The Giant Suckfest that is Childtime Learning Center

Today is my 4 year olds last day at Childtime, or as my husband calls it, Muddytime, Dirtytime, and Dumbtime.

She's our middle child and between our seven year old son's daily homework and the baby's endless stream of needs, she has gotten the shaft when it comes to one on one flash card, learn your letters time with mom and dad.

So we changed preschools in hopes of finding a more kindergarten prep environment. Childtime's glossy brochures promised us an empowered learning environment, highly trained teachers, comprehensive hygiene practices and more. Talk about over promise, under deliver.

When we arrived her first day, nothing was ready for her. Then later I learned they had put her in the wrong classroom. We were clear that we wanted her in the older(4-5) group rather than the younger(3-4) group(she was right on the cusp) they put her with the younger kids. I am not a crazy, overachieving mom, but the reason we moved schools was to better prepare her for kindergarten. I was fine with her being with the 4-5 group for two years if we decided to wait an extra year to start kindergarten.

When I spoke to the director the next day about moving classrooms, I was told she, yes my four year old, didn't want to move because she had already bonded with the other teacher and therefore, they had not moved her. WTF, who is in charge here? When I asked my daughter later that night why she didn't want to move classrooms she told me that her current classroom had a pretend kitchen and she liked it. When I reminded her that all the classrooms had pretend kitchens, everything was copacetic.

So that finally corrected, her first day in the new classroom I go over to her bin and her name is spelled wrong. Now first let me point out that I wrote her name on the towering stack of paperwork they gave me to fill out , no fewer than 50 times. Clearly, all the forms I had to complete about her personality, her security issues, how she interacts best, no one even read. Getting her to spell and write her name correctly was one of the few things she knew how to do at this point. I politely pointed the error out to the teacher.

Still, after 5 days, it had not been corrected. Finally one day when I picked her up, I went in the classroom, ripped the name off her bin, pulled her 'to go home' folder and crossed off the misspelled names and rewrote them in giant, block letters with a Sharpie and left them on the teacher's chair. Meow. How much confidence can I have that an organization is prepared for a major emergency like an earthquake when they can't get her name right? They also misspelled science(sceince) and awesome(awsome), again meow, but these are supposed to be teachers.

And then there is the fact that in spite of having a handful of picnic tables, every time we came to pick her up they were sitting in the dirt eating their snack. It didn't even look like they had washed their hands before eating, comprehensive hygiene practices my ass, ugh, she probably has pinworms now.

Finally, there was the recent lunch situation. Childtime prepares lunch for the children each day. Because we are vegetarians, we supply the school with veg entrees for the many days they serve meat dishes. On the days they do pbj, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. she eats that. So a few days ago my husband picked her up around 5pm and when she came home I noticed she had food all over her face,. “Looks like you are wearing your lunch today honey,” I told her. “What did you eat that's plastered all over your face?” “Oh, that's just tuna casserole,” she said. “Oh, you ate tuna casserole today?” “Yes, and it was really good.” I looked at the days notes and sure enough at the bottom reporting what she had for lunch was tuna casserole(spelled tuna cassarole no less). Ugh, tuna is meat. And a side note for all the people who say they are vegetarian but eat fish, or chicken or chicken stock, vegetarian means you don't eat animals, so if you eat animals, you are not a vegetarian. I called the school the next day to remind them we don't eat meat. “Oh, everyone was confused, it was tatertot casserole, not tuna. Again, this does not inspire confidence, and I won't even begin to go into all that is wrong with tatertot casserole.

Our time deficit hasn't changed but we are making progress. We did what any parent with sense would do, first chance we had we removed her from the suckfest preschool and enlisted the help of a skilled personal tutor to spend the summer with her working on the basics she'll need for kindergarten. Who did we find? Our seven year old, and he works cheap too.

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Anonymous said... June 10, 2008 at 4:34 AM  

Aha! So that's where Dubya went to preschool!

painterjoy said... June 10, 2008 at 8:16 AM  

Jesus. What a farce. I live in LA County, so I am very happy to have been warned.

Love your story!

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