Huron Playschool Cooperative

What can we do?

Sometimes, because our staff is so capable and when everything in general is running smoothly, it's easy to forget what makes a cooperative childcare centre different than a standard centre. Sure, you have to go to a meeting every few months, and fees are lower than they'd be elsewhere—but the meaningfulness of being part of a co-op can get lost in the busyness of every day life.

It certainly did for me for awhile, but what inspired me to adjust my approach was reading a tribute to a former playschool parent whose legacy continues at the school to this day. It was the part about her and her partner coming in to playschool at the weekends to repair and paint the baseboards to help pass a health and safety inspection, and that detail made me realize: "Oh, wait. I've only just been showing up." 

The story of the baseboards is not extraordinary. Yesterday, I came to playschool and a parent had a drill and was installing a light fixture—we're all doing our part. But what can we do to do even more than that? How do we take ownership of this community (which is difficult to do with turnover being what it is—few of us are ever here for more than a handful of years)?

1) Ensure your Parent Job is meaningful. There are two ways to do this: first, understand that the job you do is hugely important to our programs running smoothly, whether it involves cleaning duties or administration tasks. It means something to all of us.

But another idea is to lend us the benefit of your specific talents: do you have a background in finance? Project management? Fundraising? Have you served on non-profit boards before? If you have this kind of experience, let our board members or teacher know. (This is also a nice way to keep resumes current if parents are taking time off from work during their children's early years, and to add additional experience to your own CV.) 

2) Be a part of our programming. We welcome opportunities for parents to join classes and teach special programming (music, art, movement, etc.). Join us to share stories about your culture and help us partake in its celebrations. This is an incredible chance to be part of your child's educational experience, and all the children benefit. 

3) Speak up! If you see something that needs doing, offer to take it on. We are aiming to foster a culture of ownership in which families feel comfortable assuming initiatives and offering their ideas. See next point for an example...

4) We have a crepe making holiday fete coming up in early December, because a playschool parent had the inspiration and wanted to offer her talents. Please offer your own talents, ideas and suggestion for fundraisers and community events. 

5) Attend events! Our Chipotle fundraiser is coming up in a week and a half. On top of it being an excellent opportunity to support playschool (50% of the money you spend will come back to playschool programs) it will be a very good evening with excellent company. 

6) Have some vision. In 2018, Huron Playschool Cooperative will reach our half-century, thanks to the hard work of families and teachers over the years. And now we have a chance to make sure that legacy too is lasting with the work we're doing today. 

7) Remember that in choosing a cooperative childcare centre, your family is modelling something important for your children about how we can all live together in the world. Everyone has a part to play, talents to lend, and disagreements and complications are opportunities to work out something better for everyone.

It gives us an opportunity to be the kind of people we hope our children can be in their own lives (and we even learn this from them)—people who work together, support each other, and believe in the possibilities of human connection. 

Playschool Fundraiser at Chipotle! November 21

Thanks to Chipotle (501 Bloor Street) for being a terrific neighbour and supporting Huron Playschool. Hope to see playschool and alumni families there for a delicious meal. 

Chipotle flyer

Happy Halloween

Pumpkin

Happy Halloween from Huron Playschool, home of the world's most excellent bedazzled pumpkin.

The Little Playschool Bookshop

Want to pick up a great read? Want to support playschool? For a toonie, you can do both when you purchase a book from the Little Playschool Bookshop. Featuring picture books and novels and non-fiction for adults too, fresh titles will be added regularly, so be sure to check out the selections often. Money raised will go toward supporting playschool's music and sports programming. Thanks for your contributions. 

Autumn Art

Everything's coming up pumpkins in the morning program.

Great New Books

For pre-schoolers: 

We Sang You Home, by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

In this sweet and lyrical board book from the creators of the bestselling Little You, gentle rhyming text captures the wonder new parents feel as they welcome baby into the world. A celebration of the bond between parent and child, this is the perfect song to share with your little ones.

Internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author Richard Van Camp teams up with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett for a second time to create a stunning board book for babies and toddlers.

For school-age children: 

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey, by Margriet Ruurs and Nizar Badr

This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children’s writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s work, and, using many of Mr. Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story.

Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English and Arabic) edition.

Playschool Fashion

Because any day is a good day to dress like a classic picture book. 

Happy World Teachers Day!

Today is World Teachers Day, a day first proclaimed by UNESCO in 1994. As a parent-run cooperative program, the parents at Huron Playschool know better than most do how essential excellent teaching is to early childhood education, and we are so grateful to our extraordinary staff for the work they do for our children and our families. 

Tracey, Mimi and Julia, we are grateful for your goodness every single day. Thank you for all you do. 

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