New Parents

Getting Started?

You’ve received your acceptance letter to AUCP. Congratulations! Now what’s next?

  • One month’s tuition* must be paid as a deposit to be credited to the last month’s (May 2022) tuition. Please submit a check (payable to AUCP) for your May 2022 tuition payment, along with a one-time $120 family registration fee (includes cost of central registry and criminal history searches for each co-oping parent) and a signed copy of the Family Roles and Responsibilities Form.
  • Please scan and send completed forms to our membership team at or contact us to make other arrangements. Fees may be paid via PayPal at the following link
  • Please note that these funds are only refundable if you request a refund by April 30, and we are able to fill your spot. For the 2021-2022 school year, we’re extending the deadline to August 1.

*Please see your AUCP acceptance letter for your regular monthly tuition amount. Additional details can also be found on the Tuition page.

Next Steps: Spring/Summer

  • Required Forms: Upon acceptance, you will receive additional details in the spring regarding required enrollment forms and deadlines.  You may also visit the Required Forms page for more information.
  • Committee Assignment: As part of the packet of forms you receive, you will receive a Committee Selection Form where you can highlight your interests and skills, and also list your preferences among available committees.
  • Building & Grounds Assignments: Over the summer, you will receive information about signing up for B&G events throughout the school year to fulfill your B&G hours. From playground clean-up to classroom work parties to miscellaneous jobs around the school, there are many opportunities to fit everyone’s skills and schedule.
  • Co-op Schedule Input: Look for an email from our master co-op scheduler over the summer asking for any preferences and/or constraints on your co-op availability, so the full year co-op schedule can be developed before school starts in September. If your schedule changes, you can always swap dates later (you will learn more on that during New Parent Orientation).
  • AUCP Listserv: Over the summer, you will be added to the AUCP Announcements listserv. These email communications are one of the main ways AUCP families stay informed about upcoming events and key information. (Note: You will also have the option to join our AUCP Community listserv, for more informal communication between AUCP families and alumni.)
  • Summer Playdates: AUCP hosts informal weekly summer play dates at AUCP and local playgrounds from 10:00am-Noon, beginning in July. Stay tuned for the summer playdate schedule, look for emails from the AUCP Announcements listserv with any updates.
  • Buddy Families: You will also be assigned an AUCP Buddy Family who will reach out to you over the summer. You can go to your Buddy Family with any questions before school starts.

Key Information & Dates

Mark Your Calendar: Please see AUCP’s Master Calendar for important dates this school year.

You can also find the AUCP school calendar, including all of the key dates for the school year, by clicking here:

AUCP Master Calendar of Events

Classroom Support: In late August, you can expect to hear from your classroom Room Support Parent with more information about your child’s class, teacher, class playdates, allergies, and more.


If this feels like a lot of information to digest, don’t worry! There are lots of people to help you along the way. New Parent Orientation will be invaluable for learning more, and you can always reach out to your AUCP Buddy Family. You will have their contact info by June. They are eager to help in any way, or can point you to the right people who can. Note: Over the summer, the AUCP office voicemail box is checked only periodically.

In the meantime, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the preschool affiliated with the church?

A: No. While we have a great relationship with the church, the preschool is not affiliated with the church and does not have any religious preferences or affiliations. Long-standing church members (not relatives of church members) are given some preference in membership applications, as a courtesy to the church.

Q: What are these committees about, and do I need to be part of one?

A: Yes! Since AUCP is a cooperative preschool, families play a significant role at the school. So every family is assigned to a committee (based on your preferences), and either one or both parents can help out. Roles vary, so you can find something that fits your lifestyle, whether helping out with social functions, maintaining the school and grounds, or filling a more independent role where you may be able to work on your own time. The best part is that your committee role can be a lot of fun, and yet another way to build community and relationships.

You will learn more once you receive the Committee Selection Questionnaire in early summer (via email), where you can read through the various options and get a feel for what most interests you. Keep in mind that we do our best to match your preferences with the available roles and needs of the community.

Q: What exactly is my Building & Grounds (B&G) commitment?

A: Because we are a co-operative preschool, we all help with the up-keep of the classrooms, the playground, etc. Every family is responsible to contribute some of their time and labor to help keep the preschool a safe and fun place for our children to play and learn. The number of B&G credits (hours) your family owes depends on the number of children you have enrolled in the preschool. See the Parent Responsibilities page for specifics.

You can earn B&G credit at scheduled events, aka “work parties”, or through participation in other activities on a more flexible schedule. Work parties are group events such as classroom cleaning or playground/garden maintenance. Other B&G opportunities come up from time to time, such as general repairs, administrative activities, leaf raking, snow shoveling, and you can sign up to be notified when they become available.

Either parent can participate to earn B&G credit, so it can be an opportunity for non-cooping parents to get to know the school and other parents.

Q: What do I do with my child(ren) when I am setting up and cleaning up on my co-oping days?

A: On your assigned co-oping days, you are expected to arrive by 9:00am (8:45am for the Panda class), and stay until 1:00pm (or until clean-up is complete). You can bring your child(ren) with you in the morning. After school, your child(ren) can stay with you in the room & look at books while you clean up, or frequently other parents will volunteer to take your child to the playground, activity room, or library to play.

On days you are not co-oping, you can offer to repay the favor by offering to watch other children while their parents clean up. The beauty of a co-op is being able to help one another out, and the kids love the extra playtime!

Q: How are allergies handled at AUCP?

A: We collect allergy information on the registration form all families complete each year, and pass that information onto the Teachers and Room Support Parents. Allergy information is communicated to individual classrooms before the start of the year and is posted on the snack list outside the classroom.

If your child requires an epi-pen, please indicate on your registration form, and also make sure to contact the Director or Assistant Director. You will need an additional form signed by your doctor before the start of school. (See the Forms page to download the required forms.)

Q: How does snack work at AUCP?

A: Every day, each of the classes sit down together for snack time. When it is your turn to serve as the snack parent when you co-op, you are responsible for bringing a nutritious snack for the class (water is provided). Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, cheese, crackers, peanut butter, or other nutritional snacks are strongly encouraged (always taking into account any allergies within the class). Your Room Support Parent will also have lots of good ideas. (Note: Pandas always bring their own snacks.)

We use non-disposable plates and cups to help conserve waste, and at the end of the day, the co-opers load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher so they are ready for use the next day.

Q: What about lunch?

A: Each class has lunch at approximately 12:00 Noon in the classroom. Every student brings his or her own lunch. We do not have refrigeration, so feel free to pack an ice pack in your child’s lunchbox for items you would like to stay cold.

Q: What do I do about nursing and/or bottles for my Panda?

A: If you are nursing, you are welcome to nurse your Panda at a convenient time during the school day. Please work with your teacher on the best schedule. There are a number of private spaces you can use.

Please feel free to send in bottles of formula or milk as needed for your Panda. If needed, we can warm bottles using the microwave and/or hot water.

Q: What if my Panda needs a nap?

A: Your teacher will work with you on what works best for your child. Often, a nice stroller ride during outside play time can let your Panda get the sleep they need. Or parking the stroller (or even your own stroller if you prefer) in a quiet corner of the classroom works too. We also have a crib in the classroom if that works better.

Q: Where can I go for my Tuberculosis Screening

A: Here is a list of TB screening locations:

Arlington Co. Public Health Dept., 2100 Washington Blvd, 703-228-1300 (walk-in, Tues 3-6:30pm, Wed 9-12:30pm, Fri 7:30-11am)

Alexandria Health Dept., 4480 King Street, 703-746-4960 (walk-in Monday 8-11am and 2-6pm; appointment only Tues & Wed 8-11am and 1-3:30pm, Fri 8-11am

Fairfax Co. Health Dept., 7611 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, 703-534-8343 (walk-in, Mon & Wed 8am- 12:30pm/Tues 10am-2pm, or by appointment daily 8am-4:30pm)

Fairfax Co. Health Dept., 3750 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax City, 703-246-7100 (walk-in, Mon & Tues 8-12:30pm/Wed 10-2pm, or by appointment daily 8am-4:30pm)

Target Minute clinic and CVS pharmacy locations may do assessments as well for a fee; clinic hours vary