Five years ago the Club had an average daily attendance of around 50 at our main site and approximately 30 at Bijou. Fast forward to today and we have an average daily attendance of over 300 a day across both sites.
An improved Club experience, better programs, great staff and the low cost of membership have made the Club very popular. Tahoe is also a working community, and the majority of our families need after-school care due to their work schedule.
The Club staff is incredibly proud of how popular the Club is but the downside for us is having to operate a wait list for memberships. The Club aims to keep to a 20 children to 1 staff ratio; this assists with safety, group management and enables us to run quality programs. When you combine available space, number of staff and our ratio, it sets a limit on the number of members we can accommodate at each site.
We apply that number to our predicted average daily attendance and then determine the maximum number of members that we can take. We also look at trends from prior years to predict how many members = how many kids each day. Some Clubs/programs don’t set a limit on the number of children they take but we believe that compromises safety and quality.
So it was with some sadness that we went on a wait list the second day of the school year. Sad because we want to serve as many children as possible and also because we know that for parents on the wait list it can be incredibly frustrating and stressful. We fully anticipate that we will have absorbed the majority of our wait list by the end of October, as fall/winter work schedules and extra-curricular school activities cause a drop in our average daily attendance, but there may still be some outliers in our most popular age groups.
So if you are on the wait list – hang in there. We are working hard to accommodate your child and will notify you as soon as we have space for them.
A couple of mis-conceptions have come up recently that it is also worth addressing here:
1. If you were a member last year you are NOT automatically enrolled this year. EVERYONE must complete an application form and pay membership fees every year (the start of our year is the first day of the summer vacation) in order to attend the Club.
2. Your child CAN NOT attend the Club if they are not a current member.
3. We need a fully completed application form and a minimum membership payment of $100/per child for whole year and $20/child for after-school before your child can attend; even if we have said that we now have space for them.
4. If you have unpaid membership fees from prior years, you will need to pay that debt or apply for a scholarship before your child can attend.
We open enrollment for the summer and following school year in March. This gives families ample time to renew or sign up for the following year, but to ensure that existing members don’t forget and miss out, in 2019 we will be requiring existing members to renew before the start of the summer vacation. Hopefully that will avoid disappointment and the rush for places the first day of school.
We will be keeping members and their families informed of enrollments via our Facebook page, Remind and our monthly newsletter. Please read all communications from the Club to ensure that you don’t miss out.
And, we can’t wait to start the process for our new building. Our intention is that with a purpose build facility we will be able to accommodate more members and hopefully eradicate our wait list.