Not too long ago, someone asked me about my turnover. It seemed that I had a lot of children coming and going. Well, right now it seems I do!
Normally, children stay for three years: from their entry to daycare at a year, to the fall they start junior kindergarten, at age three-four. I've had a couple of kids skip JK and stay with me till junior kindergarten, so happy were their parents with my services.
Last summer, when a space came empty, I filled it with a three-year-old, a highly unusual occurrence, given that kids this age have generally been happily ensconced in daycare for a couple of years already. Taking on that three-year-old in addition to the two three-year-olds I already had, meant I'd have a three-kid turnover this fall. That's the nature of the business, sometimes.
Being well-prepared, I filled those three spaces: Mia would take one by coming on full-time instead of the occasional day here and there; and interviews over the past couple of months have given me Timmy, to whom you've all been introduced, and Malaika, whom you have yet to meet.
So I'm good for the fall, right? My enrollment was Mia, three in the fall; Zach, three and a half by then; Nigel (upgraded from "baby"), 21 months, and Timmy and Malaika, both a year old.
Mia's parents bailed, as you know. Two days later, Zach's parents told me that they have arranged a combination of part-time and at-home work so they can be with him before he heads off to school in a year. I can't fault that thinking! Zach is a lucky boy!
But does it put me in a bind? Yup. While I though I was full, I turned away a couple of interviews. Now we're awfully close to the fall, as far as these things go, and I cannot survive on the income from three children. It's worse than that, really: because they give a month's deposit on signing which is applied to the last month of care, my income in August will be from two children only, even though I will have four in care. *Sigh*.
(Update: since writing that paragraph, I got a call from someone who wants to send their child for July and August. A step in the right direction.)
What it all boils down to is that when all those spaces are filled, I will have Nigel, at 21 months, and, most likely, FOUR one-year-olds. Four. I've done it before, I can do it now, but it's a LOT OF WORK. The lifting, the tending, the tears, the diapers. In three months or so, when we've all gelled as a unit, they will be a lovely little playgroup for each other, but those first three months? Phew...
You may not be hearing from me quite so much.
Or you may be hearing from me even more - HELP!
Wish me luck!