Whole of Committee
Recognising the importance of the early years to education, a Preschool Parent Association exists to support the interests of the preschool they represent. Through the roles of President, Treasurer, Secretary, Information or Fundraising Officers and general members the preschool parents work collaboratively with the preschool staff, preschool parents and the School Principal to highlight the needs of, and add value to, the preschool program.
This can occur in many forms such as networking, planning, social, or fundraising activities and providing valuable play resources to the preschool. The aim is to assist where required and add value, through parental involvement and engagement, to the preschool program.
Instead of maintaining a separate incorporated parent association, preschools can opt to provide parent representation via the primary school parent association (P&C). This may take the form of a preschool parent/carer representative to the P&C committee, or a subcommittee of early learning parents (with the potential to include preschool, kindergarten and junior primary parents). This alleviates some of the administrative and financial pressures of running a separate preschool organisation. The primary P&C constitution should have details about subcommittees or may need to be amended.
See our To Do list for committees.
The president is the person who takes the hot seat. A president is required to represent the overall view of the committee in a fair and just manner.
In general presidents and secretaries work closely together to formulate the Agenda and set meeting dates.
During meetings the president's role is to keep members on track as determined by the agenda. It’s also important to keep to time and ensure that a meeting isn’t hijacked by individuals. This role will require some liaisons between the school, preschool staff and preschool parents.
See our advice on running good meetings.
A secretary will help to set meeting dates and circulate agenda items & reports. The secretary also records the minutes of the meetings and circulates them with the members. A record of attendees should also be noted. It is also important to check that actions items have been carried out.
A Treasurer is responsible for keeping the preschools' accounts in good working order. General tasks will include book keeping, payments, lodgements and petty cash. Ideally a treasurer will bring an up to date report along to meeting so that members are able to make informed decisions.
Information or communication officers work with the committee to plan, implement and update the association’s communications. Ensuring that existing information is maintained and up-to-date, new information is circulated to parents and staff with sufficient notice to respond, and incoming enquiries, complaints and suggestions are forwarded according to the associations procedures.
Preschool Parent Associations or Subcommittees often have more than one fundraising officer. This allows them to share the load and remain in touch as preschoolers only attend for half the week. Their role is to determine the scope of fundraising activities required through the year in consultation with Preschool staff and their PPA or P&C subcommittee.
The Fundraising Officers then manage the selected fundraising activities. Appropriate records of these activities need to be kept for both the treasurer and future fundraising officers.
See our resources on fundraising.
General members are encouraged to attend their preschool meetings so that they can contribute to the decision making that occurs within this setting. This is the perfect role for those who are unsure if they would like to take on a formal position but would still like to be involved in the general workings at preschool. General members that cannot attend all meetings can provide feedback to the meeting minutes and submit agenda items based on concerns raised by parents.