Frequently Asked Questions

Philosophy

What is a Playgroup?

We do not offer full time (5 day per week) care and are not a licensed daycare facility. Hoyne Street Playgroup (HSPG) is a non-profit, childcare cooperative (Co-Op). That means that parents run every administrative aspect of Playgroup while our hired teachers provide daily care for the children. This model allows us to keep our childcare cost accessible and provide input and care into our children’s childcare experience while building a rich community with Playgroup families. We operate as a group of parents who have come together to share the responsibility and cost of care for our children. Think of Playgroup as a nanny share with a permanent location.

We find families that thrive at Playgroup are those who want to see their children engaged with other kids and experiencing social / emotional growth, but who can occasionally step away from their work days if needed to support Playgroup operations and programming.

Why play-based care? What about Academics?

It is scientifically proven that children learn best (and truly, all people) through following a natural interest and engaging in it – also known as Play. For children to learn well through play, the environment needs to be rich in interesting stimuli that are developmentally appropriate.

The caregivers (and many families) are tuned into this and provide a diverse, incredibly thoughtful, engaging, and rich environment to meet the children where they are at and to scaffold upon. While children learn best through play, it must happen in an environment that is relationship based. This is the foundation of Playgroup. From parent’s relationships to teachers, to parent’s relationships amongst each other- the structure of our program itself allows for those relationships to build and flourish.

What is your caregiver philosophy?

HSPG’s cooperative hires thoughtful, caring, compassionate and knowledgeable caregivers who work cohesively as a team to provide the best possible care. They work with us in all aspects of care, and maintain a bridge of Playgroup philosophy as families join and leave Playgroup.

Our teachers use and model gentle, respectful parenting care and language when working with our kids. We find kids thrive at Playgroup when the language, expectations, and behavior modeling at home is similar to that at Playgroup. 

Many of our caregivers are creative and have deep experience in the arts, so our children’s days are naturally full of arts enrichment. For all our teachers, there is a heavy focus on social-emotional development, which children need as the foundation for learning any other “academic” skill.

How much time do children spend outside?

Outdoor play happens as often as possible (we are outside for play periods any day that is warmer than 20-25 degrees) both in our outdoor garden and play space, and on trips to nearby parks. We ask that all families make a commitment to sending their children to Playgroup in appropriate outdoor gear and ready for a day with outside play. We are happy to share a list of recommended gear and dressing for all weather and have a “community gear bin” should any of our friends forget their mittens. 

Logistics

When is Playgroup open?

Playgroup is open Monday – Thursday1, 8:30 – 5pm, year around. Playgroup is closed for 8 major holidays : New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. We also may vote to close when our group has especially low enrollment (typically the week between Christmas and New Years).

How many days a week can my child attend?

Children currently attend 2 or 3 days per week, with the option to add a 4th day as enrollment, capacity and child readiness allows.

How many children attend Playgroup?

Playgroup has space for up to ten children per day. Up to 5/10 of those children can be in diapers.

What is your daily rate? Do you offer half days?

Playgoup’s current rate is $70/day; this rate is dependent on multiple factors and can be changed by a consensus vote by the parents.

Playgroup calculates rates based on a daily rate. We have limited availability for morning only half day slots (8:30-12) billed at the same daily rate.

What is your caregiver to child ratio?

Currently, we have two teachers each for full day shifts and one midday teacher. Parents occasionally fill in for Caregiver shifts depending on the circumstances of playgroup. Playgroup currently employs 5 part-time caregivers.

What is the expected Parent Commitment?

As part of the trade-off for affordable, high quality, and community centered childcare, our Co-Op asks that all families make a commitment to volunteering their time and energy to the administration, enrollment and success of Playgroup. The expected volunteer commitment per family varies depending on the role within the co-op selected by the family and the number of families participating in the co-op. All families are expected to:

  • Hold a board and/or coordinator position
    • Four officer positions rotated on an annual basis:
      • President
      • Secretary
      • Treasurer
      • Teacher Liaison 
    • Four coordinator positions, rotated on a 6 month basis:
      • Substitute Coordinator
      • Social Media & Enrollment
      • Safety, Facilities, and Supplies
      • Programming
  • Attend Parent Meetings (One evening every 4 weeks on Tuesdays)
  • Participate on committees (Fundraising, Finance, Hiring, Enrollment)
  • Support programming by attending field trips and/or visiting the Playgroup space to share programming with the kids 2-3 times per year, per family.
  • Volunteer at HSPG during the day as a sub as-needed to cover for teacher outages, when substitute care givers are not available. Families should expect to be available to volunteer during the day at least 1-3+ times per year for partial day (2-3 hour) shifts. 
  • Volunteer at the Bi-annual Cleanup (2-3 hours on a designated weekend – once in the spring and once in the fall) 
What about missed days / make-up days?

HSPG offers families make-up days for your child to attend Playgroup should you miss your regularly scheduled day due to illness or travel. Make-up days can only be used for days that have already been paid for, and are not tuition free days – you must miss a day before you can use a makeup day. The spirit of make-up days is for families to be able to add an ad-hoc, occasional day to their childcare schedule as our attendance allows. Families may not use make-up days to regularly supplement an additional day for their child. There is an accrual process for make-up days.

Where are you located?

We are conveniently located in the heart of Logan Square near the intersection of Central Park and Wrightwood Ave.

  1. With sufficient enrollment, HSPG parents can vote to extend to five days per week. ↩︎