Rancho Co-op Nursery School

Where Children and Families Grow Together

A non-profit organization dedicated to seeing the preschool child blossom and the family bloom.

In collaboration with LARAP

Rancho Co-op Nursery School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.


Cynthia Alphenaar has been involved with Rancho Co-op Nursery School for nearly 20 years. She first came to RCNS as a parent with her two daughters in 2000, and Cynthia was hired  as Teacher/Director in 2004. Cynthia earned her bachelors degree in English Literature from California State University Northridge and began working with young children in 1994. At that time, she was a partner in a home day care business. After discovering Rancho for her own children, she was inspired to pursue an advanced degree in Early Childhood Education. Cynthia thrives on discovering the uniqueness of each child, meaningful engagement with RCNS families, and is a champion of play-based education. 

Cynthia continues her growth as a teacher and preschool director, studying experts in the field of child development, such as Wendy Mogel, Daniel Siegel, Tina Bryson and Alfie Kohn. She also enriches her knowledge by attending California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS) sponsored conventions and community-based early education seminars. Cynthia believes that observation of children at play affords the greatest education of all.

Cynthia has seen the benefits of a play-based preschool education in her own children and is a firm believer that Rancho Co-op Nursery helps young children to move through life at their own pace and truly enjoy the magic of childhood.

Suggested Reading:

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Becoming the Parent You Want To Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years
By Laura Davis

The Whole Brain Child 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive
By Daniel J. Siegel

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too
By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
By Alfie Kohn

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent’s Guide
By Lucy Calkins

Parenting From The Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive
By Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartznell

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
By Richard Louv