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August 20, 2008

My nervous breakdown, or life without afterschool care

Jennifer I am quietly having a nervous break down.  My son starts kindergarten at our local LAUSD school in about 3 weeks and I DO NOT HAVE AFTER SCHOOL CARE.

I put him on the wait list for the "better" after school program several weeks ago.  I was told I would receive a call the second week of August if the program had available spots to pick up my son from his school.  No call.  So, I called today.

I cheerfully inquired about the status, and explained that I had called several weeks ago but was told I needed to wait until the summer program ended.  I explained that I had added my son to the list, and was just following up to see whether he would make the cut.

"Ma'am, your son is not on our list." 

Come again?

I asked her to check again, using my last name since my children have my husband's last name.  And was promptly told that my son was NOT listed at all.  He was not on the wait list.  He didn't exist.  I was also told that if the program could add any kids, it would probably only be 1 or 2 kids, and my son was now fifth.  Fifth on the list, and only 1 or 2 would probably get in.

So what I am supposed to do?  I got a promise from the helpful woman that she would double check the lists and see if my child was perhaps added to another school's list.  What happens is that the van picks up kids from each of the local schools and takes the kids to the after school care program.  So, if he was added to another school's list on an earlier date, she promised to "bump him up" for me. 

I'm not holding my breath.

There is only 1 other after school program in the area that picks up - and it will only pick up if there are 5 students.  Right now, there are 2.  Some other lucky kid and my son.  I won't know until next week if the program is even offering pick up at my son's school - and that's 2 weeks before school starts.

So, I'm quietly having a nervous break down because what the hell am I supposed to do on 9/3 if I don't have after school child care?  Forget about all the questions I had for my daycare on student teacher ratios, background checks, discipline, tv usage and snacks, let alone the inquiries on lead and asbestos surveys, pesticide management and what cleaners are used.  I just need an after school program.  Desperately. 

And why are there only two programs in my area?  Most of the families have 2 parents working outside the home.  How the heck do they do it?

I've also started the search for a part-time housekeeper/nanny, but that's unlikely just for afternoons.  But I'll keep trying.

Okay, back to breathing in and out of the paper bag.  And I'm still wishing for the magic wand.  Or a fairy godmother for this green attendant.

An original LA Moms Blog post.

Jennifer aka TheSmartMama is attempting to lead a green and nontoxic life, although the rest of her family has different ideas.  Of course her motto is Smart Mamas do it all, naturally,  You can read more on simple steps to go green and non toxic at her blog TheSmartMama.


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