J-Man starts kindergarten in the fall, and today was orientation. You may be scratching your head right now and wondering “why the blazes are they having orientation five months before school starts???” You would be a wise and reasonable person to ask such a question. If you have a young child or are planning to have children, let me bestow some new-found wisdom upon you.
You must plan everything a year in advance beginning on your child’s fourth birthday (or perhaps even sooner).
What, you think I’m exaggerating?
Well then, allow me to present to you a real-world example. Our county provides an after-school child care program for children from when school ends (~3:30 PM) until their parents are able to pick them up (~5:30 PM). My son is beginning school in September. If I were to try to enroll him in this program for the 2011-2012 school year, I would be informed that I am 100+ on the waiting list. And if I were to visit the after-school child care program website, I would be see that “enrollment for the 2012-2013 school year starts this July!”
You read that right. In three months, enrollment begins for the following school year.
In other words, if I had wanted my son to participate in the after-school care program at his school for the 2011-2012 school year, I would have had to enroll him in July 2010, one month before his fourth birthday.
So, future parents, I am warning you now. You need to start thinking 12-18 months in advance. Aunts and uncles among you, inform your siblings! Spread the word! Let’s see if we can start booking things 24 months in advance! That will certainly teach all those unsuspecting, uninformed new parents not to wait until only 18 months in advance, muahahaha!!!!
So right now it is April 2011. Does this mean I need to start planning summer camp for 2012? Swim lessons? Soccer practice? PLAY DATES? Actually, I’m of half a mind to email one of the mothers from preschool and ask if her son is available for a play date in July 2012. Hey, calendars are filling up.