WHY VOLUNTEER TO BE A COMMITTEE MEMBER?
Research shows clear benefits for children when parents become actively involved in their child’s learning and development from an early age. Volunteering to become a committee member offers an ideal opportunity for you to become more actively involved in this aspect of your child’s life. It will also make a difference to how your setting is managed. You will personally benefit from this experience by meeting with other parents, updating skills and learning new ones, as well as putting something positive back into your local community.
WHAT IS A COMMITTEE MEMBER?
Essentially you are a friend to the pre-school and all of your actions are for the greater good of the pre-school and the local community. You are a responsible volunteer and it is your responsibility to question that which you don’t understand and provide alternative views and solutions to things you do not agree with. The role of the committee is not the day to day management of the pre-school but rather to ensure that decision making is shared.
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
There are five main areas of responsibility for the committee:
- Vision and leadership
- Accountability and legal liability
- Keeping it legal
- Financial management
- Managing staff and volunteers
Members do not have to have the professional expertise that the staff have or the understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage. However each committee member works with the pre-school in a different way and brings different expertise and qualities to the table. What we can all do is gain an understanding of what is being done and offer an outsider’s eye and a fresh perspective.
THE COMMITTEE AND MEETINGS
The committee members are the charity trustees and together they are responsible for the overall management and smooth-running of the setting. The committee is also the employer of staff at the pre-school.
There are three main officer positions associated with Harpole Pre-school voluntary management committee. They are Chair, Treasurer and Secretary You may find the list helpful as it briefly explains what each role does.
Chairing any management committee is a key role. The Chair makes sure that the management committee functions properly, that everyone takes part in meetings, all relevant matters are discussed, effective decisions are made, and actions are carried out.
The role of the Treasurer is to maintain an overview of the organisation’s
financial status by communicating regularly with the Business Manager. It is important to remember that final responsibility for financial matters always rests with the management committee as a whole.
The role of the Secretary is to support the Chair in making sure that the management committee functions smoothly and by taking minutes at meetings, ensuring these are circulated in a timely manner. They also maintain a central copy of the signed minutes. In liaison with staff and other committee members produce a termly newsletter and any posters or notices to parents
Along with the main statutory positions, we do have other posts of Buyer & Fundraisers.
There will normally be one committee meeting per month, usually first Wednesday in the month. Meetings will normally start at 8pm and are generally no more than two hours long. These meetings are not social events but where strategic decisions are made. We do ask that if you join the committee, you must be able to attend the meetings.
The Annual General Meeting usually falls in the first term of the academic year and is when committee members are elected. As members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance (PLA) we follow their model constitution.
Please consider becoming involved with the Committee. It is your chance to be involved in the pre-school and to meet other parents. The pre-school does need a committee to be able to operate and without a committee, the pre-school would need to close.