Programs & Fees

preschool1Preschool Programs

Ruth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School offers a complete preschool program for the young child.  For children aged two-and-a-half through five years, the school offers various two and three and day classes, both mornings and afternoons.  A typical three-hour preschool day involves a broad opportunity for the child’s stimulation and development.  The classroom environment provides a variety of activities for experimenting, discovery and creative expression.  Daily activities may include:

  • Circle Time – a special sharing time as a group
  • Interest Center Time – a time for choosing different centers such as blocks, art, manipulatives and/or puzzles, dramatic play, music, science, books/reading, writing
  • Outdoor Play – a daily time for outside exploration and gross motor development
  • Snack Time – an important part of the preschool curriculum.  It is a time for refueling, learning about proper nutrition and establishing lifelong healthy eating habits.  Children sit together family style and are encouraged to  socialize and enjoy a healthy snack.  This is a valuable opportunity for conversation and language development.
  • Field trips are planned throughout the year for our older classes to expand the classroom activities.

We do have a wait list for our programs so please fill out the wait list form HERE. Once you are on the wait list, there is no obligation to enroll, but you will receive points for each month you are on the list.

Enrollment Guidelines and Class Schedule

Classes at Ruth Washburn

Tuition Options for 21-22

School Guidelines 21-22

Financial Aid Packet 21-22


Explorers-Extended Care Program

Program Updates for 21-22 Coming SOON

The Explorers program provides extended wrap-around care primarily for the children enrolled in the school ages three through five years of age. Children of kindergarten age who are former Ruth Washburn students and siblings from three through six years of age of current students are eligible to attend. Children from non-Co-op member families may also utilize the program as space permits with Guaranteed Option at a non-discounted rate.


The Explorers program is an extension of the preschool program in philosophy and in activities and ratios.  The Explorers day typically consists of:

  • Outdoor Play offered 3x daily
  • Lunch brought from home. Snack is provided for Afternoon Explorers.
  • Rest or nap
  • Circle Time
  • Open Exploration


There are only 15 spaces for Explorers so signing up early and for the whole year is the easiest way to guarantee you will have the space you would like. Sign up for GUARANTEED OPTION Explorers is available monthly is offered to help those families who depend on regularly scheduled care. The Sign-Up form (online) must be completed by the 25th of the month prior to your desired start date (i.e. if you would like to begin in October, submit this form by September 25th).  There will be up to 5 drop-in slots available per day. See the sign-up sheet on the board to sign up for available spots.  Each month charges will be added to your account.  For Guaranteed option you will be billed in advance on the first of each month.  For drop in-you will be billed at the end of the month.  Reminder:  Refunds will not be given for missed days-you are responsible for payment for your child’s scheduled time in Explorers including illness-related absences or school-wide snow days.  You will not be billed for pre-scheduled school closures.

Explorers Fees

The Rate for Explorers Guaranteed Option is $3.85 for each half hour or portion of a half hour. The rate for Drop-In  is $4.40 for each half hour or portion of a half hour.

Non-current Ruth Washburn families will pay $13 per hour or portion of an hour on a space-available basis.

Lunches for Explorers

Parents are required to send their child with a lunch if they will be in Explorers during meal time.  Lunches sent for the Explorers program should be sent in non-breakable containers with each item, including the containers, and bag clearly labeled with the child’s name.  Children need a well-balanced meal containing a variety of foods.  The school has a responsibility to ensure that each child brings a balanced nutritious lunch.  The following guidelines are suggested:

  • Milk – 1 to 1 ½ cups daily, including whole milk, or skim milk. If juice is substituted, please send 100% fruit juice.
  • Meat or other Protein Foods – 2 to 4 tablespoons daily of lean beef, pork, fish, chicken, egg, seeds, or beans (no nuts allowed).
  • Vegetables and Fruits – a total of 3 servings daily (a serving equals 2 to 4 tablespoons cooked, 2 to 4 tablespoons raw)
  • Breads and Cereals – 2 to 3 servings daily of whole grain bread, rice, macaroni, noodles or cereals.

One third of the daily allowance of each food group should be included in the lunches brought to the Afternoon Explorers Program. Candy, Soda, fried chips and other snacks with sugar as a main ingredient will be put back in the child’s backpack to enjoy at home.  Again, remember that no peanuts or tree nuts are allowed at RW.

Sign up HERE


Wee & Not-so-wee explorers-Program updates for 21-22 coming soon

Wee & Not-So-Wee Explorers is a story, music, movement and outside activity program for students too young to attend classes or not enrolled in a class at Ruth Washburn. 18 month thru 2 ½ year olds will enjoy the 45 minute play time with their adult(s) in our Wee Explorers program on Wednesday and some Thursday mornings . Children ages 2 ½ through 4 will enjoy a 90 minute play time with their adult(s) in our Not-So-Wee Explorers program on Thursdays and some Wednesdays. You can see the specifics below. A typical session will consist of music, 1 or 2 stories, sensory experiences, dancing, and outside time where families can enjoy our expansive back yard. Sessions will run once per week for six weeks. The cost for Wee Explorers is $100 for all six classes in a session. The cost for Not-So-Wee Explorers is $150 for all six classes in a session. Additionally we will run a facilitated Outside Playgroup in April into May for all ages 1.5-4. That program will run on Fridays from 9-10:30 OUTSIDE and will cost $100. Space is limited to 8 or 9 students. To guarantee a spot in all 4 sessions, you may sign up for all sessions at once. You will be billed for sessions the month prior. Payment must be made within two weeks of billing to retain the spot. This program is intended for families considering enrollment for their child in a Ruth Washburn class when their child is age eligible and a class spot is offered.

You may sign up for some Wee and some Not-so-Wee sessions depending on the age of your child at the start of each session.  Please see chart below to decide which sessions are age appropriate. NSW stands for Not-so-Wee.

Birth date of June 2017 would sign up for Wee Explorers for Early Fall and Late Fall and then move to Not-so-Wee Explorers for Winter and Spring.

Summer Camp-Summer 2021 updates coming soon