Classroom School Building

Welcome to Crofton Nursery School

The Greater Crofton cooperative since 1967.

2019-2020 Registration

Registration for the 2019-2020 school year is now open!  Please contact our Membership coordinator, Leslie Philpott, for any questions or to arrange a private tour. You can also call 443-292-6625. We look forward to seeing you!


Read about us in our Capital Gazette feature!

About Us


Led by highly-qualified teachers, our curriculum involves the entire family. Parents participate in the classroom and are truly a part of their child’s education. We foster social and academic development through a range of fun and educational activities, including:

  • Art projects,
  • Singing and dancing,
  • Reading and storytime,
  • Free play, and more.

Crofton Nursery School (CNS) was established in 1967, Incorporated in 1968 by a group of parents who wanted the best preschool experience for their children. This feeling has been embraced by each participating family since. At CNS, families and teachers work together in a warm and friendly atmosphere to teach our children cooperation, creativity, and caring for others. Each child benefits through positive reinforcement, rewarding learning activities and the friendly interaction with peers. In the spirit of a cooperative, we, the participating families, give of ourselves and of our time, so that our school will be what we want it to be for our children.


The Co-Op Experience



What is a Co-Op

In a cooperative nursery school, a parent takes on many roles, including that of a potential teacher. Enrolling your child in a cooperative school increases your appreciation of and understanding your child and enriches both of your lives.

Parents in the Classroom

Parents participate as assistant teachers and housekeepers. When working in the classroom, parents will:

  • Assist the teacher in the execution of the plans for the school day
  • Maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the school grounds

School Administration

In addition to providing classroom support, member families are vital in terms of the administration and operation of the school. You may be called on to contribute in many ways – everything from providing enough construction paper and crayons for the class, to interviewing prospective teachers. On a regular basis parents participate by:

  • Attending membership meetings
  • Serving on a school committee

Working with Our Teachers

While, the parents have full responsibility for administration, the educational program is primarily the responsibility of our experienced teachers. Chosen by the school’s Board, the teachers work to provide the best possible educational experience for each child in our school.

The teacher helps you to be effective on your days in the classroom, advises the board on equipment and supplies, and helps you to understand your own child through his or her school experience.

Ultimately, more engaged families mean a better program for your children.



Every independent school reflects a philosophy of education, and the school program is the direct outgrowth of the philosophy. For this reason, it is most important that parents select a school in which the philosophy is acceptable to them. When school and parents are in accord on issues, a child’s growth and development will be at its best.
Crofton Nursery School is dedicated to the comprehensive, effective, and compassionate education of children through human involvement and interaction. The purpose of the school is two-fold: to develop self-reliance in the child to provide a satisfactory transition between home and school; and to encourage cooperative learning through parent participation at school and meetings for parent education.

Nursery school is considered a place for young children to play, grow, and learn to live with others. It should be a place where children can express themselves at their own level of behavior yet be helped toward more mature and cooperative ways of behaving. It should be a place where children can, through experience with wide variety of materials and peers, solve the problems of growing up and relating to others. Nursery school should offer an environment where a child can touch, see, play, compare, discard and accept that which arouses his or her natural curiosity and ability for coping and learning.

Crofton Nursery School is a cooperative. For this reason, the parents form the backbone of the school. The school is parent-owned and parent-directed. Most important, it is the parents that supply the supportive environment for their children’s first experience with formal schooling. The parent shares these most valuable learning experiences with their child. Parents are given every opportunity to utilize their individual talents to the benefit of all children. As the child grows and learns, so does the parent through direct involvement and parent education sessions. direct involvement on a daily basis in the child’s growth should be one of the main reasons for a parent selecting a cooperative nursery school like Crofton. The goal of Crofton Cooperative Nursery School is to make the child’s first learning experience a happy one and seek to develop in him or her a desire for learning that will remain with him or her throughout their life.


Classroom Participation

Your primary responsibility as a member of a cooperative preschool is to serve as a teacher’s aide in your child’s class. We have a Bylaws & Handbook that each member receives at orientation that outlines the specific responsibilities and duties.

Monthly Clean-up

In addition to the daily housekeeping duties, the parents clean the school thoroughly each month. Each member is expected to participate in a deep clean one Saturday morning or Friday evening during the school year.


The purpose of fundraising is to assist the school in meeting its normal expenses, especially in years when enrollment is less than full, and thus maintain our low tuition costs; and to provide funds for the purchase, repair or replacement of major items of equipment, such as playground sets, storage shed, etc. Each member must assist in fundraising activities as designated by the Board.


Members of the school provide refreshments at all parent education meetings. The Hospitality Committee arranges for these by asking for the assistance of different members each time. Members may also be asked to contribute food and drink at any parties or picnics planned for the school.


Each member is required to serve the school either on a committee or as an officer of the school. Committees include Marketing, Health & Safety, Participation, Fundraising, Hospitality, Housekeeping & Assistant roles.

Field Trips

Each parent is obligated to provide or arrange transportation for their child to and from field trips.


For Children

  • All children must be toilet trained.
  • For the three-year old class, the child must be three years old by September 1st. For the four-year old class, the child must be four years old by September 1st for the current school year. Children generally will be placed in a class according to their age and will progress with their classmates through each of the levels of the school. In the event the teacher and/or parent feels that the age-appropriate class is not suitable for a particular child, the president, teacher and parent shall meet to discuss that child’s needs and determine correct placement.
  • The Maryland State health forms for the child must be completed and returned to the Health & Safety Chairperson prior to the start of the school year.

For Parents

  • All parents participating in the classroom must have a doctor sign off on their health via a medical evaluation form.
  • All participating parents are required to submit to a criminal background check. This will be a state and federal FBI check completed through the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) in compliance with Maryland COMAR which satisfies the state requirement for the childcare worker.
  • All participating parents must be up-to-date on CPR and First Aid Certifications.



A typical day’s schedule includes a teacher greeting, circle time, free play, art, story/music, snack, outdoor play (weather permitting) or indoor large muscle play (dance, movement games).

In addition, our classes take several field trips during the school year to local attractions.

  • 3’s Morning
  • $140.00
  • per month
  • Tu & Th
  • 9:30am – 12:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parents
  • 14 students
  • 3’s Afternoon
  • $140.00
  • per month
  • Tu & Th
  • 12:30pm – 3:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parents
  • 14 students
  • 4’s Morning
  • $210.00
  • per month
  • M, W, & F
  • 9:30am – 12:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parents
  • 14 students
  • 4’s Afternoon
  • $210.00
  • per month
  • M, W, & F
  • 12:30pm – 3:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parents
  • 14 students



Crofton Nursery School welcomes all interested families willing to meet our requirements for participation. CNS enrolls a total of 56 children in accordance with state licensing requirements. Preference is given to Current Members* and Associate Members**.  Remaining openings are filled through our Open Houses and annual registration.


How to Apply

Current and Associate Members

New and Prospective Members

  • Registration for members begins in December of the previous school year
  • Members will receive an application from the Membership Chairperson
  • Applications must be returned with the registration fee of $50 in order to hold the child’s place
  • Members can earn referral credits to be applied towards their current tuition fees at $25 per new family registered
  • Several open houses are held January-March for new families
  • A registration fee of $100 must accompany each application and includes a t-shirt, tote bag and welcome letter
  • All classes are filled on a first-come-first-served basis
  • Once open spots are filled, the remaining names will be placed on a waiting list in the order they were received
  • Families on the waiting list will be contacted as spots become available throughout the year
To apply, please click the following to email

Registration Application  //  Registration Guidelines

*Current Members – are individuals who fulfill all of the participation and financial requirements of the school.

**Associate Members – are individuals who, as current members pay a set fee to receive priority registration for the following year. This fee is not refundable and must be received each year prior to the last day of class.  The associate fee is applied to the registration fee upon enrollment in a class.




Meet our Staff


Current Parent Board






Contact Us

DROP US A LINE or CALL 443-292-6625