Friday, 21 December 2012

The Graduate

An important landmark in our parental history was noted yesterday as we picked our son from kinder for the very last time. It was quite an emotional day, reminding us of our son's five year career through four childcare centers. In the morning we dropped him off at the same babies room we first brought him to some four and a half years ago when he was just beginning to crawl, and some of the carers that saw us off back then were there with us again. How could we avoid being emotional?
I have to add I consider ourselves lucky with our childcare escapades. For the bulk of my son's career he has been attending non for profit centers; the one he's been at during the past 4.5 years is a local council run center, with a relatively steady crew of carers that actually care - and it shows, and it makes a big difference. The sad reality, however, is that we are amongst the privileged; most parents and children do not enjoy such quality.

It almost goes without saying that the clearing of one set of challenges, those to do with childcare/kinder, has only paved the way to a brand new dawn of issues. At the core of it lies a huge problem: how are we, working parents, expected to look after our son during his school career? Where the hell do we get all the leave we need in order to be there during school holidays? And how are we to ensure he doesn't have such long days at school while we work that he returns home too exhausted to do anything, not to mention homework?
The first phase of our approach to this problem had me moving to a 48/52 regime. Basically, I'm going to buy an extra month of leave from work (or rather, I'm going to avoid getting paid for an entire month for the sake of being able not to work during that month). It is therefore clear that even if this scheme solves our school holiday problems it certainly adds stress to our finances.
Who says parenting is unrewarding?

Image: The Graduate movie


Sarah said...

There are school holiday programs run out of schools that he could go to. Our school is associated with the OSHclub who run their before and after school care program and they also organise school holiday care. Not in every school but in a few around the area so this might be an option.

It's a brave new world my friend!

Moshe Reuveni said...

We have such programs here, too, but we don't want to send our tender child to them without any friends to accompany him (at least not at this stage). We're afraid of bad experience ruining the option for years to come. With lack of interest from peer parents, we appear to be stuck.
As for Oshclub: they cancelled their "club" for my place of work due to "lack of interest". Bummer.

Uri said...

you can buy vacation days? that's cool!

I wish I could do that.

Moshe Reuveni said...

It's not that easy - it requires managers' approval up the food chain. But it's definitely one of the reasons why I'm working where I'm working.
On that note, a manager asked me what my special plans for this purchased leave are. It shows how detached they are: I'm thinking "how the hell am I going to survive this school thing", and they think I'm off to Europe.