I’m having trouble getting my head around this one…

May 2, 2008 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

Today, I went to take a peek at another center for wrap around care for Isaac for next year. This one is almost right across the street from his school, and closes at a decent hour, so if I ran late, I could easily go grab him.

The visit today was, shall we say, shocking. So shocking that I’m still having issues getting my head around how people pay money to send their children to this center.

Where is this place? It’s Kiddie Academy I in Albany.

I wanted to like it. I really did. The director seemed nice and when I spoke to the assistant director on the phone, she seemed very nice too. I wasn’t prepared for what I found.

I arrived a few minutes early, because I dropped off Isaac. I waited in my car for a few minutes and then walked in.

As I walked in the door, there was an odor. One that permiated the center, that I couldn’t put my finger on. On top of it, the floor was extremely dirty. There was a check-in computer with announcements, but I wasn’t shown it at all, nor were my questions answered about it.

I was unceremoniously lead to the back of the center-a series of half walls and a noise level to wake the dead. I was lead to a classroom where I was told that Isaac would be placed, depending on the day, and there were at least 20 children sitting, like zombies watching a movie. There were 3 teachers in the room, pretty much checked out. I was told they’d find Isaac a permanent place to put his stuff, but he’d be bounced from classroom to classroom, day to day depending on numbers.

Then, I put my finger on the odor…it was burnt food. You could smell the burning of some starchy substance (I’m guessing bread, because it didn’t have the smell of burnt popcorn..and it was 9:50am).

I was reluctantly shown the playground-all pea gravel, and pretty barren. How are kids supposed to ride trikes and all of that on pea gravel?

As we walked to the playground, I was again assaulted by noise…a story being listened to on CD super loud to fight over the screaming babies left in their cribs (a few were standing up while teachers sat at tables), a teacher screaming at another child in another room down the hall-the movie going on and on in the other classroom..and a bunch of kids trying to listen to a story…that was turned up so loud, because it had to be to compete with all of the other noise. How can kids learn like that? How can children even begin to learn the concept of indoor/outdoor voice when all they are forced to use is their outdoor voice?

The really sad part? I asked the assistant director if it was always this loud…she told me it was a quiet day, because when the weather is nasty, the kids play in the hall with bikes and scooters and balls.

Yes. They play in the hallways…more noise to add to the teachers trying to teach kids with the half walls.

then, I asked the bathroom question.

There is 1 bathroom for the preschool-pre-k rooms. 4 stalls..and it reeked. It smelled like a poorly maintained nursing home…at 10 am. This should not be. Not at all. They allow the kids to go unsupervised, in the name of kindergarten readiness. Yeah, right. Most K’s have bathrooms in the room. So do most first grades now!

But unsupervised? One at a time? No thank you.

If all of that wasn’t a deal breaker, the director began to argue with me over Isaac’s compression vest (IF I sent it…I most likely wouldn’t, but in case..) and his AFO’s.

Then, she wanted his diagnosis.
NOT her business. I told her that I was not comfortable giving out my child’s diagnosis until he was formally enrolled, and then I would provide a copy of his IEP. She was not a happy human. She said she would have to talk to her licenser.

But by this point, before the convo with the director, this place was already a no..for the reasons of

  • cleanliness (smells included!)
  • noise
  • curriculum (it was shady at best-trust me)
  • playing in the halls
  • playground
  • checked out teachers (Did I mention the two that I saw making out in the car during a smoke break..before I went in for my tour?)
  • kids who just did NOT look happy.

Yeah. No thanks.

So, it’s Pineview or Childtime. Now, the real sitting down and deliberating begins. I hate this stage.

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Entry filed under: ick, parenting hell.

This is one of the single most frustrating things Ya ever have just one of those mornings?

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