About St. Matthew's -Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) What is a cooperative preschool?

St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool is a group of 20 like-minded families who enjoy a hands-on learning environment. Parents are involved in the classroom and encouraged to stay throughout the day as needed. Parents are welcome to spend the day with their child or to drop by to visit whenever they wish. Parents are required to work about one day each week in various capacities teaching art, guiding playroom activities or introducing math and science concepts, as well as cleaning, maintaining and administering the school. Members meet one evening each month to discuss school business and plan for the month ahead as well as volunteer and manage committee responsibilities throughout the year.


St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool is a certified Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) provider in agreement with the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe Counties and the State of Florida.

2) How many days do I have to work?

Generally, parents work one day for every 5 days their child is enrolled. For example, a person with a child attending 3 days a week could expect to work 3 days per month and 1 orange day. Orange duty involves serving as a backup for a working parent who calls in sick and serving as the playground supervisor before and after school to watch the children of the working parents while they set up and clean the school.

3) Can I stay with my child?

Parents are encouraged to stay as needed to help their children transition into their exciting and new school environment. The teacher will inform parents when needed of the wisdom of separating from their child in a reasonable amount of time, which is generally six weeks.

4) What are the school hours? 

Monday to Friday

9:15a.m. - 12:30p.m.

5) Is it a religious-based curriculum?

St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool is located on the grounds of the St. Matthew The Apostle Episcopal Church, but is independently operated and welcomes families from every religion. The preschool introduces religious concepts through daily prayer, child-oriented Bible stories once a month and weekly guitar playing and singing with Father Jamie Jones.

6) Is after care provided?

After care is not currently provided, but there are licensed childcare providers in the area that members have recommended.


7) How do I register?

Download the                             and call the membership coordinator at 305-661-1287 to schedule a tour.


8) What are the eligibility requirements?

St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool does not discriminate based on race, creed or nationality. Children must be fully potty trained and age 3 before December. Children must also have a blue and yellow form on file as issued by a pediatrician's office.

Parents must complete a FBI Level 2 and local background check. The membership coordinator will guide new parents through the process.

9) How much does it cost to attend St. Matthew's?


Fee schedule:
- 3-days/week: $215 per month
- 4-days/week: $235 per month
- 5-days/week: $250 per month
- 5-days/week: V.P.K. FREE for eligible students

One time fees: 
- Registration fee: $150*
- Supply fee: $150*

*VPK students not required to pay registration or supply fees.


SUNSHINE COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL, INC. evolved in 1972-73 when a group of parents recognized the need for quality preschool experiences for their children and a cooperative nursery school experience for themselves. The school opened in the spring of 1973 with ten children, housed in a building on the grounds of the Southwest Branch of the YMCA. In January, 1978, Sunshine became completely independent and moved to premises rented from St. Matthew the Apostle Episcopal Church at 7410 Sunset Drive.

Sunshine was a non-profit corporation wholly owned and administered by the parents of children attending the school. The first cooperative preschool in Dade County, Sunshine was also the first one to become completely independent of any sponsoring group or organization. After two years of hard work by many willing parents, we added another "first" to our list when in May 1979, we became the first cooperative preschool to receive a Certificate of License from the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

Sunshine Cooperative Preschool became affiliated with St. Matthew Episcopal Church in September 1992. The name was changed to St. Matthew Cooperative Preschool and became an extension of the church but continued to be administered by the parents of children attending the school. St. Matthew is a member of Parent Cooperative Preschools International.