The next board recruitment campaign will begin in January 2024.
What to Expect
Hours of Meeting Preparation, discussion and debate
Board Commitment: 3-hour orientation in April, 3-hour Board meetings bi-monthly starting in May; one full-day development session in October, on average, about 5 hours per month. Committees meet bi-monthly or quarterly for 2-hours each.
No wages... it's a volunteer position
Thanks and recognition offered regularly
Volunteers are valued and appreciated. We provide small tokens of appreciation throughout the year. More importantly, you gain recognition from your peers and a boost to your resume, as volunteering on a governance board is highly regarded.
High stakes - it is child care, after all
The Board is accountable for the overall governance of RisingOaks - establishing policy, setting the strategic direction for RisingOaks' future and monitoring the overall performance of the Board, the CEO and the organization. So, lend your skills, expertise and voice to an important issue - one that affects all our children. Together, we can make a difference.
Opportunity for personal and professional growth
Develop leadership skills, gain experience in governance, strategic planning, risk management and much more. These skills are easily transferred into the workplace to enhance your career. Training is provided at our Annual Board Development Day.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Nominees for the Board of Directors may be RisingOaks' members or non-members.
- Employees, their spouses or partners, are not eligible to stand for election
The board is comprised of individuals with varying skills, expertise and experience. As you reflect on the following skills, consider your volunteer, work or other lived experiences.
- General skills: strong communication skills, collaborative decision-making skills, effective leadership skills, good time management skills to ensure appropriate preparation for meetings and discussions.
- Governance competencies: strategic thinking, understanding of governance, enterprise risk management, accounting designation, legal
- Perspectives: Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), male perspectives (the board is predominantly female right now), lived or work experience in DEI and anti-racism work
- When considering the competencies that you can bring to the table, consider your personal and professional life. Often we may have developed a core competency, such as advocacy, in our personal lives even though it was not a part of your job responsibilities at work or learned in school. For example, perhaps you’ve had to advocate for a child with special needs, for playground equipment at your school, or against systemic racism.
- Perhaps you have a perspective that we’ve never considered before; all are encouraged to apply.
- Directors serve for a two-year term with the option to stand for re-election for two terms (for a combined total of 6 years), if desired. The election takes place at the Annual General Meeting held on the 2nd Tuesday evening in April each year.
- Committee members are also asked to serve a 2-year term, with the option to renew.
- It is not required, but directors are encouraged to serve on a committee if they are able. Doing so leads to increased engagement, knowledge about RisingOaks Early Learning and contributes to a positive board experience.
- There is a mandatory 3-hour board orientation session in April. In addition, the board meetings bi-monthly; 5 per year - typically on the 2nd Tuesday of every other month, plus there is a full-day Board Development or Strategic Planning session.
- For the 2023-24 year, the following meeting dates have been confirmed.
- April 25, 2023 6:30 - 9:30 pm (board orientation)
- May 9, 2023 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- Sept 12, 2023 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- Oct 1, 2023 8:30 – 4:30 pm (Development Day)
- Nov 14, 2023 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- Jan 10, 2024 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- Mar 7, 2024 6:30 – 9:30 pm
- Additional video conferences may be necessary.
- Total commitment: an average of 5-8 hours per month, including meeting preparation.
- Note: participation on committees may increase this time commitment.
- Absolutely. Committees often have a mix of directors and non-directors. This provides for well-rounded discussion and additional opportunities to engage with RisingOaks depending on member interests and time availability.
- Members, or RisingOaks parents, may apply to join the Finance & Audit and Governance committee of the Board, or management’s Government Relations committee.
- The Nominating committee is comprised only directors due to their mandate for board and director evaluation.
- Committees do the work in preparation for the board’s approval.
- The finance committee reviews monthly financial reports and does a deep dive into the budget, cross-checking budget assumptions and data.
- The governance committee develops policies, evaluates risks and supports the board in implementing its governance model.
- The nominating committee manages the board recruitment and selection process, facilitates board meeting evaluations, and manages director performance check-ins.
- The government relations advisory committee works together with the chief executive officer to identify and act on advocacy opportunities.
- Yes, directors may choose to chair a committee or assume an officer role such as treasurer, vice chair and eventually chair.
There are also leadership opportunities as a mentor to new directors and to research and present key topic of interest to the board.
- Typically, board meetings occur in person at our head office located at 2-10 Washburn Drive, Kitchener.
- Committee meeting are held via Zoom video conferencing.
- Complete required pre-reading in advance of meetings
- Regular attendance at prearranged meetings
- Active participation in board meetings
- A willingness to accept fiduciary responsibility
- Regular electronic communication with other board members
- Active participation in the board mentoring program. You will be assigned to a mentoring triad that meets briefly during the week before each meeting.
- Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary*, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)*
- Directors: up to 7 additional directors elected at the Annual General Meeting or appointed by the Board as per RisingOaks' By-laws.
- A 3-hour mandatory Board Orientation session will be held on the 4th Tuesday in April, 2 weeks following the Annual General Meeting. Orientation is from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. During this session, new Directors are provided with a Board Handbook which acts as a reference document outlining key terms, processes, governance structure and more.
- Committee members will receive an informal orientation from the committee chairperson on or before their first meeting.
- Each new director will be assigned to a mentoring triad to help guide you during your first year on the Board. Your triad will connect briefly during the week before each board meeting. They are your resource and a safe place to ask questions or seek clarity.
- In early October, all directors will participate in a full-day Board development day. Topics for this day are determined based on the overall competency assessment and identified gaps.
- The Chair, Vice Chair, Nominating committee and CEO are here to guide you and help you develop as a director.
- respect…member expectations.
- reflect…on organizational results.
- select...prominent leadership.
- connect…for board relations.
- direct & protect…organizational performance.
- expect…great board-management interaction
From a legal perspective, There are 11 duties of directors of a non-profit organization:
- Duty of Knowledge
- Duty of Care
- Duty of Skill & Prudence
- Duty of Diligence
- Duty to Manage
- Fiduciary Duty
- Duties as Trustees
- Investment Powers
- Delegation by Directors
- Duty of Avoid Conflict of Interest
- Duty to Act Within Scope of Authority
For example, directors must consent to fulfil their fiduciary duties. Fiduciary duty relates to acting in good faith and with honesty. It places on Board members an obligation to subvert their own personal interest, or that of any other individual or group, and act entirely in the interest of the organization upon which they serve as a Director.
More information on each can be found in Section 8 of the Board Orientation Handbook available.
- There are various forms of protection in place for directors serving on RisingOaks’ board. Two of the most important are indemnification and directors and officers
(D & O) liability insurance.
- RisingOaks pays the premiums for the D & O policy on behalf of directors. A director is entitled to confirm the amount of insurance and request a certificate of insurance.
More details about the protection of directors can be found in Section 9 of the Board Orientation Handbook.
- There is no financial compensation for directors or committee members.
- Some meals may be provided in the course of board meetings.
- Your application form must be signed to acknowledge consent to stand for election and to act in the capacity of director, committee member or both. As a result, you have the following options to submit your form:
- By Email:
Print and sign your application form. Then scan it in and email it to
- By Inter-Office Courier:
Place your completed, signed application in a sealed envelope and mark it Attention: Nominating Committee. Drop it off at any RisingOaks centre and the supervisor will forward it via our courier to head office
- By Email:
- Upon submission of your application, you will be sent a competency assessment to complete via survey monkey.
- Upon receiving your application, you will receive an email from the Nominating committee to confirm its receipt. This email will remind you of the key dates and scheduled meetings.
- Upon submission or on Jan 18, you will receive a competency assessment to complete. Deadline to return it is January 23 at noon.
- The nominating committee will meet on January 23 to review all applications received and to identify applicants to proceed to the next stage.
- A member of our nominating committee will contact you to complete a brief Phone Screen (interview) between January 24 and February 8.
- Results of the phone screens are discussed at the February 13 nominating committee meeting.
- Qualified applicants will be identified for the Slate of Nominees. These individuals will be asked to submit a Records Check Request prior to Feb 22 and to complete additional paperwork including a Consent to Serve and other forms. A short bio and photo will also be required.
- The Slate of Nominees is presented to the Board for approval at their March 8 meeting.
- The Board Recommended Slate of Nominees must be released to the membership 21 days prior to the AGM.
- Nominees will be formally presented at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:30 pm.
- At this time, Nominees will be introduced on the virtual stage.
- Should more nominees be presented than positions vacant, an election will be held by secret ballot.
- Those who are not elected will be given the opportunity to serve on a committee.
Thank you for your consideration. We hope to receive your application to join RisingOaks Early Learning board or a committee soon.