Woodinville Family Preschool just won a Totally Awesome Award for A+ Preschool & Day Care in Seattle. We recently spoke to them about their experience as a business owner, the best advice they’ve ever received and more. Hear what they have to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Most Awesome A+ Preschool & Day Care” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Woodinville Family Preschool: Our cooperative preschool provides a unique opportunity for educators, parents, and children to engage together in an enriching, developmentally appropriate, and playful environment. Parents and caregivers who participate in our program really appreciate the support we provide for them, and the guidance and learning opportunities we provide for their children.
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
WFS: A lot of people don’t really know what a “cooperative” preschool is all about. Basically, every parent or caregiver that participates is a part of the larger community that makes Woodinville Family Preschool function. Parents receive education on a regular basis to discuss relevant developmental and parenting topics and have time to bring up their own personal parenting concerns, struggles, and successes. Parents and children have the opportunity to learn and work together weekly in class. Additionally, parents have a lot of direct feedback and opportunity to help shape how the school functions and bring new changes and ideas to the table for consideration. This structure creates a wonderful environment for growth, both for the parent and the child.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
WFS: Woodinville Family Preschool started from an afternoon preschool group that wanted to meet in the mornings instead. Originally, it was located in Bothell, but in 1974 moved to the Woodinville area and has been there ever since.
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
WFS: My husband and I start the morning with coffee and great conversation.
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
WFS: I don’t know that there is a “most awesome” thing a parent has ever done for the school – all the parents involved work hard to make the school an amazing place. As an example, I can relate a story that was told to me from a parent who was stationed on the floor during class time. There was a boy in the class who was extremely sad and angry on the first day of school – saying that he wanted to be with his dad. This parent thought about when her daughter would come home with notes that I had helped her transcribe during class. So, she and the boy sat down and transcribed a note which said, “Dad I miss you. I want to be with you Dad. I love you.” It was like magic, he was completely and totally fine after that! It was amazing to see the parent help this child transform his situation by listening, validating his emotional state, and then helping him to find a way to have a voice in the situation. This is a great example of the awesome things that parents and caregivers do at our school every day.
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
WFS: The first person l learned about when I began my study of child development was Hiam Ginott. Here are some of his excellent words of advice: “Describe, don’t evaluate. Deal with events – don’t appraise personality. Describe feelings, don’t evaluate characters. Give a realistic picture of accomplishment, don’t glorify the person.”
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photo credit: Woodinville Family Preschool