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20.6.12

Preschool Panic

It's fair to say the past 24 hours have been pretty tough. With a visit to A&E last night with Charles and us not getting home until 1.30am and getting to bed at 2am we were all pretty shattered. Harry developed a rash at the hospital which was checked out by the doctor and diagnosed as "probably a heat rash". This was fine as it had been hot in the ward we were sat on.
Today mostly involved him sitting around in just a nappy to cool down, although the rash hasn't disappeared so we are now on "Pox Watch".
To top it off, I've been feeling a bit off the past couple of days and officially have a cold. This is something I really could have done without that today.
So surely that's my 3 bad things? Nothing else could go wrong.

Last year, the day after Charles turned 2 I handed in his preschool application form at the school we'd chosen for him to attend.
We knew our place wasn't guaranteed, especially as we are not in catchment.
I was told to only put down the name of one school on the form, fair enough, that made sense, as we were then more likely to get into that preschool than any other choices. We were told that if we didn't get into this school then we would get into the catchment school. Again this was fine and we didn't mind as our catchment school is good anyway.

Earlier this year I phoned the school to find out when we would be told if he'd been offered a place. I was told end of June. This was fine.

June obviously came and a friend of mine who also applied at the same school was getting impatient at finding out about whether or not we had a place offered to us.
I remained calm as I'd been told end of June, as had she on an email.
We'd then become aware that almost everyone else we know, in fact everyone else we know, with children the same age and due to start preschool in September with the allocated 15 hours had already found out if they had received a place.
So today I phoned the preschool we'd applied at and was told "We've sent out the letters to the children who have been offered a place, we haven't sent out the letters to those who haven't been offered a place yet"
I could kind of understand this as they had to check that all the people offered a space accepted but still, we were left totally hanging with no back up options.
I asked if that meant we automatically got a space at the other school she mentioned and was told "probably yes. Ring them to check"
I did this. And was told no, Charles didn't have a space.
Why didn't he have a space? Because they don't have a preschool.
So despite this other lady telling me they did have one, they obviously didn't.
I was told to ring the Council Admissions phone line, which I did and again, hit another brick wall.
"We don't deal with nursery admissions. You should call that school back and ask to speak to the preschool and not reception"
"But they said they don't have a preschool?"
"You should ring him back. We don't deal with nurseries."
Bang. Head.
"Ok, thanks bye" I quickly hung up the phone. She had a rude tone and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it.
I phoned this second school back and told the man what I'd been told. He assured me that they didn't have a nursery/preschool and said they wish they did and that Charles was more than welcome to attend the school next year.
In the meantime my husband had found numbers of other people to call so we could find out what to do.

This has obviously caused a  huge panic for me and my friend whilst we search for another preschool that will have places so late on.
Open days tend to take place in July (obviously) so we're close to missing this.
For me its not such a problem but as my friend works she needs to be able to book the time off to attend an open day and to get the hours sorted so she can sort out childcare around the nursery/preschool hours.

This has totally changed my mind on where I want Charles to attend when it comes to full time school. The first school I mentioned, the one who has failed to send out letters to those of us who haven't been offered a place and don't see it as an important task to let us know, has received Outstanding in Ofsted reports. Yet, if they can
1: see no urgency in letting parents know what is essentially important information before we've even joined the school
2: twice tell me about a preschool which in fact doesn't exist
then do I really want to send Charles there?
Not really.
Or do I want to send him to the second school, where the man was patient with me despite not being able to help at all and not having the preschool I was asking about.
Yes.

So through all this panic I have at least come to a decision about big boy school for next year.

Now to search through the possible places and see which has a space for us!