Tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose RisingOaks Early Learning for your family’s child care needs?
My husband and I call Kitchener home with our daughter Lacey. We chose RisingOaks for our family’s child care needs because of their inclusive attitude for Lacey’s special needs and their reputation as a quality care provider in the Waterloo Region.

Directors, and parents who have a child in care for whom monthly fees are paid to RisingOaks are eligible to become members of the organization. What does it mean to be a member?
I believe that being a member gives our family a voice, by way of a vote at the annual general meeting, and the ability to raise questions on key topics that affect child care for families.

Why did you decide to get involved with RisingOaks' Board of Directors?
I was impressed with RisingOaks' work on its governance policies, the thoroughness of the process for vetting nominees, and most of all the opportunity to give back to an organization that has been a key part of our family for the past several years.

How does the Board / management try to engage RisingOaks members and fmilies?
The board/management strives to engage RisingOaks members and families through open communication and opportunities to connect. The examples that come to mind are the emails I receive as a parent from my daughter’s program supervisor as to what activities the group is involved with, movie nights, advocacy opportunities, and the AGM.

How has this and other similar moments influenced your parenting style? Share a fond memory from your childhood that has stayed with you over the years? 
I have many happy memories of my sister and I playing hide n’ seek with our friends outside. This memory reminds me of the fun we had enjoying life outside, which has prompted our family to make a dedicated effort to take bike rides and go for walks in our neighbourhood to enjoy our environment and the people in our community.

What is the role of members at the Annual General Meeting?
I think the role of members at the AGM is to celebrate the success of the organization with the individual and team awards, interact with fellow members and RisingOaks staff, understand the strategic and financial direction of RisingOaks, and use the opportunity to ask any questions of the Chief Executive Officer or the Board where clarification or more information is required.

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Karen Family at the beach

Karen Mcllroy

Head shot of Karen

Centre: Saint John Paul II
Chair of the Nominating Committee