We were spoiled at the original Daycare/Pre-school that LatteGirl had attended.Â The school was fantastic, the people personable, it was clean, and the only days it was closed were major holidays that we had off anyway or snow days that also closed the area schools as well as TheWife’s office, so we were (almost) never left in a bind other than days when LatteGirl was ill.
Fast forward, last year, we regretted out choice of Aftercare program almost from the start.Â It is not as if we made the “wrong” choice per se.Â We evaluated what few options were available, and selected what I can only describe as the least evil of the choices.Â In order to avoid recounting too much pain and disappointment, suffice it to say we knew that we needed to find another option, and was part of our consideration when we decided to move LatteGirl into private school.
We found a school that offered everything (we though) we wanted.Â A good school, good academics, small class size, and affordable enough that we could swing it, and an aftercare program right in the school.Â It brought us mentally back to the days of the original Pre-K school.Â She wouldn’t need to travel from the school to aftercare, she had friends, their were people available to help her with homework.Â What a win.
As is often the case with things that are too good to be true, there is usually a dilema that you wind up facing, and the aftercare program has one flaw that caught us off guard and left us scrambling a bit.Â And that dilema is what to do with 1/2 days and days off that are not holidays.Â Somewhat obviously the aftercare program is not in session on those days.Â Even in the aftercare program that we didn’t like, since it was not tied directly to the school, they were open during these times and we had “coverage.”Â So on a 1/2 day they just picked LatteGirl up earlier.Â During things like Holiday and Spring break, sure we had to pay more for those weeks since she was attending “full time” but we had somewhere for her to go and something to do.Â Unfortunately now however that is not the case any longer.
So now we find ourselves juggling schedules even more than usual, trying to find which days we can swap and trade to not lose (too much) work or risk our employment, but still manage to have somebody home.Â We have managed fairly well so far, but after just going over the schedule for Spring Break we find ourselves a bit worn.
We are fortunate that I can work from home somedays without my client getting too annoyed, and TheWife’s job has some flexibility.Â Others may not be as fortunate, and so I thought I would provide this warning, to take into consideration the “gaps” in your daycare/aftercare coverage ahead of time.Â Do you have relatives that perhaps may be able to babysit for a couple of afternoons?Â Is their another program in the area that will take your child for just those extended periods off like Spring Break week?Â Especially when looking for a different program for those weeks it is worthwhile, even important to check ahead.Â There are teacher/student ratios that need to be considered by the facility and they may wind up booked to capacity and even if they wanted to accomodate you, they may not be able to as other kids filled the empty slots first.
Thinking aheadÂ is much easier and more productive than trying to scrambe for a solution later.