We are a parent co-operative preschool

Friendly Forest Preschool is a parent co-operative. This means that all parents take on assigned roles and are collectively responsible for the operation and administration 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, allowing you greater input in to the running and administration of the school and your child’s education. Great friendships are made and there is a wonderful sense of community among families.

Choosing a parent co-operative preschool does require a high level of commitment from parents. Each family is given the opportunity to consider the time they have available to support the day-to-day operations of the school through an annual parent duty as well as partaking in a school clean up and the shared snack program. The minimum volunteer requirement to fulfill parent duties is 15 – 20 hours. Each family is also required to attend the AGM/Orientation meeting in September.  

Parent Participation at Friendly Forest

To balance the workload among the parent community, each family is required to assist in three areas: assuming an annual parent job, completing one clean-up duty per year and participating in snack duty. However, this is your preschool – if you see something needing attention (leaves that need sweeping, an area that needs tidying), take the onus to do it – don’t wait to be asked. Each family is required to share in the work of the school and become actively involved.

Your help is mandatory in the following areas:

  1. Annual Parent Duty: Serving on the Board of Directors or on one of five Committees; and attending any meetings related to your involvement in the Board or Committees as required (averaging 15-20 hours of volunteer time per year).
  2. Clean Up Duty: Completing one clean-up duty per year (3 hours in length) or paying a ‘Clean Up Opt-Out Fee’ in lieu of clean-up duty.
  3. Snack Duty: Each family is required to participate in the “shared snack” program by preparing a snack for their child’s class approximately 4 or 5 times throughout the school year.

Each family is also required to attend the AGM/Orientation meeting in September.

The preschool recognizes that every family’s ability to commit differs. We encourage you to consider your family’s ability to commit at the beginning of the school year and choose a realistic level of participation.

Parent duty roles vary in terms of time commitment and distribution of work. For example, a classroom helper volunteers during school hours and can spread out their days in the class during the school year. Other positions can be completed after school hours and whenever is convenient, but may be more busy during certain times of year.

While we encourage parents to participate in parent duties and feel this allows parents to be engaged in their child’s time at Friendly Forest, you can also elect to ‘opt out’ of their Clean Up Duty in exchange for an ‘opt out fee’. This allows parents to balance their time commitments while still helping the preschool in an equivalent way.

Participating in a parent cooperative preschool can be a very rewarding experience as it allows you greater input into the administration and operation of the school and thereby enhances your child’s education.