Pre- School Administration

Would bad administration turn you off enrolling your child in a pre-school or kindergarten? Do you think bad administration is a reflection on the institution itself?

I ask the question because I recently experienced extremely bad administration and it nearly stopped me from enrolling my daughter in the pre-school. I was very keen to get my child into this school, knowing of its great reputation. I was also aware that there were long waiting lists so I made my first enquiry when she was six months of age. I knew I was getting in early, considering she wouldn’t be starting until age two, but I was surprised by the difficulty I had in actually getting her enrolment in.

When I first enquired, the woman I spoke to said there was an information night coming up and that I could go to the pre-school for an observation. She told me she’d get someone to call me about this. Months went by and I heard nothing more. I rang again but was this time told there weren’t any information sessions at that time. A few more months went by. I did receive and information pack, complete with enrolment form, but no phone call. I rang again and said I would like to attend an observation and information session. I was again told I’d get a call about it. No call to me was forthcoming.

I left it for quite a while and finally decided I didn’t want my daughter to miss out on a place. I wrote a letter explaining I’d called several times with no response but would still love my child to attend the pre-school. I said I’d like someone to contact me about organizing an observation session. I sent the enrolment form and small enrolment deposit with the letter.

This time I did get a call. The woman was quite apologetic about my calls not being followed up and assured me I’d be rung about going in for an observation. I felt better about this – for a while – until a few weeks passed and I again received no phone call. I rang one last time and on this occasion managed to organize attending the observation session. The session was great, and confirmed that it was the ideal pre-school for my daughter.

A few months later I received a call advising me that the pre-school was beginning a playgroup if I’d like to attend. Excited, I put the start date down in my diary. A week before the playgroup was to begin I called the pre-school to check what time it starts and what I’d need to bring. I was told that they weren’t sure whether it would be going ahead that week or on the following one, but that I’d be rung about it.

I didn’t get a call before the proposed start date so I assumed it was postponed to the following week. The next week I still hadn’t received a call so I rang again to check the playgroup was going ahead. This time I got the answering machine so I left a message. I received no phone call by the second week and assumed it wasn’t going ahead. The day after the second session would have been run I got a flyer in the mail advising when it would start and including all the details of times etc. The only problem being that the commencement date was for two weeks previous.

I called yet again, explaining I just got this flyer but wasn’t informed it had begun. I was told I could still join the playgroup, even though I had missed the first two weeks. Not being a cheap playgroup, I asked about only paying for the weeks I attend, and was thankfully given a cheaper rate for the term.

I love the playgroup and pre-school but have been really, really unimpressed by the atrocious administration. Would you have gone ahead with your enrolment? Or have you ever had a similar experience? What did you do?

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