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Pre-school enrolment shenanigans

By Madam Cholet 29 October 2012 25

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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Pre-school enrolment shenanigans
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Bluenomi 3:58 pm 01 Nov 12

Ugh, preschool enrollment. I’m not looking forward to that!

I know many parents who have had issues with the 2 days one week and 3 the next system they have. It makes care on that third day tricky. If you want to put them in child care on the weeks they aren’t at preschool, you still have to pay for the place the weeks they aren’t at the centre.

The preschool enrollments need to be in months before you can sort out childcare places so lots of people get caught out

Madam Cholet 2:45 pm 01 Nov 12

birder said :

Oops, just wanted to add that while poor child care can be very bad for a child, excellent child care can be great for them. My daughter started child care at 17 months, and she loved it. She’s always been a huge extravert, though. When she hit around 4, she was completely over day care – it was very boring to her and she started getting into a lot of trouble. That’s when we moved to Canberra and thankfully, we were able to enrol her in Montessori. Wow – what an amazing place! She’s not quite 5 and reading well, doing maths, cleans her own room up (Montessori teaches children how to be tidy), and most of all, she loves school and joyfully races into her classroom every morning. Montessori does have after-school care which is really just child care, but it’s generally pretty good.

We had to farewell a very well loved teacher from day-care just the other day, and having read some of the comments on here about strangers bringing up children and parents trying harder to stay at home, I thought that they couldn’t be further from the truth – well my truth anyway. My family including Master Cholet were genuinely sorry to see her go – someone who has brought so much to and done so much for our son. She cares about each and everyone of the children in the class and worked hard every day to ensure that each and every one of those children had a great day. The centre where my son goes is so good that none of them really want to come home – which is really annoying on a Friday afternoon when that’s all you want to do!

He’s made lots of friends there and has social skills and knowledge that I could only have dreamed of at his age! I think we will all find out in the future that children who experienced (a high standard of) child care are very well prepared to take on the world.

birder 1:00 pm 01 Nov 12

Oops, just wanted to add that while poor child care can be very bad for a child, excellent child care can be great for them. My daughter started child care at 17 months, and she loved it. She’s always been a huge extravert, though. When she hit around 4, she was completely over day care – it was very boring to her and she started getting into a lot of trouble. That’s when we moved to Canberra and thankfully, we were able to enrol her in Montessori. Wow – what an amazing place! She’s not quite 5 and reading well, doing maths, cleans her own room up (Montessori teaches children how to be tidy), and most of all, she loves school and joyfully races into her classroom every morning. Montessori does have after-school care which is really just child care, but it’s generally pretty good.

birder 12:56 pm 01 Nov 12

I agree, the situation is absurd. I don’t know how parents do it. And just a note: if you are calculating the cost of childcare versus staying home, remember to factor in the impact on total wages (and superannuation) for taking a 5-7 year break from work. It’s not just actual lost wages (and superannuation) – it’s also difficult to get back into paid work once you’ve taken such a big break, and you certainly won’t go back to the level that you were. I think staying at home is a great choice for some people, but financially speaking, it’s actually much harder on people than you might realize in the long term. This is especially true given that it’s almost always the woman who stays home — who then lives longer than her partner (and thus really did need that superannuation more) and/or is also the vulnerable party if the couple divorces. Single mom, two kids, last full-time work experience 7 years ago? Ugly.

BimboGeek 10:41 pm 30 Oct 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

. If the second job doesn’t take home more than $600/week, why even bother, it just doesn’t add up.

Lol good attempt.

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