The Waiting Game
Yesterday was a wonderful day at Club as we added over one hundred new members to our 2022/23 afterschool membership. Some were brand new to Club, others were familiar faces from the summer who all the staff were excited to see again. Equally exciting has been adding new staff to our team. All our new recruits are bringing a fabulous blend of fun, enthusiasm, desire for impact, and a good dose of sense – making them ideal for working with youth! But the hunt for staff is far from over. Ideally we would like to add another six staff to the program team before space starts to become an issue, and although we have made a number of offers, sadly they aren’t always accepted, and we also lost a staff member to a full time role elsewhere. So please keep spreading the word, especially if you are one of the lucky parents who have already got in.
For those parents who are still on the waitlist, we thought it might be helpful to answer some of your questions.
1. Why am I still on the waitlist?
At Club we operate a max ratio of 1 staff to 20 members (1 to 10 for our TK and K grades). Those 20 members are all around the same age, making it easier for planning age appropriate activities and providing a better experience for members. So when we add a staff to our team, we look at their skills, experience and personality to choose the best age group for them. So 1 extra staff could help us take on 20 extra 4th grade members, but won’t move the Kindergarten waitlist. With 3 sites, we also assign a staff to a specific site. So if the staff was assigned to the Magnet School, but you are on the waitlist for the Angel of Tahoe building. That hiring will not move your waitlist. If your child is in grades 1st through 4th, you also have a LONG list of other children also wanting a place. Those are the peak age groups for Club membership and the waitlist is extremely long.
So if your friend with a 5th grade child at the Magnet School just got in, but your 2nd grade child who attends Sierra House didn’t, it is because of the reasons listed above and not simply just a matter of who applied first.
2. What are you doing to help get my child into the Club?
Aside from hiring new staff, we also started a punch card scheme to encourage parents who only use the Club occasionally to switch memberships and free up extra spaces. As we work down the waitlist we are removing those names who no longer need Club, ensuring that those who do not have other options rise to the top of the list.
3. How long will it take to absorb the rest of your waitlist?
Despite adding a hundred new places, we still have over 180 children on our waitlist. We are working hard to hire enough staff to absorb as many members as we can, but at some point it will stop being a staffing issue and become a space issue. Not only must we comply with the max capacity of the buildings and spaces we occupy, but too many members in a space becomes a safety and quality issue. How long it will take to hire additional staff is unknown, but we will contact YOU as soon as a space for your child becomes available.
4. Should I look at other options?
We highly recommend that all parents who can, look at other options for after school care. We hope to offer you a place at Club, but do not know when that will be and in the meantime we recommend you do what is best for your family and your schedule. All parents will be starting again for summer enrollment and afterschool 2023/24 and so it will not affect your chances of enrolling in those programs.
5. What can I do to speed up the process?
Spread the word we are still hiring. I am afraid that calling us will not change the situation, but we promise to call you as soon as you have a place.
Thank you to all those parents who waited patiently and were understanding of our waitlist. We appreciate you. Our staff work very hard to hire staff, enroll members, and process paperwork and so to be on the receiving end of nasty comments or verbal abuse is extremely disheartening. We want to ensure we keep every staff we hire, and so rely on parents and members to help make this a fun and enjoyable place to work. Thank you for playing your part in that goal.