Thursday, July 10, 2008

Isn't Communication Great?

I want to find a PT daycare or Mom's Morning Out program in my area for LO to start next Fall. Yes, NEXT Fall (as in 2009). I've heard that people around here typically get their child's name on a waiting list as soon as they find out they've conceived said child. So it didn't seem strange to me at all to be planning so far in advance. I figure childcare places are used to it!

Now, I do admit that I absolutely LOVE staying home with LO every day, but I think she could use some interaction with other little ones her age so she can develop social skills n' stuff. It just seems like the right thing to do! So I figure it can't be that hard to find such a thing, right? I mean, really, we're talking finding a PT daycare or MMO program that would allow me to drop her off 1 or 2 days per week from like 8:30 until 11:30 AM. That's not asking too much (in my opinion).

Well, I quickly learned how naive this first-time parent is.

I've made calls. Most places don't offer such programs. Places that do are already full. Waiting lists are the only option I can find. And I'm on 2 of them. I think. Boo.

Fast-forward a day or two. I get an epiphany! Maybe I should contact the daycare that my niece currently attends! Surely they have PT programs and availability for NEXT Fall! I mean, that's like a whole 13 months from now! And I saw on their website that they DO have a PT program for 2-year-olds (which LO will be at that time--again, NEXT Fall, 2009). The PT program is offered 2, 3 or 5 days per week, from 8:30 - 11:30 AM. And I've heard it's a great daycare! PERFECT!

So I decided to email the Director to inquire. Pay special attention to how often I refer to FALL 2009. I certainly didn't want to confuse the poor woman and have her thinking I was interested in programs this Fall!
Hello!
My name is mom2lo and I am writing to inquire about availability for 2-year-olds for the Fall 2009 school year! I stay at home with my daughter, LO, but would like to provide her with an opportunity to play, learn and interact with other children her age. My niece, Doodlebug, attends the Center and my sister has raved about the wonderful staff, creative projects and excellent care Doodlebug receives there.

Please let me know if there is availability for the Fall 2009 part-time (2 days per week) program for 2-year-olds and how/when we can apply.

Thank you in advance for your time and response!

Sincerely,
mom2lo

Dear mom2lo,
Thank you for your interest in our center. How is Doodlebug doing? We can't wait till she starts back in the Fall. We are currently full for the 2 day program now but I do have room to add her to the waiting list. That list is short. If you are interested just let me know.

Please call if you have any more questions.

DirectorLady

Hello, DirectorLady!
Thank you for the quick response! Doodlebug is doing great--I just spent time with her and her brothers at the pool yesterday. She's so much fun!

Hubs and I were talking recently and are also considering the 3-day program as well. Is that program currently full for Fall '09, too? We'd be happy to be placed on the waiting list for either (or both) programs.

Thanks!
mom2lo

Hi mom2lo,
After seeing LO's birthday she will be in the toddler room. She won't turn 2 till July of 09'. I can not add you to the waiting list for that class at this time, we have over 20 on that list. That class is an all day class. If the birthday is different let me know. They must be the age of the class they are going into by Sept. 1 of the current year. Sorry for the wrong info. If I can be of any other help let me know.

DirectorLady


Seriously!? Did you catch all of that? How could I have possibly been more clear that I was interested in openings in the 2- and 3-day Part-Time programs for 2-year-olds in 2009?! I followed this lovely chain of emails up with a phone call yesterday. Seemed that would be the most logical way to explain my apparently-ever-so-complicated request for childcare next Fall.

This is how that call went:
"Hi, DirectoryLady! This is mom2lo--I had emailed you yesterday about PT programs..."

"Hello!"

"I figured it would be easier to call you to discuss my questions since I didn't seem to do a very good job explaining things in my emails."


"Oh, certainly! I do apologize again for the wrong information."

"It's no problem! See, I was actually inquiring about availability for the Fall 2009 school year, you know, for next Fall. Not this year."

"Yes, well LO won't be 2 by September 1st so she would need to be in the Toddler room, which is full and has a lengthy waiting list."

"Of course, I understand that. But I want to be sure we're talking about the same thing here. I'm referring to the 2009 school year, not this year."

"This year is the 2009 school year."

"I'm sorry?"

"I can put LO on the wait list for the Toddler room if you'd like, but the 2009 list is already quite long."

"So you're saying the school years actually run a year ahead of the actual year? I would've guessed this Fall would be considered the 2008-2009 school year."

"No, this is the '09 school year. I think what you're asking for is availability in our '10 (sidenote: she referred to this as "oh-ten") school year, and we aren't taking any registrations this early for that year."

"Hmmm... okay. So If I want to get LO into the "2010" program NEXT year, what would I need to do?"

"Oh, wait a minute--next year would actually be the '09-'10 (again she said "oh-ten"--LOL!) school year. I can't add you to that waiting list after all."

"Okay, so what do I need to do?"

"You can call back in February when open enrollment begins."

"Oh, okay. Thanks!"



Riiiiight. So I don't know about you, but I didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling about this woman. I mean, I understand she runs a daycare program consisting of probably hundreds of kids, not to mention teachers and other staff members. So I'm sure she's busy and quite possibly was somewhat distracted during our telephone conversation (and perhaps during her email responses as well). I'd like to assume this woman is actually quite competent of managing the day-to-days of a daycare. I'm going to assume she gets distracted--a lot--and maybe can't provide accurate answers to questions from parents.

And most likely, I'm gonna make hubs sleep out on a sidewalk in February to make sure he's first in line to land a spot for LO in their FALL 2009 PT daycare program. 'Cause ultimately, my sister's recommendation and my niece Doodlebug's excitement over the school pretty much trump any other worries or concerns I may have.