Preschool Parents’ Associations (Associations de parents du secteur préscolaire)

 

The associations de parents du secteur préscolaire (APPs) are non-profit organizations made up of parent volunteers who manage a pre-kindergarten or an early childhood child care centre, or in some instances, a school child care centre.

 

 

If parents want to transmit French to their children and encourage the development of their Francophone culture and identity, it goes without saying that enrolling them in a French-language preschool program would be a wise choice.


 

Our expertise

 

The Fédération des parents francophones de C.-B. is undoubtedly the cornerstone for the development of Francophone preschool centres and school child care centres in British Columbia. Its mission and direction show a strong commitment to helping parents and also to providing parents with tools and services in French to support them.

The Fédération des parents francophones de C.-B. has a wealth of expertise which we’re more than happy to share. Whether it's to support you in setting up your preschool centre (pre-kindergarten or child care), help you manage it, or optimize the internal functioning of your board, you can call on our expertise.

Contact us for more information: info@fpfcb.bc.ca or 604-736-5056 / 1-800-905-5056 (toll-free).

 


 

Starting and Expanding a Child Care Centre (or Pre-kindergarten)

 

If you have specific needs in your community related to the creation or expansion of French-language child care, remember that the Fédération des parents francophones is the first place to look for help.

The Fédération will explore the options with you to help guide the decisions for your project.

If this is of interest to you, please contact us at 604-736-5056 or toll-free at 1-800-905-5056, or email info@fpfcb.bc.ca.


 

Support and Training, Incorporation, Constitution and Bylaws

 

Support and training for associations de parents du secteur préscolaire

The Fédération des parents francophones offers its member associations assistance, support, and training, according to their needs. Our team can answer any of your questions at any time, or can present a workshop for parents in your association; in particular, we offer workshops on the effective functioning of a parents’ association, its governance, or succession planning for outgoing board members.

A board member from your parents’ association should contact the Fédération des parents to let us know about your interest in receiving training and to outline your needs. Depending on the resources available, a Fédération des parents staff member will provide the appropriate training either remotely or in person at your location.

For more information, email us at info@fpfcb.bc.ca or call 604-736-5056, or call toll-free 1-800-905-5056.

 

Incorporation of an association de parents du secteur préscolaire as a society

When an individual or a group wants to establish a non-profit organization with the goal of starting and managing a child care or pre-kindergarten, we recommend that they start by contacting the Fédération des parents for assistance.

One of the essential steps in setting up a child care centre is to incorporate an organization as a society with BC Registries and Online Services. A duly incorporated society then becomes a legal entity, and that society, governed by the BC Societies Act, has all the powers of an individual and exists independently, separate and distinct from the individuals who are in the society. In addition, the money that this non-profit organization receives must be used exclusively in the pursuit of its objectives.

Once an association is incorporated in its province, its members can decide to register it as a charitable organization. This approach, which is optional, is done separately with the Canada Revenue Agency, and the association must also meet certain conditions for this.

The benefits of incorporation

  • A society has a perpetual existence, which doesn’t depend on the existence of an individual person. A society will exist as long as it meets the requirements of the BC Societies Act.
  • A society can enter into a contract under its incorporated name (i.e. its legal name).
  • Members of a society, in most cases, are not personally liable for the debts incurred by the society if they have exercised due diligence.
  • Certain funding bodies and funding programs require applicants to be incorporated.
  • As an incorporated society, an association de parents du secteur préscolaire may obtain a licence to operate a group child care, a pre-kindergarten, or a school child care.

Constitution and bylaws of an association de parents du secteur préscolaire

The drafting of the constitution and bylaws represents a fundamental step in the incorporation process.

The constitution and bylaws regulate the operation of an entity such as an APP, and they’re essential documents for governing the organization.

A parents' association should also review its constitution and bylaws periodically, in order to update them when necessary. It should be noted that an amendment to the constitution and bylaws must be made through a special resolution, which must be adopted at a members’ meeting in accordance with the process specified in the current existing bylaws of the APP.

The Fédération des parents provides associations du secteur préscolaire with resources and support to draft and update their constitution and bylaws, and to verify that these documents comply with the requirements of the BC Societies Act.


 

Decision-making Structure and Operation

 

In general, the decision-making structure of the parents’ association has three levels: the members' meetings, the board, and the working committees. Each level has its own specific functions and mandates.

 

Members’ Meetings

  • Composition
    • Voting members: parents or guardians of children enrolled in the school
    • Non-voting members: community members (for example: preschool sector, Francophone community associations, etc.)
  • Mission
    • Determine the guidelines and parameters related to the operation of the association
  • Mandate
    • Receive the president’s annual report
    • Ratify the previous year’s financial statements
    • Elect members of the executive
    • Elect parents’ representatives to the school’s partners’ committee
    • Adopt the association’s constitution and bylaws
    • Adopt the action plan and the annual budget
    • Adopt policies governing the operation of the association
    • Adopt recommendations arising from the advisory mandate of the APÉ

 

Board

  • Composition
    • Board members are elected by voting members
  • Mission
    • Carry out the daily management of the association
    • Submit recommendations to the members’ meetings
  • Mandate
    • Ensure that decisions respect the association’s vision, mission, mandate, values, and strategic goals
    • Ensure the implementation of the decisions made at the members’ meetings
    • Verify income and expenses according to established procedures
    • Ensure that the association remains in compliance with the laws that govern it

 

Working Committees

  • Composition
    • People are appointed by the board as needed, as leaders or members of a working committee
  • Mission
    • Carry out projects or activities, implement programs, or offer a service
  • Mandate
    • Determined by the members’ meetings or the board

 


 

Board of an APP: Roles and Responsibilities

 

The board of an association de parents du secteur préscolaire generally includes the following positions: president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and at least one additional member.

In general, board members are responsible for:

  • ensuring that their organization functions properly to provide quality child care to the families they serve.
  • establishing and reviewing the objectives, policies, and procedures related to governing or guiding the program offered in their child care centre.
  • meeting the legal and regulatory requirements of various levels of government: municipal, provincial, and federal.
  • managing the child care centre's finances soundly.

 

 

President

The person in this position has two main roles:

  • Facilitator role: manages parents’ association meetings; helps the association to be more effective and helps members work as a team; ensures that tasks or projects receive proper follow-up
  • Spokesperson role: represents the interests of parents and acts as spokesperson to relevant authorities or agencies

The main responsibilities are:

  • Prepare the agenda for the association’s meetings
  • Chair meetings: ensure that meetings take place in an atmosphere of order and respect, according to rules of conduct and discussion that are recognized and accepted by all
  • Sign the minutes of meetings
  • Ensure the flow of information
  • Delegate tasks and ensure that any necessary follow-ups are carried out
  • Encourage everyone’s participation in decision-making
  •  Coordinate the association’s activities
  • Support the work of subcommittees
  • Provide guidance and training for new board members
  • Verify financial reports
  • Represent the association with various partners in education

 

Vice-president

This is the person designated to lead the association in the absence of the president. It’s preferable that the vice-president not be limited to the role of substitute. Effective work requires a good sharing of tasks between the president and the vice-president.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Work with the president and lighten their workload
  • Assume the duties of the president in their absence
  • As required, be responsible for working subcommittees

 

Treasurer

This person administers the funds of the parents’ association. They are responsible for all financial activities.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Keep the accounts up to date
  • Inform members about the status of income and expenses at the association’s meetings
  • Ensure compliance with the association’s accounting procedures
  • Prepare budget forecasts

 

Secretary

This person is the president’s “right hand” and closest aide.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Write and distribute the meetings notices and agendas to members
  • Write the minutes of the association’s meetings
  • Sign the minutes of meetings
  • Keep official association documents and other relevant documentation (constitution and bylaws, minutes, correspondence, etc.)
  • Write correspondence and official documents

 

Members

The members add value to the board by participating in decision-making. They may also be responsible for a particular file or project.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Participate in board discussions and, if necessary, make recommendations
  • Be responsible for specific tasks, files, or projects
  • If necessary, chair a working subcommittee

 

Documents available (in French): exemple d'ordre du jour (sample agenda) / exemple de procès-verbal (sample minutes)

 


 

Conflict Resolution

 

Young children have the right to a safe environment and a quality preschool education program. Parents, as their child's primary educators, have the right to take part in their child's preschool experience, and to speak to the early childhood educator if there are difficulties. Children, parents, and staff have the right to be respected, informed, and heard.

Even in a climate of respect and mutual aid, problematic or difficult situations can come up. The Fédération des parents can help its member associations with conflict resolution. Contact us to discuss this with a member of our team.

Steps to take

Here is a recommendation for steps to take to facilitate conflict resolution in a preschool setting:

  1. Ask for a meeting with the people involved at the child care centre. Be proactive: don't let the problem get worse and think that it will go away on its own.
  2. Listen carefully to what your child is telling you, if they are able to speak about it. Try to understand the various points of view regarding the circumstances. Do your best to examine the issue in a practical way, with the information you have, without letting your emotions get in the way.
  3. As clearly as possible, identify the situation you are concerned about, and the facts and information that may be missing to be able to see a clearer picture, and start formulating your questions in preparation for your meeting.
  4. Clearly determine the goal of this meeting, after you have gained an understanding of the problem and thought about possible solutions.
  5. During your meeting, listen carefully to what those involved have to say, to fully understand their views. Also, talk about your concerns to the people directly involved -- unless it’s not appropriate, given the context. If necessary, ask questions that will help you clarify the problem, better understand the issues, or help find a solution.
  6. If, during this initial meeting or other meetings, you feel that your questions haven’t been answered or that your concerns haven’t been addressed, contact the immediate supervisor of the staff that were involved, without delay. This supervisor could be the director of the centre or the lead educator, the president of the board managing the child care centre, or some other appropriate person.

 

Contact us to benefit from our personalized services.