Friday, August 29, 2008

Preschool and Life Angst

Found out some info yesterday that made my heart drop into the pit of my stomach.

Beezus's current school is half nursery school/pre-school and half daycare. People use it for both purposes. Since I worked part-time after Beezus was born, she went there for part-time daycare. When Ramona was born I just kept reducing the numbers of hours Beezus went because my plan was always that I would eventually go back to work part-time and so I didn't want to move her out.

But frankly, that plan just doesn't seem to be working out to make it worth it, for a lot of reasons. Financially, I don't make enough money in my field to really make it financially beneficial to have both girls in care. Additionally, I'm just not sure Mr. Quimby and I want to bear the brunt of what we would have to do logistically to get everyone out of the house in a timely fashion in the morning so I could go to work. Furthermore, I worked really, really hard to make it through grad school in one piece and I was really, really good at my job. While I could get a job somewhere making $10/hour, that's just not worth the time and trouble. It seems that the jobs that take advantage of my education, skills, and experience just aren't available part-time.

So now I'm faced with the idea that I may not go back to work part-time (except for teaching ESL 2 nights per week).

I found out on Wednesday that the other two pre-schools in my area where people send their kids are CONSIDERABLY FREAKING LESS THAN WHAT WE ARE PAYING NOW FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME. And literally, I felt sick to my stomach. The co-op nursery school near us will cost...wait for it, wait for it...47% less per month than her current school and that's with adding a $5 fee per hour so that the hours are comparable to her current school. Now, the co-op school requires you to work an average of 2 times per month, up that to 3 times to be on the safe side, and I would need a sitter for Ramona when I go to co-op(I assume) and that would cost an additional $80-$100 per month, but I could probably find another mom to trade with. It's a bit far to walk so we'd have to drive there...but all this equals at least $100 less per month. And frankly, that's a lot of money to save right now.

But Beezus loves her "new" classroom in her old school. When we left yesterday we ran an errand and as we drove back by the school she was saying she wanted to go back to school RIGHT NOW!!! And I really, really like her new teacher. And if I ever do decide to go back to work, Ramona can get into her own age appropriate class within a couple months.

There's not an opening at the new co-op school in the class I want for Beezus, but there's an opening in another class that will work and the waiting list for the class I do want is short. And the new co-op school has a 2 year old class, so Ramona could go two mornings a week next fall. I'd like that for her.

Mr. Q. and I are having a financial summit this weekend. Looking at facts will help us to make the right decision.


Elaine said...

It sucks that it's so hard to find a professional job part-time.

And, Esther will thrive in any environment you would consider putting her in, so don't stress too much if you decide to move her. Make it clear to the daycare when you do that you love them but need to reduce spending right now, so that if you DO decide you want to go back later, you haven't alienated them or made them wonder why you left the first time.

Sandy said...

Ellen, I have been away for a few days visiting with my Mom before her surgery this coming week. I loved coming home to read your blog. I especially loved the one with you going to the time-out corner! It is amazing to watch your children mimic you...I am sure there will be more to come! Thanks for blogging and helping me stay in touch! Love you!!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

I have the same problem professionally. I'd have to have a BIG TIME job to actually make money beyong the cost of childcare and I don't think that would be worth the logistical nightmare it would cause us all.

Whatever you decide to do about school will work out. There is a value to having her where she's happy and in a familiar environment. (But the other options are good too. You will make the right choice because it will be the one you are comfortable with.) Good luck!

dc604 said...

and you will transition Esther in an appropriate manner - you'll go to the new place an take photos and make a book (that I'll help you with) if you have to and you will make it work

Stimey said...

Yikes. My co-op preschool is the cheapest in the area. Literally, I think. AND it has a nursery for little siblings for when you're co-oping. We're full this year, but let me know if you're interested for next year.

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