About Us

Learn more about our philosophy, our inclusive program, our history and our staff.

Our Philosophy

At Community Co-operative Preschool, we believe in providing children and their families with an environment that is safe, stimulating and supportive. Our philosophy of inclusion calls us to be welcoming and supportive of the educational and care needs of our students, as well as the diverse backgrounds of their families.

We maintain close ties with organizations within our community that deliver services to children with special needs and their families because we believe that an inclusive environment plays an important role in healthy child development.

The safety of our students is important to us. That is why policies are in place that govern all “comings and goings” from the school, and our equipment and toys are cleaned and inspected regularly.

Our programming is based on the observation of a child’s emerging interests and abilities. Participation in free play encourages independence, social skills, creativity, language development and active learning. Our staff is dedicated to helping each child reach his or her own potential – socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. Responsive interactions between teacher and child, among the children themselves, and with “experts” in areas that excite and interest the children are an important focus of our program. Good physical and mental health is encouraged through enriching and developmentally appropriate experiences.

We realize parents are the most important people in a child’s life. As a result we stress parental involvement in all aspects of our school’s programming. Parents are an important part of our team. On parent assist days, their help with our daily routine allows the staff to focus on encouraging and reinforcing important skill development in our students. Parent assist days also provide parents with the opportunity to watch their child interact with their peers and other adults, and provide children with the reassurance that their school, friends and activities are important to their parents. Parents are required to share their time and talents through the work of the various committees which support the school. This also encourages sharing interests, culturally important events, personal skills and talents with the school community. Our co-operative approach encourages good communication between home and school, and contributes to the delivery of an appropriate and consistent program for each child. During COVID, parent assist days may not occur.

We celebrate the many definitions of “family” that make up our community, and strive to support and welcome all those who choose Community Co-operative Preschool for their child’s first experiences with a widening world.

Our Inclusive Program

As stated in our philosophy, inclusion is an important part of our program and school. Children with special needs are enrolled in our preschool groups based on their individual requirements.

Our goal is to have children with special needs involved in all aspects of the preschool program. A Resource Consultant from Children’s Inclusion Support Services (CISS) follows each child identified in the program and works with our staff to ensure that their needs are addressed appropriately.

In addition to the Advisor’s regular visits, other therapists who are involved with individual children (speech, occupational therapy, etc.) may visit the preschool from time to time. Children may also have a program assistant assigned to them by CISS in some circumstances.

In order to ensure that quality programming is available to our students, the number of children with special needs enrolled in each group is limited to one.


Community Co-operative Preschool first opened its doors in 1962 under the name “Parkwood Hills Nursery School”. It was founded by Betty Burrows who had been looking for a school for her four year old daughter. It was originally located in the Christian Reform Church on Merivale Road and started with 22 children. It moved to its present location in 1963.

In 1970, as parents were coming from various parts of the city, a new name was chosen “Community Co-operative Preschool”. Then in June of 1976, we grew even more and become incorporated. Nine years later, we expanded to include children with special needs into the regular school program.


The Director and teachers are hired by the Board of Directors and are responsible for the preschool program. All staff are Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) and have training in first aid.

Jo-Anne McCrone (RECE), Director

Jo-Anne first became involved with CCPS fourty years ago when she registered the first of her two daughters. She enjoyed participating on the Board and parent assisting, and soon found that she had a talent for working with preschoolers. After encouragement from her daughter’s teacher Jo-Anne began to teach at the school and attend Algonquin College, and in 1996 received her RECE diploma. She became Director in 2004. With over 40 years of experience, both as a teacher and as a parent, Jo-Anne brings a unique perspective to her work as Director.

Anabela Pereira (RECE)

Anabela has over twenty years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. She began her career as an assistant teacher at a local day care center while pursuing the continuing early childhood education program at Algonquin College. She graduated in 2009 with honours and assumed the position of RECE in the preschool program. More recently, she was an educator at another nursery school before joining the staff at CCPS.

Even though she has experience working with children of all ages, she truly enjoys teaching preschoolers - their endless curiosity, creative imagination and stamina challenge and encourage her each and every day

Sue Marshall (RECE)

Sue started teaching at CCPS in the fall of 2015. She earned her ECE diploma at Algonquin College and has been working as an Early Childhood Educator for more than 30 years. She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of early learning settings; licensed daycare, family home daycare, private kindergarten and nursery school. She has also provided support and developmental programming for many children with special needs, both at school and in their homes. Sue lives in the country with her husband, daughters & grandson and enjoys being surrounded by nature.

Bene Mattli (BEd. First Years)

Bene has been at CCPS for six years supporting different children with special needs in the program and also, this year, teaching in the toddler program.

Bene taught in England before coming to Canada in 1989 after falling in love with the country after a year long teacher exchange to B.C. Once here she spent several years bringing up her two daughters before getting a job at a local Nursery school. There she taught a small J.K. class and pre-schoolers, for many years before it closed. She was so happy to get her job at CCPS. “The children are a constant source of enjoyment, amusement and fulfillment. They challenge you every day but also keep you young. I’m privileged to work with the other wonderful teachers and all the families at the preschool.”