Mission Kids Cooperative Preschool, San Francisco

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions & Tuition

How do I apply to Mission Kids?

Visit our Admissions page to learn about our process for admitting new students.

How old does my child need to be to be accepted into Mission Kids’ preschool?

Mission Kids is licensed to serve children from age 2 to those entering first grade. 

How does the wait pool work?

The wait pool is used to fill openings during the school year, as well as for future year openings. We do not rank potential applicants, as we seek to balance the needs of existing classes of children with children who would be complements to those classrooms. If you are in the wait pool, you do not need to apply for future enrollment years. You will be asked to confirm your continuing interest each year and will also be able to send us updated information.

How much does tuition cost per child?

We make tuition affordable through a number of public and private funding opportunities. Typically, at least 75% of our families receive some form of tuition reduction. The amount of tuition reduction is based on family need and the age of the child, therefore, tuition amounts are shown as a range rather than a specific number:

2021-22 Tuition Scale: $0 – $13,000

You may contact admissions@missionkidsco-op.org for more information about reduced tuition opportunities.

How do I apply for flexible tuition?

For any families who feel tuition is a barrier to your attendance in our program, we encourage you to apply for flexible tuition. Please contact admissions@missionkidsco-op.org for more information about our flexible tuition program.

What does being a “Early Learning Scholarship” certified preschool mean?

Being an ELS certified preschool means we provide a high-quality curriculum and environment. We have committed to a process of continuous quality improvement and to achieving certain quality standards set forth by the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education (OECE). We access ongoing coaching and professional development to enhance the quality of early education and care at MK. Family eligibility for ELS funding is determined by OECE. Families receiving ELS funding must comply with all ELS requirements, including participating in developmental screenings and attendance requirements.

Why must I fill out an income form?

Mission Kids receives public funds to serve low- and moderate-income families. In order to keep providing need-based tuition assistance to families, we are required to ask about the number of individuals in your family and your household’s income range. You may be asked to provide income verification (pay stubs or tax returns) once your family is enrolled at Mission Kids. All income information is kept confidential to the Admissions Committee and Board of Mission Kids.

When do you admit new students and how are enrollment decisions made?

Families are offered admission in spring to start at the beginning of the school year in late August. With our new facility expansion in 2021, we may have additional spots open up at other times this year. Families with an application on file may be considered for any openings that may become available throughout the year. Mission Kids bases enrollment decisions on a number of factors including child’s age and gender and our desire for diversity of ethnicity, language, ability, income and family make up. We also consider the family’s overall ability to contribute time, resources and expertise to the co-op community.

Curriculum & Student Care

What’s your curriculum like?

Our curriculum is child-led and draws on philosophies of play-based and emergent learning. Adults provide the raw materials for inspiration and enough structure to enable children’s minds to flourish. Choices are always available for children not interested in the main group activity. We believe the most important thing for children to be learning at this age is peaceful socialization and positive communication, and we incorporate this belief into everything we do. A typical day includes a healthy dose of free play, activities that draw on gross and fine motor skills, healthy snacks, exciting outings in the neighborhood, group reading, rest time and more play! We are community based, and draw upon our surroundings for inspiration and learning opportunities. Music, language, yoga, art, cooking and the study of nature are all concepts introduced to children within the Mission Kids curriculum.

What kind of classroom management do you use?

Mission Kids promotes peaceful conflict resolution. We’re committed to empowering children to resolve conflict through peace-based socialization and communication. Children learn to identify and share feelings, practice listening skills, and collaboratively problem-solve under the guidance of trained teachers and parents.

Do you have a foreign language component?

Yes, Mission Kids is a bilingual program. In keeping with the Mission District’s heritage, Spanish language and Latino culture are integrated into daily classroom activities (e.g., books, songs, cultural celebrations, field trips, etc.). In addition, many other languages are spoken at Mission Kids. We have had children enrolled who are native speakers in Mandarin, Japanese, Tagalog, French, German, Hebrew, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, Polish, Czech, and Urdu. We welcome and celebrate all languages and cultures!

Does Mission Kids support children with learning differences?

Mission Kids supports all children across the spectrum of learning styles. We work hand in hand with families and outside specialists to make Mission Kids accessible to all and a place for all children to flourish. 

What is the teacher-to-student ratio?

Our adult-to-child ratio is 1:5 or better at all times.

How many students are there at Mission Kids each day?

We have six classrooms at our new facility at 969 Treat. Enrollment meets or exceeds current SFDPH recommendations on cohort size.

Do you provide lunch at school?

We provide a nourishing, organic morning meal to students and ask that students bring their own lunch every day.

Do you offer an Extended Day Program?

Not at this time.

Do you provide a snack?

Yes, Mission Kids serves a warm, hearty, healthy morning meal that consists of a whole grain, fruit, vegetable, and protein. Our snacks are seasonal, locally grown and organic. All of our snacks are purchased from our local farmer’s markets,  Rainbow Grocery Cooperative or other stores that support healthy nourishing food. Children bring their own lunch.

What is quiet time like at Mission Kids?

After lunch and group reading, quiet time begins. The curtains are drawn and children spend time quietly on their mats while relaxing music plays. Books and writing journals are available for everyone. After about 45 minutes, anyone who is not asleep is invited to pack up their nap mats and play outside. Children who fall asleep wake up when they are ready or are gently woken depending on parental preference and individual needs.

What kind of training do you offer parents?

Each monthly meeting consists of school business and parent-education. An orientation training is held before the beginning of each Fall session, followed by subsequent training during the year. Parent education is strongly emphasized and a priority at Mission Kids.

What is your policy on vaccinations?

Effective July 1, 2016, California law requires all children be immunized to attend preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools. To enroll at Mission Kids, your child must have required proof of vaccinations. More information about the California School Immunization Law can be found here. Information about specific age requirements for immunizations can be found here.

In addition, effective September 1, 2016, all adult staff and volunteers are required to be immunized. This includes anyone working a Mission Kids family workshift. More information about this immunization requirement for adults can be found here.

About Us

When was Mission Kids founded?

Mission Kids was founded in 2009.

Who operates the preschool?

Mission Kids is run by a Board of Trustees, directors, staff and families. 

What are the family shift requirements?

Families work one four-hour shift per week during the school day to support their child’s classroom. Families unable to work in the classroom may choose the buyout option (see below) or request an alternate arrangement agreed upon by the directors.

Can you pay additional tuition in lieu of working classroom shifts?

Yes, the buyout fee is $4,800 per year. Partial buyouts are available for families who are not able to work a shift each week. Families opting for a buyout are still required to support the school by holding a family co-op job (see below).

What additional work is required as a Mission Kids member?

In addition to family shift requirement above, each family:

What are the hours of operation?

Mission Kids operates year-round. The school year starts in late August and ends in early August the following year. The school is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pick up is between 2:30 and 3:00. Children attend four days a week. We observe SFUSD school holidays and breaks.

Forever Home & Capital Campaign

Why did Mission Kids move?

Our lease expired, so we moved to a new space.

What is Mission Kids’ Capital Campaign and is it still ongoing?

Mission Kids’ Capital Campaign encompasses our fundraising efforts to build our Forever Home facilities. We have received a huge amount of support for our project from both public and private sources. However, due to unforeseen additional expenses caused by Covid-related delays, we have another $400,000 to raise to reach our increased goal.

What is the total Forever Home project cost and who is paying for it?

We now expect the project to have a total cost of $9.4 million. The majority of the funds are from public sources. We have raised nearly $400,000 in funding from private sources and continue to look for both public and private funding to close out our campaign and raise another $400,000.

Where is Mission Kids in the fundraising process?

We began our campaign at the beginning of the summer of 2018 and have already raised $360,000 (as of November 2020)! We are now expanding our circle and reaching out to alumni families, close friends of the school, and private foundations and corporations.

Can I make my gift to Mission Kids payable over several years?

Yes, we encourage you to consider making payments on your gift over three years or less.