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Childcare Roulette

Tomorrow I have no child care. As all working parents have discovered, the "people" (sociopaths) at school districts who make schedules still think that it is 1950 and that every family has 2 parents and 1 of them a) does not work, and b) is at the beck and call of the school to just rush in at any time. I mention this because my son's before and after school care is hosted at one of the schools in the district. Any time that the district makes the decision to close that school then I have no childcare. Tomorrow I have advanced notice. If the school janitor has a sniffle and doesn't come in to unlock the doors, I find out when I pull up at the school on the way to work.

Tomorrow is the last day of school, finally. The kids have had to make up a bunch of snow days, which is a whole other subject. Anyway, the district decided that the last day should be 3 hours long, and then everyone has to get out. Therefore, no childcare. Sure, I don't work on Tuesdays - oh, wait. That is a normal work day for everyone on the planet who works anything resembling normal business hours. I am fortunate to have the kind of job that I can do with a laptop at home, and I am fortunate that my company allows me to do this. Not everyone has that opportunity so I suppose that they call in grandparents, friends, or gypsies, or just take the day off of work - hopefully with pay.

Now that summer is out, my son begins the "summer program" at his before and after school care. They always make a big deal about this and want to know if he will be attending and want me to fill out a whole new set of forms as though they have never met me and Alex has not been going there for 2 years. I always say that yes because I will continue to be employed in the summer so yes, Alex will still need a place to go. In the fall we will repeat this exercise. The district will close the school for 2 days for cleaning and all of the kids will be out on the street. I suppose that I will work from home again. The first time that this happened I went up to the child care director and ask what their plan for the kids was when the school was closed. She stared at me blankly. I explained that the school may be closed, but I paid for the whole week and I have to work all week, so what was their plan for watching the kids while the building was closed. Do I take him to a different location? What is the plan? Uhhhhhh, no. No plan. Thanks a lot for paying for the whole week. We will be open 3 days, not 5. See you next week. Then they will present me with another stack of forms for the fall enrollment as though they have never seen me and don't know who Alex is. This will happen again at the first of the year, next summer, next fall....

Keep in mind that this is a really good child care program, as child care programs go. If you take a look at a lot of the "summer programs" in this area, the "full day" program is usually something like 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Really? That's a full day? Let me just run that one past my boss. Our local municipal pool has all kinds of swimming lessons for kids - at 1:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday. For example, my son really likes an after school science program, but their "full day" summer program is 9am to 4pm and costs $225 per week! For comparison, I went to my old university's Web site and worked out that you could attend college there for around $145 per week. Now I know that college is cheap in Kansas where I went to school, but still. Should a summer program that is not even open long enough for a working parent to drop off their kid and work 8 hours cost more than college? Still, these programs stay in business so I guess there are people who sign up for them. Maybe I can find one of these families to adopt me and they can spend $900 per month on me. I could buy a BMW M3. That would be educational, right?


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