At NFIP, parents and families of children enrolled in the program play a very important role in the school.
When your child joins the classroom, you will also join the school — parents become members of the board of directors, in-class volunteers, class-clean volunteers, play dough makers, field-trip chaperones, fundraisers and more.
Along with the only paid staff member — the teacher — and the other NFIP parents, you will be taking part in the decision-making and day-to-day operations of the school.
Is this more work than regular nursery and preschools? Yes. There are monthly board meetings to attend, administrative forms to fill out and bills to pay, and times when you will need to re-arrange work schedules and childcare for siblings to volunteer in class or on field trips. Some days, school will not end for you when the bell rings — you might have to cut out art projects at home in the evenings, make posters for upcoming fundraisers or help clean the classroom every few months.
But despite the added work, the benefits to this cooperative model are many, as 20 years of NFIP families can tell you:
- your child will get the benefit of what you put in to the program: your ideas, your energy, your enthusiasm!
- you contribute ideas to the program that delight your child, as only you can know: field trips, monthly themes and curriculum are all parts of the program parents can contribute ideas to.
- you’ll get to see your child in class, interacting with other children and their teacher, and develop a deep appreciation and understanding of their learning style and behaviour.
- you will develop an open and engaging relationship with the teacher, and build a strong foundation of parent-teacher communication and involvement in your child’s education.
- you’ll gain insight and appreciation for early childhood educators and the education process, in addition to the process of French Immersion.
- you and your child will get to know all the other families involved with the school, and your family will enjoy the benefits of having a community of support and friendship that could last right through high school.
- the costs are lower, as you will pay less tuition than a private preschool by putting in volunteering and fundraising hours instead.
This type of school doesn’t work for every family, and you’ll have to carefully consider your choices with the time you have available.
But if it works for your family, we know you’ll be pleased with the rewards of being closely involved in your child’s first experience with school at NFIP.