Welcome to Crofton Nursery School

A cooperative half-day preschool since 1967.

2024-2025 Enrollment

Registration for the 2024-25 school year is open. Please text us at 443-292-6625 or email us for more information.

We have a few limited spots left in our 3s and 4s classes for next school year and hope to hear from you soon.


Please come and join us for our Summer Open House on Wednesday, July 31st from 5-7PM. We only have a few spots left in our 3s and 4s classes for next school year!

Please contact us at membership.cns@gmail.com if you would like to learn more about joining our wonderful school community.

Interested in finding out more about our school? Watch our Virtual Open House Video!

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 school, parents take on many roles, including that of a teacher. Enrolling your child in a cooperative school increases your appreciation and understanding of your child and makes their first school experience positive.

School Administration

In addition to providing classroom support, member families are vital to the administration and operation of the school. Families participate by being on a committee such as; Curriculum, Fundraising, Health & Safety, Hospitality, Housekeeping, Marketing, Participation, and as Board members. Committee assignments are determined by what is the best fit for the family and school. Each family contributes in their own way to build our community.

Parents in the Classroom

Parents participate as assistant teachers in the classroom by:

  • Assisting the teacher in the execution of the plans for the school day
  • Helping prepare for upcoming class activities
  • Maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the school grounds
  • Interacting with the students during free play times & learning activities

Working with Our Teachers

The educational program is the responsibility of our experienced teachers. Chosen by the school’s Board, the teachers work to provide the best possible educational experience for each student.

The teacher suggests how working parents can be effective on their participation day in the classroom, and helps the parents understand their own student’s learning style during their shared school experience.

A collaborative teacher and parent program builds an enriching first school experience.



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 (CNS) 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.

We consider this school a place for young children to play, grow, and learn to live with others. It is 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 is a place where children can – through experience with wide variety of materials and peers – solve the problems of growing up and relating to others. This school offers an environment where a child can touch, see, play, compare, discard, and accept that which evokes 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 school like CNS. Our goal 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 Volunteering

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, a handbook and a guide for classroom volunteers that each member can review that outlines specific responsibilities and duties.

Monthly Clean-up

In addition to daily housekeeping duties, member families regularily clean the school thoroughly. Each member family is expected to participate in two deep cleans a year.  The deep cleans are scheduled when school isn’t in session.


The purpose of fundraising is to assist the school in providing funds necessary for the purchase, or replacement of major items of equipment, such as tables and chairs, playground equipment, upgrading tools, as well as hosting events for students and their families. Additionally, fundraising is a part of maintaining our non-profit status.

Fundraising is not for the purpose of keeping tuition low. Tuition covers the operating expenses of our school. Each member family must assist in fundraising activities as designated by the Board and Fundraising Chair. Each family is required to participate in fundraising throughout the school year, or chose to pay an “Opt-Out” fee at the beginning of the year.


The Hospitality Committee arranges various gatherings throughout the year. Member families may be asked to contribute food and drink at school parties, or picnics planned for the school; while most families decide to donate their resources, all purchases made for a school activity can be reimbursed.


Each member is required to serve the school either on a committee or as a board member of the school. These committees are: Curriculum, Field Trip, Fundraising, Health & Safety, Hospitality, Housekeeping, Equipment, Communications/Marketing, Participation.

Field Trips

Each family is obligated to provide or arrange transportation for their child to and from field trips, if attending.

Preschooler Painting

For Children

  • All children must be toilet trained.
  • Preschool class- the child must be three-years-old by September 1st of that year.
  • Pre-Kindergarten class- the child must be four years old by September 1st of that year.
    • 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(s) shall meet to discuss that student’s needs to determine the best placement.
  • The Maryland State health forms for the student must be completed and returned to the Health & Safety Chairperson prior to the start of the school year.

For Parents Volunteering in the Classroom

  • Complete the required medical forms from the State of Maryland.
  • Submit to a criminal background check every two years including fingerprinting every five years. This will be a Maryland 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.
  • 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, 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 Program
  • $180.00
  • per month
  • Tuesday & Thursday
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parent volunteers
  • 15 students

  • 4’s Program
  • $350.00
  • per month
  • Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
  • 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • 1 teacher
  • 2 parent volunteers
  • 15 students




Crofton Nursery School welcomes all interested families. Admissions preference is given to current members and then alumni families. Remaining openings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Prospective members are encouraged to attend our Open House events or schedule a tour.  

How to Apply

    Current and Associate Members

      New and Prospective Members

  • Registration for current members begins in December of the previous school year
  • Members will receive an application from the VP of Membership
  • Applications must be returned with the registration fee in order to hold the student’s place
  • Open houses and tours are available throughout the year for interested families
  • Submit the enrollment form to the VP of Membership with the registration fee
  • Each admitted student receives a t-shirt, tote bag, and will be mailed a welcome letter from their teacher
  • All classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Once classes are full, remaining families will be placed on a waitlist and will be contacted as openings are available throughout the year
To apply, please email your Enrollment Form here: membership.cns@gmail.com




Meet our Staff



Board 2024- 2025

Katie O’Keefe, VP of Membership

Jessica Cruff, 1st VP of Health & Safety + Licensing

Jessie Tuveson, Secretary

Eric Siegfried, Treasurer

Jody Balter, Assistant Treasurer