Hi - I'm treasurer on a committee, not for a pre-school but for another child related charity run organisation (won't go into details for confidentiality reasons). What happens if the Chair is, for valid personal reasons, unable to organise the commitee and lead in terms of delegating jobs etc. etc.. Should the other committee members have to fill in the gap, or do things tend just not get organised? I feel that my job is the treasurer job. I do that and am happy to help out in other things as long as I don't have to take the lead/organise. Is this reasonable? (I have my own valid reasons why I can't do more). Should I feel guilty?
I'm treasurer of a preschool that's run by committee. I think in your situation it depends largely on how long the chair's absence is likely to last. If this is just for a few weeks can you muddle on as you are? if it's likely to be longer than two months or so then I think you need to think seriously about replacing the chair.
The timescale depends on how busy your committee is though. If you're normally very active or have events planned soon (summer fete etc) then you're going to need to act sooner.
What does your consititution say? it might be that you need to call an extraordinary general meeting to elect a new chair, even if only on a temporary basis.
This is all assuming that there is someone willing and able to take over of course. Finding someone to chair can be very tricky!
As for feeling guilty, well if you're anything like me you will, regardless of whether you should or not! I don't think you should feel guilty though, you're doing something, which is more than many.
A friend of mine was Chair of a preschool committee but then within a few weeks both her parents were diagnosed with terminal illnesses and died in the following few months. As you can imagine, this was horrible for her. Their committee voted to elect a Vice Chair who stood in for her until she was ready to return.
I know another preschool committee which has two co-Chairs because neither person thought they could do everything that was needed in order to fulfil the role.
As for feeling guilty, I don't think you should be! It's a lot of work, especially if you're treasurer. As an ex-Chair, I would say the one thing to be is completely honest. I'd far prefer someone who said upfront 'sorry, but I can't take that on' than someone who promised they'd do a job and then just didn't.