Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Policies and Ballet

My child goes to a Quaker daycare. They are very nice. Very religious and full of Bible quotes, but very nice. Frustrating in some ways although their feelings will get hurt if you get them to try to do things differently. Hence, this blog post.

Their snow policy: "We'll be open when it snows as long as 2 people can make it to to work. If the school district is closed, we are closed."  There are a few more sentences in their policy, which muddle the waters even more but probably aren't that relevant for these purposes. Yesterday the school district was closed, yet the daycare was open. This confused me. Does the 2 people getting to work part of the policy supersede the statement about the school district, or does the school district supersede the 2 people getting to work policy? Today the daycare was closed because the school district was closed. Basically I'm just confused. Isn't the purpose of having a policy so that you have a policy to follow in situations like this? I want to tell them that it might be more helpful if their policy was: "We will mimic the school district's closures in inclement weather, provided that at least 2 staff can make it to work." It just seems that it would be easier for them because their current policy has caused them great consternation. It might make them cry if I suggested it, so I won't.

Now they're starting to offer extracurricular activities during the daycare day. Her official preschool time is 9:30am - noon. Of course since we both work, she's there from about 7:30am - 4:30pm. There's free play and designated snacks in there, but the "official" preschool time is a small chunk of that.

They offer ballet from 10:00am - 10:30am on Tuesdays and soccer from 10:00am - 10:30am on Wednesdays. Each of these lessons is $10, so if you do both ballet and soccer, it's $20 per week for the 1 hour of instruction time. I get so cranky at these lessons being offered. It's irrational and stupid to have these feelings, this I know. It annoys the bejeezus out of me, and instead of ranting to the very nice Quakers, I'll keep my ranting here.

* There is so little official preschool instruction time already, and these lessons infringe on that.

* The teachers guilt you into enrolling your kid in these lessons.

* The kids who get to go = "the haves," everyone else = "the have nots." The teachers reiterate that those who don't get to participate are so sad. Even more guilt after you've already said no.

* $10 for half an hour x 10 kids = $100 for teaching 3 year olds how to bend their knees or to chase a ball for half an hour. Can I sign up for that gig????

* Have you seen a 3 year old move? There is no grace or agility in it.I doubt a couple of classes will make them prima ballerinas or Landon Donovans.

* The parents don't know what's going on during these classes.

* $20 a week might not seem like that much, but it does quickly add up.

* Personally I'd rather spend the money on activities when she can pick what interests her and at least be able to watch the hilarity of the lessons.

This whole thing really rubs me the wrong way. I decided that it's probably wrong to deprive her of both opportunities just because of my opposition. All of her teachers already think she's the poor girl (which she isn't, but we have seriously dressed her in the same clothes for the past two years because it's daycare and she still fits most of them). Then I'd just get gestures of poor girl sympathy, like a scholarship to one of the classes. Plus I don't want her to be a social outcast because I'm cantankerous. So I told her that she could sign up for ballet OR for soccer. Guess which one she picked? (The tutu is quite alluring.) I personally would have preferred soccer, but it's not my life and there are no tutus in soccer.

Ballet. $40 for 4 classes. There are another 12 classes they'll pressure me to buy, but I'm only signing her up for 4. If she begs and begs, we'll go from there.

For what it's worth, I'm not anti-extracurricular activities. She took several sessions of swimming classes. She's now in a tumbling class that we registered her for back in early December. We only knew about the ballet/soccer during school since the beginning of January. So I suppose what adds to my bitterness is that we had already signed her up for an extracurricular, and now we have to do one during school plus the tumbling that we had already signed her up for. 


Wendy said...

I pay $30 a month for weekly acting classes. Her school runs from 8:30 am to 2 pm, and acting is at 2:30 pm so no loss in instructional time, which is good. Because it's after school, generally, only those in after school care will attend, so we avoid the clash of the haves and have nots. Seems to me they could have tried to do a little better...

Quietly Subversive said...

See, that set-up sounds great. I wouldn't have a problem with that, and it's even cheaper than these (stupid) ballet lessons. Plus I think acting is more useful than ballet. That's just my bias.

I think they're purposely doing it during the day to capture the widest audience. I would be extremely suspicious that kickbacks were involved if I didn't already know their business sense tends to be lacking.