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Membership Requirements

Membership Categories and Eligibility

  • Standard Members are schools and organizations which are involved in providing education, care, and services for children from birth to age eight. Standard Members must be not-for-profit and located within the Alliance’s primary geographic area, which includes Winnetka, Northfield and Kenilworth (or located outside of this geographic area, but serve a population that is made up of at least 50% of children from those three communities). The Alliance currently consists of 36 Standard Member schools and organizations.
  • Associate Members are non-profit schools located outside of Winnetka, Northfield, and Kenilworth, but which want to maintain close ties to the Alliance. There are currently 10 Associate Member Schools and Organizations, located in Wilmette, Glencoe, and Highland Park.  In rare occasions, a non-profit school located in Winnetka, Northfield, or Kenilworth may elect to become an Associate Member.  Please refer to the last point in this document for details.
  • Affiliate Members are for-profit schools which serve young children.
  • Members refer to all schools and organizations which are members of The Alliance – Standard, Associate, and Affiliate.

Member Benefits


  • Working together to benefit all: Founded in 1989 to promote the healthy growth and development of young children through community collaboration efforts, the impact and influence of The Alliance has grown significantly over the years. The Alliance provides an opportunity for collaboration on issues of common interest with other Member schools and organizations.
  • Shape the direction of the Alliance:  Through their representative, Standard and Affiliate Members, if applicable, help make decisions regarding the direction of the Alliance, including strategic initiatives, program expansion, speakers and topics, advocacy efforts in the community, information available on the website, fundraising, and newsletter content.
  • Preschool survey: Member schools are eligible to participate in and receive results from the biannual preschool survey that investigates the preschools’ salaries, benefits, registration procedures, etc.


  • Early Childhood, The Alliance’s 16-page newsletter:
    • All families in Member schools receive two issues a year, which are published in October and April.  
    • The newsletter contains articles written by local and national experts, book reviews, practical parenting ideas, health information, and calendar of Member events. (In 2013, it cost the Alliance about $4 per recipient to publish two issues of the newsletter.)
  • Parenting seminars and speakers:
    • All Member schools receive notices for all programs held throughout the year to publicize in their newsletters.
  • ScreenBreak in March: 
    • Every child enrolled in a Member school receives a ScreenBreak button (for preschoolers) or a ScreenBreak wristband (for elementary and junior high students) and a copy of The ScreenBreak Guide.  (In 2013, ScreenBreak cost the Alliance about $4.75 per child in materials.)



  • Networking Dinner:
    • All teachers, aides, and administrators in Member schools and organizations are invited to the dinner in January (fee involved).
    • Educators at Member Schools have first priority in reservations.
  • Networking Breakfast:
    • The principal or director of Member schools and organizations is invited to the breakfast in September.
    • This is an excellent opportunity for new leaders in our Member schools to meet their colleagues at the beginning of the school year.
  • Preschool Directors Get-Togethers:
    • Directors of Member preschools are invited to Alliance get-togethers, such as Dutch Treat luncheons, to welcome new directors and to discuss topics of common interest (such as the common registration date or the salary survey).
  • Preschool-Kindergarten Articulation Meetings:
    • Member kindergarten teachers meet with Member directors of “sender” preschools several times a year to explore common interests and to smooth the transition from preschool to kindergarten.
  • Special Needs Roundtable:
    • Member directors and teachers are invited to participate in seminars devoted to teaching children with special needs and working with their parents.
  • Twins and Multiples Roundtable:
    • Member directors and teachers are invoted to participate in seminars and workshops devoted to teaching children who are twins and multiples
  • Informal networking:
    • The Alliance facilitates opportunities for informal networking throughout the year at Alliance board meetings, committee meetings, and other Alliance events.


  • Website:  Priority listing of registration information, summer programs, and publication of Member schools and organization’s events (which are open to a wider audience) on the Alliance’s website,, including a link to the websites of Member schools and organizations.
  • Facebook: Opportunity to promote events that are open to the public, by linking to The Alliance Facebook page (no fee).
  • Newsletters and ScreenBreak GuideOpportunity to promote events that are open to the public and registration information in the newsletter calendar (no fee) or advertise your school or organization in our publications (fee involved).       

Member Responsibilities


  • Standard Member Schools and Organizations:
    • Each Standard Member school and organization will provide a representative (“Rep”) to attend Alliance Board meetings and participate in Alliance activities.
    • Reps will:
      • Sit on the Board of Directors;
      • Participate in board work in one of the options below:
        • Chairing a committee
        • Serving on the ScreenBreak Committee
        • Serving on two smaller committee (Let’s Play, Program, Networking, Roundtables, etc.)
      • Regularly attend board meetings (Tuesday mornings, Sept.-Nov., Jan.-May)
      • Assist with and support fund raising efforts such as the Annual Fund and the Book & Toy Fair
      • Attend promptly to Alliance e-mails
      • Pay board member dues ($75 in 2013-14) to cover the cost of the Rep’s participation in the Networking Dinner and Annual Luncheon and also for miscellaneous board expenses
      • Maintain an open channel of communication between school/organization and The Alliance.
    • Other non-school organizations (park district, library, chamber of commerce, etc.) have the option for their Rep to serve either on the Board of Directors or on the Advisory Board.
  • Associate Member Schools
    • Primary contact with Associate Members will be through the Director or Principal of the school or a staff member designated by the school
    • The school will also appoint a Parent Liaison to facilitate pick up and distribution of materials.
    • Associate Members will not pay board dues.
  • Affiliate Member Schools
    • Affiliate Member schools located in Winnetka, Northfield, and Kenilworth, will send a Rep to The Alliance Board of Directors.  See requirements for Reps above.
    • Affiliate Members schools located outside of Winnetka, Northfield, and Kenilworth will appoint their Director or Principal (or a staff member designated by the school) to serve as the primary contact.  They will appoint a Parent Liaison to facilitate pick up and distribution of materials.
    • Affiliate Members located outside of Winnetka, Northfield, and Kenilworth will not pay board dues.


  • Standard Member Schools and Organizations: There are no required dues or fees (except for $75 board members’ dues; see above). 
  • Associate Member Schools: Associate Members pay an annual fee for membership, based on the number of children and staff in their school, to partially cover the cost of materials. ($7 per child and staff member in 2013-14). The fee is due by Oct. 1.
  • Affiliate Member Schools: Affiliate Members pay an annual fee for membership, based on the number of children and staff in their school to partially cover the cost of materials. ($7 per child and staff member in 2013-14). The fee is due by Oct. 1
  • All Member schools and organizations will be solicited for a donation each spring.  It is requested that the Member school or organization keep in mind the many benefits of Alliance membership, both financial and otherwise, when considering their annual donation.
  • There are other ways for members to support The Alliance financially, including:
    • Advertising in Early Childhood or The ScreenBreak Guide;
    • Sharing profits from a benefit held during ScreenBreak;
    • Underwriting the cost of a speaker, an Alliance event during ScreenBreak, or other programs or events held during the year.
    • For schools, making Teacher Tributes to honor individual members of its faculty.


  • Each Standard Member school provides its complete mailing list of names and addresses in electronic form to be used only for The Alliance’s spring Annual Fund mailing, which includes the option of Teacher Tributes for individual teachers.
    • Mailing lists should be submitted to Libby Joyce, Director of Operations, by Oct. 1.
  • Board members will write personal notes on individual Annual Fund letters, which greatly increases participation and revenue.
    • The Alliance depends on Annual Fund donations for almost 50% of its operating funds each year, so participation by all Standard Member schools and organizations and Reps is crucial to the financial health of the organization and therefore is required.
  • Affiliate and Associate Member Schools are not required to participate in the Annual Fund and do not need to provide their mailing lists to The Alliance, but they may elect to do so.  Decisions to participate will be made on a school-by-school basis.  Schools may promote the Annual Fund and the option of Teacher Tributes through their newsletters or by other means, if they so choose.


  • Members will provide quick and efficient pick-up and distribution of Alliance materials throughout the year, including newsletters, ScreenBreak materials, Networking Dinner invitations, and program flyers.
  •  Website content
  •  Promotion of organization
    • Members will publicize The Alliance’s events or activities in their newsletters and at their school or organization from time to time throughout the year.
    • Members will promote and advertise Alliance fundraising such as ScreenBreak family sponsorship, the Annual Appeal, including Teacher Tributes, and fundraising events.  


  • It is important for each Standard Member school and organization to adhere to the requirements of membership.  The 2010 Task Force recommended, with unanimous approval by the Board of Directors on 3/16/11, that, beginning in the Fall 2011, all Standard Member schools and organizations must abide by all requirements of membership.  Those unwilling or unable to so do will no longer be considered a Member of The Alliance.
  • If a Standard Member school decides not to comply with the requirements of membership, it may elect, instead, to become an Associate Member.  That school would adhere to all the benefits and requirements of Associate membership, including paying a fee per child and per staff member to cover the cost of materials ($6 in 2011-12) and participating in the Annual Fund on an optional basis only.   
  • Associate and Affiliate Members will adhere to all  the benefits and requirements of membership in order to maintain their status as a Member in good standing.

Adopted June 2011/Updated January 2014