The goal of Lakeside Cooperative Preschool is to provide children with a positive early learning experience, and provide parents the opportunity to be directly involved in the education of their children, while expanding confidence in developmentally appropriate and relevant parenting skills. The school has a flexible, stimulating environment in which each child may freely experience a wide range of physical, social, and intellectual activities.

Lakeside is affiliated with Whatcom Community College Parent Education Program offering an educational experience for both parents and children. Our affiliation with WCC provides a parent education facilitator, Michelle Malone, training and support systems for our teachers and board, access to classroom resource materials, and student status for enrolled parents that includes student rates at the child development center, Whatcom and Western library use, counseling services, and participating student discounts.

Lakeside Cooperative Preschool is an inclusive program working with the Bellingham School District to integrate a limited number of children with developmental delays into our classes.


  • Develop a positive self image.
  • Experience and develop trust with adults other than their parents.
  • Increase independence, feelings of competence, social skills, and problem solving abilities.
  • Learn to cooperate with and care for other children.
  • Express themselves through materials, movement, and language.
  • Increase a sense of curiosity through a variety of hands-on experiences.
  • Develop an awareness of their world.


  • Develop realistic expectations of children at various stages of growth and development.
  • Gather resources from teachers and parents to create a stimulating environment for children to develop their physical, cognitive, and social skills.
  • Develop a support system for yourself, your child, and your family.
  • Work creatively and cooperatively on the operation of the preschool.

Preschool is a safe and nurturing place to learn social skills. We believe preschool is the perfect place to learn about our emotions and how our behavior can affect ourselves and others. Our teachers act as facilitators in helping children learn appropriate ways to interact with their classmates, teachers, and environment.


At our school, we promote these problem solving and coping skills in an age-appropriate manner for each class:

  1. What can I do to solve a problem?
    – Walk away
    – Tell them to stop
  2.  Be Respectful of Self and Others
    – Cooperative learning (taking turns)
    – Care of toys and equipment
  3. Learn good etiquette
    – Good manners
    – Becoming independent and taking care of self

For children who need more guidance in behavior management, we promote problem-solving skills, redirecting children to another activity, and giving them choices. Some children may need to have a quiet, safe place to process their situation with an adult in a positive way before rejoining the group, and this is done in a loving, respectful and supportive way.  We do not practice any punitive discipline, and strive to build an inviting, creative and fun learning environment for our children to grow and learn.


Lakeside Cooperative Preschool welcomes students and parents/caregivers of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, creed, religion, sex, or sexual-orientation, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or genetic information. The preschool is a non-denominational, non-profit, equal-opportunity organization, and is affiliated with Whatcom Community College parent education.