Fishtown Playschool (FPS) believes that an engaged and compassionate community enriches the experience of raising a child, and the children benefit from Fishtown’s rich community. The goal is to guide each child to develop physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally, according to his or her own abilities and circumstances. Our teachers provide a variety of play situations because play is where young children are most intellectually and emotionally involved.

The classroom is setup to provide predictable routines, while open-ended materials and engaging activities are offered to appeal to a wide variety of developmental levels and interests. Play, experimentation, and positive social interactions are the priority.

FPS does not engage in direct academic instruction; therefore, there is no rigid curriculum. Rather, the intention of the teachers is to encourage thinking, to develop new ideas, and to follow each child’s interests and ideas, which further engages the children and expands their understanding. Activities are planned around weekly or monthly themes, which are driven by the interests of the children, or celebrate the seasons.

What is a Cooperative?

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

FPS is licensed in the state Pennsylvania as a non-profit cooperative corporation. We believe in the values and principles of cooperatives as outlined by the International Co-operative Alliance: http://ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identity-values-principles

As a cooperative, each member family works together to ensure all FPS operations, and each family is expected to take responsibility to help influence the shape and direction of the organization.

Member families help in the classroom, provide supplies, help clean and organize, raise funds, identify community partnerships and more to help influence the shape and direction of the organization.

Is a cooperative right for my family?

Member families each commit a minimum of 20 hours to the classroom each month, between helping in the classroom, serving on committees, and meeting as an organization. Without this level of commitment, FPS would not exist.

The strengths and participation of each family are the foundation of the community. In becoming a member of FPS, families agree to the extensively involved nature of our organization.

FPS is able to keep costs significantly low because of the unique contribution of each family. Every job is essential, and each family has a critical role in the long­term health of FPS.


FPS is a secular, cooperatively run playschool co­-founded in January 2013 by eleven Fishtown ­area families seeking a collaborative community with whom to create enriching learning experiences for their preschool-­aged children. Initially, classes were held in the founders’ living rooms on a rotating weekly basis, with members pooling resources and sharing teacher responsibilities. In July 2013, The First Presbyterian Church of Kensington became the “home” of Fishtown Playschool (although there is no religious affiliation), and the first lead teacher was hired in October 2013. In September 2014, a second classroom and second teacher were added in response to the community’s need for an expanded program.