I fully admit it.
We belong to a co-op pre-school, the second since our move up north. After the marvelousness that was Central Coast Montessori, I've been disappointed at every turn. Where I want the kids to go and what would be best for them is unaffordable, so I believed that a parent-participation school would be the next to best option.
It's glorified babysitting, where one doesn't even get to set the parameters for behavior. Try parenting fourteen other kids, who won't listen to appropriately requested redirection, either because they're not used to being told what to do (albeit quite nicely) or they're used to someone yelling at them to get them to do something. Or, they just don't want to listen because I'm not their mama. Whichever it is, or if it's an entirely different reason, I find it exceedingly frustrating. I'm all for kids playing and exploring, getting messy and being kids, but in a group, there needs to be some guidelines for behavior. There are some really wonderful kids there, and some really cool parents (funny how the parents I'm drawn to match up with the mellow kids) so it's not a compete wash. I'm sure there may be some co-ops where this doesn't happen and our previous one was light-years ahead of this one, which is frightening, but I will forever think of this type of school as run-around-and-do-whatever-the-hell-you-want preschool.