This is not a real disease, although those of us who know about day cares will probably agree that it definitely comes with disease!
But, this post is really about moving on. No, Aidan is not old enough yet to be home alone. I don't anticipate trying that for a few more year--at least 10. If he is mature enough.
This is about our transition away from a traditional Day Care.
We have been at Winwood for 3 1/2 years. And, other than a few little speed bumps along the way, I think it has been a wonderful place for Aidan to grow and learn. I truly feel that the educational foundation he received there has been invaluable in how he is dong in Public School now.
We started him there just after his third birthday and he started in the 2 year old room. It was only for 6 weeks and then he transitioned to the 3 year old room. Then, the following year he entered the Pre-K program. In Kindergarten, he went upstairs to the Kinders Room for afternoon care. And this year he transitioned to the "Tree House" for the School Age Kids. He has loved it there.
Pat's work is just up the road from Winwood and he frequently picked Aidan up on his way home. If he didn't have to work, that is. We tried to make sure I didn't have to pick him up on Fridays because the traffic to get across town is horrendous. It is a 5 minute trip, but on Fridays it turns into 30 minimum. This year, Aidan has hockey, so it wasn't that big of a deal--pick him up at Winwood and go straight to the rink.
However, we noticed that Aidan would arrive at Winwood about 3:30. Pat gets of work at 3:00. Many days he would be standing there waiting for the bus to arrive in order to pick Aidan up. Talk about Mr. Grumpy about the weekly tuition payment!!! If I picked him up, I would arrive at 4:45, still only 1 hour and 15 minutes. So, the maximum amount of time he could possibly be there would be 7 1/2 hours for the entire week--if I picked him up every day. And we were paying $600.00 a month for that.
Now, we were assured a place for all day care for Breaks, Teacher Work Days and Snow Days. But, we had to pay an additional $25.00 per day for that. So, we had already been trying to not take him there for those days as much as we could.
So, something had to change. We decided to look in the CASA program that is run by the Parks and Rec of our County and the locations are right in the school. For half the price, the children stay in the school and have the same play tme, snack time and homework time that we were paying for at Winwood. And it is just a couple blocks away. So, we made the leap. Aidan's last day at Winwood was December 21st, before Christmas and he started CASA last week after the break.
And he LOVES it!!!!
We are still enrolled at Winwood for Breaks, Teacher Work Days and Snow Days, but that now costs us $65.00 a day. ..so we are trying to work our vacation schedules to not have to go for Breaks and Teacher Work Days. We'll have to deal with Snow Days, if we get enough for schools to close. So far, it's working out.
This Spring, the only days we couldn't cover were the ones coming up in January. Pat has to work the 3-11 shift and really can't be off. I just don't have enough vacation time. So, our neighbor girl will be coming over at 2:30 and staying until I get home at 4:45 on both of those days. . .I'll pay her about $20.00 per day which will still save me $90.00!
Aidan will still also go to Winwood for several weeks this summer for Camp, although we will also be putting him in Hockey Camp for 3 weeks.
And so, there you have it. The cure for the Harrison Family version of Day Care Itis. . .and we'll be putting that extra cash into savings, too!! Added Bonus. . .