About us

The Sherman Oaks Cooperative Nursery School provides a developmentally appropriate program, individualized to each child’s needs. Our program promotes social, emotional, language, intellectual and physical development within an early childhood environment. We emphasize positive communication and the use of problem solving tools. Our goal is to build a foundation to support social and intellectual competence both at school and at home.

For the child

  • A safe, caring environment
  • Curiosity and exploration are encouraged
  • Self-esteem is enhanced
  • Students play and socialize with children and adults in a 1:4 adult to student setting
  • Assistance with transition from home to school environment
  • Learn at a developmentally appropriate rate

For the parent

  • Opportunity to increase understanding of children
  • Place to learn and teach
  • Supportive atmosphere where experiences are shared with other parents
  • A voice in the school’s decisions and policy making


The Sherman Oaks Cooperative Nursery School opened in 1955, moved to various locations within Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks park buildings, and ultimately settled in its current outdoor location in 2006, forfeiting its license as a result. Since then, the hard work of SOCNS families has transformed an empty outdoor lot into a beautiful and unique outdoor school.  

In the fall of 2013, the Department of Social Services visited SOCNS and determined that our all-outdoor program did not meet state regulations for a childcare facility and we were faced with two choices: we could continue an outdoor program as long as we made modifications that included cutting class enrollment from 24 students to 12; or, we could regain licensure and continue our program at full enrollment by installing indoor space to include two additional restrooms, plumbing, and electricity. Through the extraordinary efforts of some key individuals, and the dedication of Teacher Tammy and our families, we operated on an altered schedule and ultimately navigated the system back to full licensure. Through these same efforts, we were able to procure support from government and park officials (read letters of support here), ultimately allowing us to move forward with our proposal to install a classroom (see a classroom plan here)!