loving community for yourself and for your children, this is the place to go,” said Corwin. “There’s so much nurturing, so much encouragement to explore and learn through playing with others.” She adds that the parent education meetings are one of her favorite elements of the preschool program, as well as the fact that her children get to know their classmates and their parents in a positive nurturing environment.

“You don’t feel alone. The meetings are so different at each age (language development, speech, potty training, playing with others, using your words, getting ready for kindergarten). It’s an open safe space to talk with teachers and parents, ask if anyone else is dealing with challenges, and express what you’re going through as a parent. I learned parenting techniques when my oldest was 2 that I still use!”

Enrollment is underway for programs serving children aged 2 through pre-K and families may apply online at www.cooppreschool.org. Applications will be accepted through May.


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