I enrolled young Master Cholet at Isabella Pre-School earlier this year. Thankfully the little tyke has been accepted and is very much looking forward to being a big boy at big school. At this stage he attends a fabulous long daycare facility that does also provide pre-school education for his age group – but at a large cost. So obviously our major reason for wanting him to attend two days at an equally reputable government facility was the mitigation of some of the costs.
But here’s my gripe…at the same time I enrolled him at pre-school, I also filled out forms for before and after school care – an absolute must, given that we work a tad longer than the hours of the pre-school. His enrollment in pre-school was confirmed in July. His enrollment in before and after care is yet to be confirmed. I was advised that confirmation could be as late as October, but a conversation with the school today has now put that expectation back to the first two weeks of November.
I understand that the school relies on existing parents to provide information for them to be able to ascertain the new places, but is it really necessary to keep parents who have very little room to move with regards to childcare hanging on until the last before making offers. The person I spoke to today agreed that they had a lot of parents ‘in the same boat’, when I raised the point that if we don’t get a place in before and after care that we probably wouldn’t be able to take up the pre-school offer. Given that we have already had to confirm that our son will be leaving his current day care at the end of January, we really will be up the creek without a paddle. To boot, I understand that the people in charge of before and after care are a different organisation (Communities@work), however, it is the schools day care centre (not the government pre-school), who deals with those enrollments. Communities@work only refer you back to the school until your place has been confirmed.
Is it too much to ask that organisations offering critical services to parents actually get their act together and try to be of help rather than hindrance? This must happen every year – it’s not a new process, so why do they seem surprised by it? I expect as the person I spoke to on the phone said, we are not the only ones waiting on this info – you would have thought that this would be a point for them to note.