Terms of Reference: Board of Directors


Every child is valued and reaches their full potential.

RisingOaks Early Learning Ontario provides nurturing, play-based early learning to support each child in realizing their potential while giving families peace of mind.

To take overall responsibility for the governance of RisingOaks, establish policy to provide direction for the organization, focus on strategic planning and monitor the overall performance of the Board, the CEO and the organization.

Accountability to the membership


Direct - Organizational Performance

  1. Articulate the mission, values, beliefs and guiding principles of RisingOaks.
  2. Identify strategic priorities and adopt a strategic plan. Establish clear performance indicators for organizational performance in relation to pre-defined goals and targets, ensuring accountability.
  3. Develop an annual plan of Board work to be completed in conjunction with the annual budget and evaluate progress regularly.
  4. Approval of annual work plans for all Board committees.

Protect - in the interest of Members

  1. Ensure policy and procedures are in place to minimize risk to the organization and its members.
  2. Maintain, review, audit: governance policy to minimize risk to the organization and its members.
  3. Ensure fiscal viability of the organization through a fund development strategy that includes the establishment of revenue diversification targets by funding source.
  4. Appoint an auditor annually.
  5. Conduct a regular review of the by-laws and recommend changes for approval at the Annual General Meeting.
  6. Ensure the integrity of internal controls for financial management.
  7. Develop a risk management framework for strategic (including financial), operational (including emergency and partnerships), leadership and reputation. Determine how much risk is too much risk on major undertakings of the organization.

Respect - Members’ Expectations

  1. Develop, approve and implement a 2-way communication strategy between RisingOaks and its members. Provide advice to staff on the implementation of said strategy.
  2. Ensure programs of RisingOaks are relevant to our members and other stakeholders and incorporate feedback.
  3. Assure stakeholders of RisingOaks’ financial health and the integrity of the organization’s reported financial performance and compliance.
  4. Review and approve position statements on advocacy issues, as presented.

Reflect on - Organizational Results

  1. Review the strategic plan on an ongoing basis to manage changes to strategic priorities and review progress towards performance indicators.
  2. Approve and monitor the annual budget, including changes to child care fees.

Select & Expect - great Board-Management Interaction

  1. Select and retain a CEO. Provide regular and effective performance management tied to organizational performance indicators.
  2. Uphold the Board Code of Conduct.

Connect - for Healthy Board Relations

  1. Implement and monitor a strategy to fully engage all Board directors in an effort to create an environment where board members are willing to both understand and challenge each others’ perspectives as they work towards shared expectations.
  2. Ensure an effective succession plan is in place for key leadership positions within RisingOaks.
  3. Facilitate a regular board evaluation process, including committee evaluations and individual evaluations of Board directors and committee chairpersons. Implement actions plans that may arise from the evaluation process.


Term as defined within RisingOaks’ corporate by-laws.


The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by a board of directors consisting of a minimum of five (5) to a maximum of fifteen (15) directors as specified in the Articles. The fixed number of directors within this range may be changed by time to time by resolution of the board. Currently the board is comprised of:

  • 11 elected directors
  • CEO (voice, but no vote)

The board then appoints its officers consisting of:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Past Chair (as applicable)
  • CEO (ex-officio; voice, no vote)

It is expected that each Board director will actively participate in a minimum of one committee (standing or ad hoc) or act in an advisory capacity to management as part of his/her role.


APPROVAL: Reviewed & Approved by the Board of Directors on January 14, 2021