Aftercare for Pre-School Children

I’m interested in hearing how the availability of daycare is affecting the ability of students to attend pre-school. Are there communities that would benefit (or suffer) from legislation to allow districts with pre-school programs to conduct after-school programs for pre-school children where private child care is unavailable or insufficient?

  1. Although I am not on the Rockingham School board where I was the Chair for several years we have had a program at the YMCA called the Aspire program where all children can attend until their parents pick them up ! 

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  2. We have quite a situation in our town. We have a publicly funded Pre-K at school that runs 3 hrs in the PM and a private Pre-K / Daycare in town that’s open all day. As far as supply and demand, we have more open slots available in town than eligible students, so the competition to get students to attend is present. There is also the convenience of parents working schedules etc that plays in to their selection.
    The question as I see it, and I could be interpreting it wrong, is the creation of after-school Pre-K programs because child care is not available? Unfortunately, I am quite old school to a point and feel babysitting ( the old work for childcare / daycare etc) is the responsibility of the parents and not the educational system.
    Recent proposed legislation, for details far to detailed to explain here, would be extremely detrimental for choice in our town as the public Pre-K would need a certain number of enrollees / year for sustainability and if choice creates that number to not be met, we would most likely close down our public Pre-K and then that creates additional costs to parents.
    School is for education….babysitting is for parents.

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  3. There is one in-home daycare in our town, so I believe it would benefit parents to have something available through the school.  I think it would need to be separate from our existing afterschool program due to the tender age of pre-school.  Our existing after school program serves grades K-8.  Many people also find the existing in-home day care to expensive and there is no transportation to get the pre-schoolers there anyway.  This makes full time employment very difficult for atleast one parent. 

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  4. I work in Fairfield School.  I know the parents here really work together to drive each others kids to the nearest private childcare.  I know Fairfield has talked about getting a small bus for more fieldtrips and for bringing pre-schoolers home at noon.  I do believe after school care could benefit children and families.  All day preschool less days a week may solve that problem.

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  5. Yes I do believe that folks choose Childcare for their children that offers all day care. It is difficult for families to go from all day Childcare for their infant/toddler to then go to a few hour block for their preschool child. The children and families are use to an extended day schedule and I do believe more children would be afforded the opportunity to go to public preschool if the hours were longer. I must also say that there are many quality early childhood programs that keep children until they are five and it doesn’t always make sense to switch from these programs to preschool. The children are learning the same skills at these early childhood sites as they would at public preschool.  If affordability of early childhood programs is a challenge for a family, then by all means mandate extended care for preschool programs so low income families who may not send their children to any program could then benefit from this option.
     

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  6. I’m interested in the issue, but do not understand the posted question. Can it be rephrased?

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  7. I’m not sure I understand the question. Why would legislation be required to allow for private or fee-for-service programs (whether or not they are managed by school district staff) to use school facilities?

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  8. Your inquiry about “legislation to allow districts with pre-school programs to conduct programs for pre-school children where private child care is unavailable or insufficient” raises these inconvenient questions: 
             1. Who are the parents who want more and more pre-five-year-old day care?  Why do they want it?
             2. Is it in the best interest of children and society to usher children away from their parents’ Nurture earlier than is psychologically appropriate?  One of the greatest challenges to effective teaching and learning is “attachment disorder,” which is caused by and aggravated by children leaving their parents’ domain prematurely.
             3. Do we want government (schools, property taxation, etc.) to subsidize parental choices such as these?
             4. Should Programs supplant Parenting?
    School Boards would do well to consider if they are unintended participants in the wholesale surrender of parenting rights, roles and responsibilities. 

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  9. It is my understanding that a school can provide after-school programs without any additional legislation.  We have several programsin our county where an outside vendor is used for that very purpose.  Your principal/superintendent should be able to get some examples of practices that other districts have used.  

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  10.  
    Here is our town it has been a real issue not having consistent daycare in town for a number of years. I personally was not able to send my older son (now in first grade) to the pre school at the elementary school because I work and could not shuttle him back and forth from school to daycare for the remainder of the day. I think enabling schools to offer after school care is a great idea and maybe could be done district wide so each school was not offering the program for just a few children. Would require bussing but might be more finanially viable if there were a number of kids. 
     

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  11. For rural communities having a safe, nurturing, and academic environment to support children and families it is essential to have connected after care and preschool. In North Hero we have provided this service to families for the past few years, and it has given people the ability to manage their working lives while being comfortable that their children are in a consistent and professional environment without a transition in their day. It is what common sense tells us is the right thing to do.

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  12. Our town has not had a daycare provider in close to 10 years.  It does limit a few families in their choice about attending our pre-school program.  I don’t believe there are enough kids that need that after-pre-school care every day to justify trying to provide the care by the school though.  Unfortunate, but true.

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  13. Thank you all for your responses to our query.  For those that asked for further clarification, here’s the skinny.

    North Hero is in it’s fourth year operating a pre-school within the elementary school building.  Prior to this, pre-school services could only be acquired at private facilities (more than 20 minutes away) that gave preference to students from the home town.  Our kids were often shut out and pre-school attendance rarely exceeded 50%.  We wanted to do better.

    Opening a Pre-School got us half way there, but without a local care option, many of our working families were unable to take advantage of the program.  At the time we were operating our own after school program so it was easy enough to setup a similar program for the pre-school.  Parents paid a fee which was set high enough to keep the program in the black, but low enough to keep it from being prohibitive.  This worked beautifully for all parties until the DOE forced us to shut down the program last spring, deeming it a “co-mingling of public funds”. 

    We have no intention of threatening functioning private institutions, enlarging the government machinery, snatching kids from the cradle, or disrupting the space time continuum.  We’ve simply stumbled into a model that we believe strengthens the educational experience and makes it possible for every parent who wants to send their child to pre-school, to do so.   Although we have since worked our way through the red tape and contracted with an independent care provider, we still believe that the formal model worked best and are willing to be advocates for it.  With that in mind we put out a feeler on this form to get a sense if others felt they might benefit from this sort of option being available.  If we hear enough support we will move forward with attempting to modify statute to allow after-care programs for pre-school students.

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  14. I know for me I didn’t enroll my son in preschool at our area elementary school because I couldn’t leave work everyday to pick him up and bring him to daycare. Schools could contract with area daycare providers and make sure that a licensed Teacher is teaching the preschool classes. When the preschool part of the child’s day is finished, children that need childcare can stay at the center (at the parent’s expense). I think this serves a variety of family needs and provides a good quality education for children. 

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  15. Our school offers PreK until 12:00, five days a week.  While great for some kids, this is very challenging for working parents who can’t pick their children up midday and transport them to daycare.  Parents do a great job of ride sharing, but there are still several families every year who send their children elsewhere do to the difficult schedule.
    I believe this results in losing some students permanently as there are several Pre-K through 8 private schools that offer full day pre-K.  Once the students begin there, they don’t often don’t switch to our public school when kindergarten comes.
    Having the ability to offer some kind of afternoon care for pre-K students would help us keep our local kids in public school. 

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  16. JES has found that we average a range from 77%-90% of preschoolers in our community attending preschool. This means that the bulk of JES preschoolers do attend. We can’t really speculate why the children who don’t come did not choose JES preschool, although we bus many of our students in from Johnson Daycares. We know of quite a few child cares (both centers and in home dayacres) in the area where our students attend. There are also daycares in nearby towns. Currently, we have no plans or intentions for starting an after school preschool program. We can’t really judge whether or not our community would benefit or suffer from this legislation, unless legislation was requiring it. A requirement such as this would have a financial impact on our school.

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  17. Why in the world do we want to create more “programs”  that mitigate the “responsibilities” that  parents are supposed to be responsible for?     Why allow these parents to  force the “taxpayers” to have their “taxes go up? 
    Why increase taxes on taxpayers, some of whom have NEVER put a child thru any school system in Vermont?
    We are now to the point that our State Legislature and the  ”local governments” are taking over complete control and rearing todays children…………….sounds just like the methods the Communist countries use….all over again!
     
    How sad!

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