It must be so infuriating and so nerve-wracking to be a parent who needs to work (or go to school) and they cannot find a preschool or child care center that has an opening for their precious child. I know that many preschools use expressions like, “we have a six year waiting list”. At Caring Connection we find this expression really silly. Parents need to work NOW, need to find alternate care NOW, have moved from another state and need a preschool home NOW…or at least in a reasonable period of time.
Let’s face it, in six years that child is no longer on the long waiting list – they are in elementary school!
So, what we do is to:
1. Meet the needs and change requests within our centers first;
2. Contact those who have called or put their names on our online waiting list.
3. But, a hungry bird gets fed first. What I mean by that is, parents who return calls, keep us posted, visit and tour….are going to be responded to faster.
When we have a space available, it may not even be the schedule that a parent wants – it is offered- then we move on to the next person. We are a very small center and we can only accommodate a few children in each age group. Children and their groups are not static. Children’s ages, development and readiness are fluid. The parents in our schools are served first, so if a current parent’s schedule changes they will get the space faster, alternatively their schedule change reflect an opening in a new group. We have to allow for outgoing children and incoming young children to maintain a balance of ages in our center, too. As I said, our enrollment is a living organism, like our center.
We ask that parents and visitors understand that when we call you for a potential opening, there are no guarantees until your child is enrolled.
And as I write this, I realize…their are no guarantees in life.
So, let’s all take a deep breath and know that it will all work out okay.