Rocky Hill Cooperative Nursery School

Welcome to Rocky Hill Cooperative Nursery School!

Since 1959, Rocky Hill Cooperative Nursery School has been a parent-cooperative nursery school where teachers, parents and children work together to provide a rich preschool experience.

RHCNS is a fully certified, non-profit and non-sectarian community for Rocky Hill, Belle Mead, Montgomery, Princeton, Hopewell, Kendall Park, Kingston, Franklin, South Brunswick and surrounding areas.  We are located in the heart of New Jersey’s historic Rocky Hill Borough, in Rocky Hill’s Municipal Building, and have open space and a wonderful playground.

RHCNS is so much more than just a little Nursery School!

We are also a licensed provider of the  Music Together Preschool program, and a member of Parent Cooperative Preschool International.

Our Playhouse

Our Playhouse

Why Choose a Cooperative Preschool?  

Taking part in a cooperative preschool allows you to be directly involved with your child’s early education. Being able to supervise your child, and the teacher, guarantees your child is safe and with the best teachers anywhere. Interacting with a community of other parents who share your commitment to childhood and receiving modeling by the teacher as you help, gives you opportunities to learn alongside your child. Most importantly, choosing a cooperative preschool gives you extra time to bond with your child and create memories together. Your child will always know that education is important in your family because you live it everyday.

- From Parent Cooperative Preschools International

CLICK HERE for our School Brochure


Latest Blog Entries

Mar 01


We had a wonderfully attended Open House on Saturday.  I’m always “on.”  I’m careful to introduce myself to new parents. I try to be respectful of the “brand new” little ones who may or may not want a stranger talking to them. I try to figure out the best way to connect with them (it might be over a truck later in the morning, or showing them our rabbit.)  I make time for current students who have news to tell me.  I try to hold back tears when TALL “alumni” bring their little brothers and sisters and show them around.

Ok, back to the title, what happened AGAIN?    Apparently, when I talk about preschoolers’ education, I get a bit… animated!  I never realize it until I see a grin, and (usually the dad) says, “You’re really passionate about this.”

Huh. Yes I am. I’ve been teaching for over 30 years, have been taking care of babies since I was 12, and have been a parent for almost 27 years now.  I proudly say that my degree IS in  Early Childhood education. I’m also certified as a special education teacher.  I worked hard for my degree, and graduated magna cum laude.  I’ve EARNED this title of TEACHER.

IMG_5124 (A gift from a parent!)

 I’ve seen the “pendulum” shift over the years. What does that mean?  The “right” (popular) way to teach has changed every couple of years. (Mostly in the elementary grades.)  I always appreciated my early childhood degree (I got it in 1980 before it was “smooshed” in with Elementary.)  We learned HOW children learn, not WHAT they learn. I had a wonderful mentor, Renee Bennet, who encouraged us to think out of the box.  Don’t fall back on holidays and other stereotypes.  What do children LOVE? What everyday things can be explored?

We learned Developmentally Appropriate Practice before it had a name.  PROCESS, NOT PRODUCT was the mantra.  What does that mean?  It means children get so much more out of exploring materials than replicating something the teacher precuts ahead of time and tells them where to glue the pieces.


So, when do my hands start flying?  When I talk about how kindergarteners are often treated like first graders, and some preschools think THEY have to become kindergarten. Or their perception of kindergarten.

Children need to play. Children need to explore. They need to get messy. They need to be read to. They need to sing and dance.   Preschoolers do not learn sink or float by doing a worksheet! They learn it by getting wet.  They need to be met at THEIR level, and not what some adults think they SHOULD be doing!

Letters and numbers are used to express or decode someone’s thoughts and experiences.  Before you can write about your experiences, YOU NEED TO HAVE EXPERIENCES!!!!  H might be for hill, but it’s far more important for a child to run down a hill, climb back up the hill, roll down the hill, find a flower on the hill and explore that hill before the H even makes an appearance!   All of those movements and experience stimulate the brain far more than looking a flashcard and saying “H.”

(Ha!  I’ve been typing furiously, I’m sure if I were talking to you in person, I’d be pacing around the room right now!)

At a recent parent meeting, I asked the parents to think about THE most important thing their child needs to learn. I waited, then told them my opinion.

The most important thing for a young child to learn is that s/he is loved. S/he has a warm, supportive family (in whatever shape that takes) that will be there no matter what.  The adults in his/her life may not always like WHAT they do, but they will always love THEM.  Someone whose got their backs.  People to guide them.  Looking at my adult sons, I think the greatest gift we’ve given them is a sense of family. Teachers came and went, they survived the different teaching philosophies, some better than others.  What has not changed is family.


(Daddy the snow monster carries our hero off!)

That’s why I get so passionate about my job. About this school.  Family is a child’s foundation, it makes perfect sense to bring it into school!  Of COURSE mom and dad are involved in school.  Of COURSE Grandpa can read  to the class when he’s visiting from Florida.  We’re a team. School and family.


So go ahead, kiddo! Conquer that hill. Your parents and I are here.

Comments Off
Feb 09

We’re always busy at RHCNS.  We’ve just “closed” our “Rocky Hill Sweet Shop,” which sold hot chocolate, muffins, coffee and cookies.  You could also add pom pom marshmallows if you’d like, and sit in the “cafe” with your laptop!


Bakers, Baristas and Servers, Oh My!

DSC_0093 DSC_0092 DSC_0091 DSC_0090 DSC_0020 DSC_0011 DSC_0003


And Happy Customers!

DSC_0019 DSC_0013 DSC_0012 DSC_0010 DSC_0001

Coming up next, a Post Office!

Comments Off
Jan 28

Come and visit during the first RHCNS Open House  of 2015!

Children and parents are welcome to drop in, play, and visit with our teachers and parents anytime between 10am and 1pm at our classroom, located at 15 Montgomery Avenue in Rocky Hill.

We are now accepting applications for our 3- and 4-day programs.


Comments Off
Oct 26





Picture Day is always fun at RHCNS!



Children get to play while waiting!


Reluctant children are gently encouraged.


Shhh… there’s an ant on the pumpkin!


The ant is very gently placed nearby to be in the photo, too!


I didn’t get the big smile, but the photographer did!


Some are eager to pose.


Siblings are welcome!


Parents can stay to encourage smiles.


A game of Peek-a-boo while baby brother waits his turn!

Comments Off
Oct 26

It’s been a long time since the blog was updated, but again, that’s because the children and school come first!

We’ve been busy this year! Some of the things we’ve been doing:

Apple picking!

DSC_0577 DSC_0613


Real AND pretend!




DSC_0696Reading with a giant bear!

DSC_0933 DSC_0835 DSC_0820Exploring nature and running down our favorite hill!

DSC_0923 DSC_0998

We opened up an vet’s office…

DSC_0894 DSC_0890 DSC_0881

Painting everyday, exploring, measuring, weighing…

DSC_0003 DSC_0977 DSC_0930 DSC_0955 DSC_0758

Pretending, learning, experimenting and having fun!


Did I mentioned our giant “Reading Buddy Bear?”


Comments Off