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Can you use public Kindy as free daycare?

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
I'm a single mama and it looks like I'll need to relocate to (???) for my job this summer. DD will be 5 in September. Since I'll likely know nobody where we'll be, I'll need a daycare option for her while I work (I'm a college prof so hours will be flexible). I'm thinking that if the schools are not too horrible where we end up, I could put her in public K, but have my own set of stipulations. Do you think these would fly?
No homework, no standardized testing, I can pick her up any day at any time for any reason, her vacations will coincide with my college vacations (e.g. she'll have 6 weeks off in Winter instead of 2, be done by early May, etc.), she'd go 4 days a week instead of five.
I've always intended to homeschool but feel like I'd be in a bind, at least this coming year. My child is very bright and we've been learning together all along. She does stuff a lot of 1st graders I know can't do so I'm not worried about academics since I feel like we've got that covered. I just need someone to watch her on a limited budget that first year while I recover financially from a move and temporary free public school seems like it might be an option.
Or would this totally be a bad plan? Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 94
Your plan may not work if the school district has strict regulations about compulsory attendance, absenteeism, and truancy. There may be legal consequences for missing too many days, even in kindergarten, although kindergarten is sometimes exempt from truancy policies because it isn't compulsory. You'll have to check with the specific school board and school.

Good luck.
post #3 of 94
Since Kindergarden is considered public school, I doubt you would be able to tell them what their cirriculum has to be for just your child. Maybe I am wrong, but I would expect my children to have to follow the cirriculum at kindergarden. It isnt free daycare, its public school.
post #4 of 94
I really don't see this flying, especially at a public institution. They want your kid there every day so they get their government money, and if your kid isn't there, they don't get it. It would also be more difficult on the teacher to have a kid bouncing in and out like that.

What about trying to find a college student or group of them that could manage your hours in exchange for a combination of tutoring and cash? If your college has an ECE department, they also may have an on-site daycare.

Liz
post #5 of 94
I doubt it. Once you enroll in the school, that school has legal standards it *has* to follow for truancy/attendance and standardized testing (although I don't know too many STs for kindy kids). At DS's kindergarten, even though they are a private school, they still have to report to the state when a child is absent or tardy a certain number of times, and the parent can wind up in court because of that. The schools are required to follow those legal standards because they receive state funding for each student enrolled.

That, and it's not fair to the other children and the teacher if one student comes in when she pleases, leaves early all the time, and doesn't do the required work...that student might fall behind leaving the teacher to play catch up with her all the time while trying to teach the rest of the kids.

I think if you can't afford a nanny or babysitter, then maybe keep her in kindy the first year, keep doing school stuff at home with her if you'd like, and then pull her out and homeschool her next year when you're financially able to provide childcare for her while you are at work.
post #6 of 94
I agree with the pp's. Public schools just don't work like that.

If you are interested in homeschooling anyway, maybe you can contact a local hs group and find out if some of the families have older daughters who could watch her and/or maybe some of them could take turns including her in their day while you are working.
post #7 of 94
if public school were a drop off daycare for free, i'd utilize it too sometimes. they could hang out for while... but have no required homework, tests, and i could drop them off and pick them up whenever i wanted....take 6 week vacations with no "falling" behind i think many of us could dig that kind of school!
post #8 of 94
I'm a public school K teacher-- no that would not work, for both legal and practical reasons, many of which have been mentioned by PPs. It's also just pretty demeaning to all the hard work I do every day with my kids to be thought of as merely their babysitter. It takes a crapload of work to educate a class full of students, and one coming back and forth would be highly disruptive for everyone. When we have foster students and homeless students who are moved around and pulled out it is really hard on the class and the students who don't feel a real part of the community. We spend a lot of time working on integrating them and catching them up to our current units and we do it gladly because these kids need any measure of stability we can offer. I can't imagine choosing to do that just to get free childcare. What happens when she comes in Monday after not being there Friday and she doesn't have the first half of her story written when we write the second half? What about all of our group projects that she would have a hard time coming in and out of? Good curriculum is integrated day to day and unit to unit and builds on itself.

Btw I fully support HSing, I just don't think public schools are there merely for convenience. If you want to enroll her, you will likely need to follow all of the school requirements, and for good reason.
post #9 of 94
Also, let us not forget that public school kindergarden is NOT in any way, shape, or form, FREE. (jumps down from soap box )
post #10 of 94
I don't think that would work. Teachers are legally obligated to provide education that meets the standards they were hired to teach and to provide the testing the state requires all kids to take. I really doubt that a teacher is going to risk her job for someone who considers them to be a daycare service. Most teachers work hard to help children learn social and academic skills that they need to succeed in the next grade level and in life. Comparing them to daycare is really insulting. Also, even if you homeschool some states still require testing. Depending on the state you may also be penalized in court for her missing too many days.

There may be a private kindergarten option run by a daycare center in your area and if they need to boost their enrollment they may allow you to dictate your own terms. You can also advertise for a sitter at your university or check out nanny services on-line and try to find one that way.
post #11 of 94
This won't be allowed, and it's insulting as heck to the teacher and the other students. Please don't even ask about it.
post #12 of 94
I'm a homeschooling mama, but I have to admit that I find this idea insulting to the teachers and kids who would be in the actual class. It would be so incredibly disruptive. Plus, I know my own DD would hate missing out on everything else the other kids are.

I just feel if you are going to use the system, you are committing to their rules or at least committing to helping to change the rules, if you don't agree with them.


Holli
post #13 of 94
I addition to the objections described by earlier posters, I think it would be really hard on your dd to be in an out of the school environment at random times while everyone within that environment is working on continuous projects.

Depending on where you are, the hours of public school might not even be very useful to you. Very few college classes meet during the same hours as am half-day kindergarten.
post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post
I addition to the objections described by earlier posters, I think it would be really hard on your dd to be in an out of the school environment at random times while everyone within that environment is working on continuous projects.
I agree with this, and would add that it wouldn't be fair to the other children either. Classrooms have a culture, and to have kids bopping in and out would be very difficult.

And really, teachers aren't glorified babysitters. They work very hard for very little return. They have to continue to work hard to keep up their certification. Horror stories of "that teacher" aside, most teachers bust their butts to create a loving and enriching classroom environment. Treating them as drop-off care really doesn't seem very respectful to me.
post #15 of 94
I saw this in new posts and was intrigued. Just wanted to offer up the idea that the OP probably didn't mean to insult teachers, and that she's feeling panicky about a tough situation- she wants to HS but can't due to life circumstances. So she came up with this idea and threw it out there, perhaps without having though much about the ramifications.

That said, another vote from me for "bad idea."

Good luck OP. I hope you figure out something that works for your family.
post #16 of 94
But you can send her to kindergarten with the intent of homeschooling when you are ready to. If you are able starting in first, go ahead, but please don't pick her up all willy nilly and that other stuff
post #17 of 94
No, you can't use public kindergarten as free daycare, and proper order too.
post #18 of 94
As a professor, how would you feel if a student came to you and said, "I don't want to take your tests, I don't want to come every day because it doesn't really work with my schedule, and I would like to be done six weeks early"?
post #19 of 94
Here that wouldnt work since K is mandatory with attendance rules just like the other 12 grades.

The other stuff wouldnt be possible either here at all.

I just checked and where you are now in Pennsylvania it is not mandatory for students to attend K and they dont even have to be in school until they are 8yo. You can find the other states in the link below.

http://mb2.ecs.org/reports/Report.aspx?id=32
post #20 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammaarah View Post
As a professor, how would you feel if a student came to you and said, "I don't want to take your tests, I don't want to come every day because it doesn't really work with my schedule, and I would like to be done six weeks early"?
Honestly, in a lot of college classes it would work fine, as long as the student didn't want credit or grades (as I assume is also true of the OP for her daughter in kindergarten). Colleges generally let students take responsibility for their own educations.

In kindie, though, no... probably won't work very well.
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