The beginning of the school year and the beginning of summer are always heart wrenching for the Club’s admin team as we are forced to set parameters for what is a safe and manageable number of children at our program. Unfortunately, due to our growth in popularity and need for the program, this means that some families – some who have been with us for years – end up on the wait list.
The Club tries to maintain a ratio of 20 members to each staff. We also have to comply with what is a safe number of children in a room or a building. We also have to taken into account factors like how many seats we have at Bijou. All those figures determine what is an acceptable daily attendance and then it is down to staff to predict out of X number of members, how many will attend each day. When you add into the mix evening activities such as AYSO or after school Clubs, it gets even harder to predict.
That is why we will not be opening up the wait list until the end of October. AYSO will have finished then, after school Clubs will have started, and Sierra House will be fully back at their own site. We will also have had sufficient time to monitor our daily attendance and ensure that we can comply with our safety practices.
We should also add that you might hear that another child has got in before yours and that is due to the differing popularity of sites and age groups. We always have very large numbers for the lower grades and sometimes, but not always, fewer for the old grades and teens. So if you friend who says she signed up after you gets in before, that is because the wait list was shorter for her child’s age group or site. But for each age group we do offer places on a first come and first served basis and will call parents to let them know that they have a place. If they decline it then we move to the next person on the list.
While we appreciate that this is all extremely frustrating for those on the wait list there are steps you can take to avoid this happening to you again. We open registration for summer AND the next school year in March of every year. We do sign-up nights at Bijou and Main Site. Even if you do not attend in the summer, you can sign up for the following academic year in March, April, May and even during the summer if places are still available. But do not leave it until the last minute as you will likely end up on the wait list again.
Even if not a member yet, follow us on Facebook and on Band. That will keep you informed about sign-up nights and membership availability. And finally, we are in the process of hiring additional staff and once we have our new building we are confident that we will be able to accommodate more members on a daily basis.
So if you are on the wait list, keep faith, and know we are doing everything we can to accommodate you.