Parent Participation

“Parenting is not a technique, it’s a relationship”

A Parent Participation Preschool is a community. It brings together a group of parents, children and educators to create a top-notch learning environment.

How It Works

Family involvement ranges from orientation, monthly meetings and parent education sessions to cleaning days, fundraising and community activities.

#1: Doing Duty

Parents support the teacher in the classroom 1-2 times per month. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make memories with your child and learn from the other parents and teachers.

#2: Attend monthly meetings and parent education nights

We hold monthly parent education talks by early childhood experts and general meetings to discuss preschool business. It gives you a chance to reflect on your parenting skills and a night out from the kids!

#3: Assigned a job

Each family is assigned a job to help the running of the preschool. It allows you to get to know your fellow parents and make a real impact in your child’s school.

The Benefits

You get back everything you put in through the strength of the relationships that you build at a PPP.  You will learn so much through your time in the classroom and the parent education seminars. And it’s a pleasure to witness an amazing group of three- and four-year olds flourish, develop, laugh, cry and literally grow-up in front of your eyes.

Here’s just a few reasons you should consider a parent participation preschool:

  • You’ll make memories with your child that will last a lifetime
  • Your child will make his/her first buddies — cared and supported not only by teachers but also by the other parents on their duty days.
  • You’ll learn valuable parenting skills from our monthly parent education speakers
  • You and your child will make friends within a network of involved and committed families. This sense of community is fostered and strengthened through involvement within the school.

While there is little doubt there is a time commitment involved in belonging to a PPP, the rewards both within and beyond the classroom are immediate and long-lasting for children and their parents.

“When we moved to Lynn Valley, I did my research when looking for a preschool for my children. Only LVPPP promised (and delivered!) a sense of community that I found valuable not only for my little ones, but for myself. The connections made between parents during duty days, meetings, social events, and before/after class are some of the benefits of the parent participation model. I was worried I would feel isolated in a new neighbourhood. Instead, I found myself running into friends at the park and in the Village. Friendships my children and I have made at LVPPP will only continue to thrive as we move forward into elementary school on the North Shore.”

— The Collings Family


How much time is required to participate?

You can expect to spend a few hours a month (2-3 hours) on your preschool job and have one or two duty days a month. In addition, you’re expected to attend the monthly evening parent education talks and general meeting as well as assist at several fundraisers and fun events throughout the year. You can see a more detailed break down of parent involvement and requirements here:

Can working parents be involved?

Of course! We have many families where both parents work outside the home. You just need to find a way to schedule work and duty days. Sometimes it helps for both parents to share duty days or even have other caregivers (such as grandparents) assist sometimes.  The parent who creates the duty schedule will take into account preferences (example: only being on duty on Mondays).

Can both parents assist with duty days?  What about my nanny/grandparent etc.?

Yes, both parents can assist with duty days, as can a nanny or grandparent.  However, each adult who participates in the classroom as a duty parent must complete the Orientation (10 hours), attend monthly Parent Education Seminars and General Meetings, and complete all the relevant Registration documents (Dr’s note, Criminal Record Check, etc.).  Because of these requirements, most families choose one adult (ex: Mom or Dad) to be the ‘duty parent’.  However, there are many ways for the other parent to participate in the child’s preschool experience, including assisting with the ‘job’, attending Parent Education Seminars and General Meetings, and assisting with fundraising efforts or school projects etc.

Can I bring my younger child with me on duty days?

No, the preschool is not insured for any additional children other than those enrolled.  However, parents are often willing to help each other out by looking after each others’ younger ones on duty days through babysitting swaps.

What kind of jobs do parents do?

Parents help with the running of the preschool. Jobs range from accounting, fundraising and social coordination through to repairs and maintenance on our building. We try to match jobs with each family’s unique skills. See a full list of our jobs and their descriptions here:

What happens if I miss a Parent Education seminar or meeting?

If a ‘duty parent’ misses a Parent Education seminar, he/she must complete an ‘Alternate Parent Ed’.  This may consist of reading a book, watching a DVD, or attending another parenting seminar and submitting a summary to the Parent Education Coordinator.  The ‘duty parent’ may only miss 2 seminars per school year.  If a ‘duty parent’ misses a meeting, he/she must read and sign the minutes from the meeting.  Only 2 meetings can be missed per school year.

What happens if I can’t make it on one of my scheduled ‘duty days’?

If you cannot make a ‘duty day’, you are responsible for finding another duty parent to cover for you.  In general, it is quite easy to switch a day with another parent.  At the beginning of the year, we circulate a list of parents who would be willing to fill in on short notice for last minute switches/coverage.

I have a newborn infant.  What do I do about ‘duty days’ and meetings etc.?

The school allows a period of maternity leave during which a ‘duty parent’ is exempt from preschool responsibilities.  This period is usually 2 months.  After that period, the ‘duty parent’ must find childcare for the baby during preschool hours.  However, you are more than welcome to bring your nursing infant to Parent Education Seminars and General Meetings (or other special events at the preschool).

How are the jobs assigned?

In the spring, once the next year’s class list has been settled, a committee from Executive (usually the Enrolment Chair, Enrolment Assistant, a Vice President, Personnel Chair) meets to assign jobs for the upcoming year.  Effort is made to assign jobs based on each parent’s preference and skills as indicated in the Registration Package.  If none of your preferences can be met, we will contact you to discuss all available options.

I’m concerned my child will have trouble being away from me.  Can I stay with him/her?

Both the 3’s and 4’s classes have a gradual entry schedule that helps children adjust.  Our teachers recognize that every child/family is different and parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns with them.  The teachers will work with you to ensure your child’s transition to preschool is a positive one, and we have no strict policies regarding having a parent stay with their child if that’s what’s best for the family.

My child has a developmental/physical disability, or behaviour problem.  What resources are available to help us?

Our program is inclusive of everyone.  We work closely with Supported Child Development and have resources for families to draw upon including support workers as well as a bursary program. If you have a child with special needs, please let us know when you register and we will help connect you with our teacher who has the resources to answer your questions and assist you in acquiring the right support for your child.

What is the policy for sick children?

The specific policy is outlined in our Parent Manual, which you will receive upon Registration.  We ask that sick children stay home if they are lethargic, febrile, have yellow or green nasal discharge, are having vomiting or diarrhea, or are infectious to other children in any way.  Children can return to school once vomiting/diarrhea have resolved for at least 48 hours, or the fever has resolved for at least 24 hours without medication.

Does my child need to be toilet trained?

No.  Our school recognizes that each develops at his/her own pace.

What does my child need to bring to preschool?

We spend a lot of time outside, so dress your child for whatever weather the day brings!  Dress your child in clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained (‘play clothes’).   Children should also have:

  • A FULL set of spare clothes in their cubby, including socks and underwear
  • A pair of indoor shoes your child can leave at school
  • A bike helmet so that your child can use the preschool bikes
  • Remember to bring a snack for your child, and yourself if you are on duty

What type of snack should I pack for my child?

We encourage healthy eating habits at preschool, as well as environmentally friendly snacks.  Water is available at school, and juice or other beverages are discouraged.  If there is a student with a life-threatening food allergy (ex: peanuts), that food may be banned in any given school year.

  • Please pack your child’s snack in a small bag/lunch box, labelled with your child’s name.
  • If possible, use reusable containers.
  • Sending containers that your child can manage by him/herself is helpful to the adults, and confidence boosting for the child.