Our school is a member of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association (VICPA).
All VICPA preschools are parent-operated. The preschools are administered and maintained by the parents on a non-profit, non-sectarian, inter-cultural basis.
Under the guidance of a qualified Early Childhood Educator (ECE) parents assist in the classroom. Parent participation preschools promote direct involvement of parents. This makes for a unique educational family experience.
Parent participation provides:
- time to observe your child interacting with a consistent group of their peers;
- guidance of a qualified ECE as role model and resource on child development;
- the opportunity to meet, socialize, and work cooperatively with a diverse group of parents from the community;
- emotional and practical support in parenting from other parents;
- free access to monthly parent education sessions featuring topics of interest to you;
- a chance to contribute existing skills and develop new ones.
The co-op approach is the most wonderful opportunity to have a hands-on, involved role in your child’s first school experience.
- Co-op trains parents to act as the teaching assistants (duty parents), to provide better adult:child ratios.
- Every duty parent must complete the 10 hour initial orientation and the one and a half hour education requirement every month to meet the licensing criteria to be a duty parent.
- Duty parents get to spend 1-2 days a month (1 day every 3 weeks in order to get discounted pricing) in the classroom assisting the ECE in the classroom.
- Apart from the pedagogy and curriculum (in which parents do not have a say), parents run the school and have a say in the business operations of the school.
- Families work together closely, so you really get to know the children and families that attend the school.
- We run a variety of fundraisers over the year to meet the annual financial needs of the school.
- Best of all, you get to be with your child. You can see how they play, what they enjoy doing, how they interact with others, and how they learn.
Parent participation varies. As such, our fees have 2 tiers: full participation and partial participation. Please find more information on our monthly fees here.
Parents are required to:
- attend a monthly general meeting (approx. 1 hour in length);
- participate in all fundraising events (3-5 per year) or pay an opt-out fee, determined at the beginning of each school year;
- complete the weekly set up/put away of the classroom (approx. once per month);
- participate in 1 master clean (there are 3 per year, approx. 2 hours each);
- fulfil either an executive role, or, a member-at-large general duty job (see ‘Parent Jobs’ below for more information); and
- pay all required fees on time.
In addition to the above duties, parents are required to:
- assist in the classroom as a Duty Parent (1 to 2 times per month);
- complete 10 hours of pre-arranged orientation sessions with other parents and the ECE (completed within a month of your start date); and
- attend monthly parent education sessions (approx. 1-1.5 hours, usually directly following the monthly general meeting)
Our monthly parent education is outstanding! We bring in pediatricians, child psychologists, speech pathologists, nutritionists, experts in early childhood literacy, numeracy, health, and more.
Each family is responsible for fulfilling a job over the course of the year. Please refer to the list of parent jobs and their outlines for more information.