The Friendly Forest Parent Cooperative Preschool began with a group of Moms and Tots who met informally in the Anmore Elementary School gym over a 15 year period. Then, when the need for a playground arose, they formed The Belcarra Regional Park Adventure Playground Committee. The parents raised $14,000 and the playground was built. With this successful project under their belts, they began to organize a parent co-operative preschool in February of 1985. After overcoming many hurdles such as funding, land use, acquiring a portable, and hiring staff, the preschool was opened in September 1985. Parent volunteers completed the project.
In 1994, we were very fortunate to have been granted over $120,000 from the Ministry of Education for our building. This project was probably the largest one undertaken by members of our preschool. Once again, our parents and teachers demonstrated sincere devotion and commitment to our preschool and today we are still enjoying a wonderful facility. As many families enjoy the preschool now, were hoping more families will benefit from our preschools experience in the years to come.
Landscaping of our nature playground began in the spring of 1999. In one weekend a group of hardworking parents and teachers planted a secret garden, built a new sand pit structure complete with a roof, laid new sod and built a boat deck over the concrete tunnel.
In 2004, the installation of several additional play structures to our main climbing structure as well as maintaining our naturescape play space was the focus of our major multi-year landscaping plan. In 2007, a new covered sandpit area was created. 2010 brought in an upgrade to our septic system, rebuilding of our covered porch and the addition of more play pieces in our outdoor area. In 2011 we replaced our front entrance gate and in 2012 we were able to replace the preschools flooring with the assistance of a donation from a community donor.
We are a parent co-operative preschool
Friendly Forest Preschool is a PARENT CO-OPERATIVE. This means that ALL PARENTS share duties and are collectively responsible for the operation and administration of all aspects of the preschool. The success and viability of our preschool is contingent on parent participation.
Participating in a parent co-operative preschool can be a very rewarding experience as it allows you greater input into the running and administration of the school and your childs education. Great friendships are made and there is a wonderful sense of community among the parent community. It does, however, require a high level of commitment from parents and each family is asked to consider their ability to commit at the start of the school year and ask the Teachers or the Executive Board if they have any questions or concerns regarding their ability to participate. In 2012, the preschool introduced an opt-out for some parent duties, to provide greater flexibility for families.