The co-operative experience
A co-operative nursery school is organized and administered by the parents/guardians of the children attending the school. Parents/guardians serve on the Executive Board, attend co-op general meetings, perform all necessary jobs to run the school, fundraise, run events and assist in the classroom. This offers the parents/guardians the chance to be involved in their child’s early education and have a voice in the daily operation of the school.
The co-operative approach also means that tuition and fees can be kept low. A co-operative offers families a chance to meet like-minded people; people who acknowledge the importance of quality early childhood education, and who want to be a part of it. CCNS works well simply because everyone works together to ensure that the exceptional quality of the school is maintained.
CCNS Corporate Structure
CCNS is a non-profit organization, incorporated as a co-operative without share capital.
Non-profit organizations and co-ops are member controlled and have missions and goals outside of maximizing financial gain. The primary reason for a co-op to exist is to provide a service that meets the needs of its members, while non-profits have more broadly defined objectives that serve the greater community (not only the members).
Non-profit organizations incorporate as a “corporation without share capital” under the Ontario Corporations Act – this means they do not have the option to purchase shares, and they do not distribute profits as dividends; all profit is reinvested into the organization (for new and expanding projects or programs).
Non-profits, regardless of the corporate structure (co-op or corporation), do not have to operate at-cost. The term “not for profit” indicates that the organization is not operating with the primary purpose of generating money.
Both co-ops and non-profits are member-controlled. Each family has one vote across both platforms. Both types of organizations have a Board of Directors that is elected by the membership and must be members of the organization.