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Cooperative Preschool at Caltech Enrollment Process

Enrollment in our Cooperative Preschool at Caltech is open to children two years, six months of age through five years, eleven months. All families are welcome. Enrollment priority is given to children of post doctoral scholars and graduate students at Caltech, then to employees of Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Families interested in enrolling at the Coop should complete and return an application. Upon offer of enrollment, a time is scheduled for the parent(s) and child(ren) to meet with a Program Director. Once enrollment is confirmed, a set of licensing forms must be filled out and signed before the child enters the program. The family is also encouraged to visit as much as possible before their child's first day. An enrollment fee will be added to your initial billing, to cover processing your child's enrollment; as well as a health and safety fee.* There are times during the year when we offer group tours and/or an open house. Completed applications can be submitted to Director of Administration, Helen Ruppel or at the CEC office at 140 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada.

Although most of our actual admissions into the program occur between mid-May and mid-September of each year, with planning done between April and June, we do experience some vacancies mid-year. We hold everyone's applications in our waiting pool throughout the year in the event a vacancy appears. Each year in January, we update the waiting pool list by sending out a form to each family on the list and ask that it be completed and returned. Only those families who return the form are kept in the pool.

Security Deposit

The Cooperative Preschool at Caltech has a deposit of $100.00. Tuition deposits will be refunded upon leaving the program. In order to obtain full credit for your security deposit, you must provide one month's notice of intent to leave the program. Upon departure from the CEC, you may also donate your deposit to the CEC as your child takes flight into school!


Tuition for all programs is due by the 1st of each month, with a late fee assessed after the 10th. Rates are increased as needed at the beginning of each fiscal year on September 1st to cover the costs of increased expenses. Tuition is charged for all week days each month, including holidays, whether or not your child is in attendance. Visit us here for information about Tuition Assistance.

*The Cooperative Preschool at Caltech has an enrollment fee of $25.00 and a health and safety fee of $35.00.

2017-2018 Monthly Tuition Rates


Full Time



Caltech & JPL Families




Commmunity Families




Program Schedule

Mornings 8:30 - 11:30 am,  September through mid-July

  • 5 days per week: Monday - Friday
  • 3 days per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 2 days per week: Tuesday and Thursday

Parent Participation


In choosing a cooperative preschool experience for their family, parents agree to become active members of the program and community while working alongside professional early childhood teachers.

  • Each family is required to have 1 parent work in the preschool program at least twice per month, from 8:15 – 11:45 am.

  • As members of the CEC community, families will also contribute a minimum of 7 hours each program year to help with facility improvement and fundraising support.

  • Parent volunteers will regularly attend a group discussion time with the Site Director on the days they work.