About St. Matthew's -Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1) What is a Cooperative Preschool with a 'Simple Drop Off' option?
St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool is a group of like-minded families who enjoy a hands-on learning environment. Our parents have a choice between two options. Parents who choose the Cooperative option are welcomed to be involved in the classroom and are encouraged to stay throughout the day as needed. Parents may spend the day with their child or drop by to visit whenever they wish. Parents who choose our cooperative option are required to work in various capacities. They may assist in teaching art, guiding playroom activities, or introducing math and science concepts, as well as cleaning, maintaining and administering the school. If a parent's schedule does not permit them to assist in-person at the preschool, there is flexibility. There are other tasks and projects that may be done outside of the preschool to fulfill the work requirement.
Parents who choose the 'Simple Drop Off' option are simply required to drop off their child at 9:30am and pick them up at 12:30pm. Parents are welcome to join if they wish, as long as the Director is given prior notice (with sensitivity to the space available and the lesson plans for that day). All Members meet one evening each month via Zoom 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 if I choose the Cooperative Option?
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, at most, 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 and encourages families from every religion. The preschool introduces some religious concepts through simple daily prayer.
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 Director at 305-661-1287 to schedule a tour.
8) What are the eligibility requirements?
Children must be 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 Director will guide new parents through the process. St. Matthew's Cooperative Preschool does not discriminate based on race, creed or nationality.
9) How much does it cost to attend St. Matthew's?
Fee Schedule for Cooperative Option:
3-days/week: $400 per month
4-days/week: $415 per month
5-days/week: $435 per month
5-days/week: V.P.K. FREE for eligible students
Fee Schedule for 'Simple Drop Off' Option:
3-days/week: $500 per month
4-days/week: $515 per month
5-days/week: $535 per month
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.