The University Parents Nursery School (UPNS) is a cooperative school that cares for the children (aged 2-5) of UCLA students, staff and faculty. As a cooperative school, UPNS is run by its members, who contribute to the smooth operation of the school.

UPNS employs a qualified and caring staff of early child care educators, and offers morning, afternoon, and full day programs.  The school stresses balance in the formulation of its programs, between individual and group experiences, free play and structured activity, and small and large muscle development.  Freedom is stressed, but always within the limits imposed by concern for the group.  Activities include arts and crafts, storytelling, music and rhythms, games, sand and water play, clay and playdough, cooking, nutrition education, and a wide variety of outdoor play.

UPNS has four classes: the Kitten room, for 2-year-olds; the Kangaroo room, for 3-year-olds; and the Dolphin room, for 4-year-olds. There are approximately 15-20 children in each classroom.


The University Parents Nursery School mission is to encourage developmental learning and nurture physical, intellectual, social and emotional growth in two- to five-year old children.  As a cooperative school, we encourage parents to take an active role in their children’s learning and provide a bridge between home and the outside world. Our qualified teachers prepare children for their future by providing a warm and supportive learning environment that respects the diversity of the school’s international and multicultural population.


As a part of their membership, each family must co-op in the classroom twice per month for a total of 8 hours (two 4-hour sessions—families with more than one enrolled child must perform one additional co-op per month for each additional child).  During their co-op time, parents assist the teachers in the classroom by facilitating activities, helping with the set-up of the environment, and performing light housekeeping tasks.  Co-oping is mandatory for all UPNS members, as it is essential for maintaining the proper adult-child ratio.  Members can co-op on any day that their child normally attends school during the morning session (8:30 am-12:30 pm).

In addition to co-oping in the classroom, each member is responsible for participating in Quarterly Saturday Cleaning Days.  During the Cleaning Days (8:00 am–11:00 am), members clean the school inside and out. This includes cleaning toys, bathrooms, kitchens, play areas, walls, windows, doors, rugs, outdoor play areas, etc.  Parents may also perform small repairs, paint, clean, organize, etc. Cleaning Days are an essential part of maintaining the school facilities. By using parent power, UPNS is able to keep maintenance costs down, which also helps keep tuition at its present level. 

All members are required to attend General Meetings, which are held once a quarter.

All members are required to participate in Fundraising Activities in order to raise a minimum of $200 per year per enrolled child by participating in a variety of fundraising activities. On our Family Fun day event we will automatically charged for ten, $5 raffle tickets (a total of $50) on your April tuition bill. It will be my responsibility to sell these 10 tickets to friends/family/etc. Parent’s must donate two silent auction items for Family Fun Day and must sign up for a MINIMUM of one, one hour booth shift on the day of Family Fun Day (unless I am a Family Fun Day Committee Head).


In 1966, a group of families living in UCLA Family Student Housing recognized a need for a nursery school to serve UCLA students, staff and faculty. These families organized the UCLA Co-operative Nursery School in May of that year. They contacted UCLA officials, who agreed to convert part of a warehouse located within the housing complex into the nursery school facility. In addition, the yard was to be fenced, landscaped and dotted with sand areas.

Local merchants donated many of the interior furnishings and toys, and members sorted, mended, painted and built the rest of the equipment. The school officially opened September 19, 1966 with 55 children and 46 families enrolled. Later, for legal reasons, the name was changed to University Parents Nursery School.

In August of 1996, UPNS moved to its current facilities.

We are a registered organization under the sponsorship of the Dean of Residential Life. Our school is self-supporting with income derived from tuition fees and monies earned through various fundraisers. We pay a nominal rent to the University, but ordinarily we receive no other financial support. The school is tax-exempt and a non-profit 501 9(c)(3) organization. We can solicit donations on a tax-deductible basis.

In August of 1998, UPNS received accreditation from the National Academy for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


University Parents Nursery School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran. UPNS policy also prohibits sexual harassment. This non-discrimination policy covers employment as well as admission and access to UPNS programs and activities.


Form 1023 Exemption Application and Form 990 Returns are available upon request in the UPNS office.

Click here to download Form 4653.

We are so pleased to share that UPNS celebrated 50 Years in 2016.