Snow days are part of the equation for anyone sending their child to a preschool in a place where it snows. We all know that once or twice a year, the school will close, the teachers will rejoice, and the kids will stay in their pajamas all day.
Winter 2011 is a whole other situation. The public schools in my area are looking at making up days on Saturdays, going further into the summer, or even going through spring break. I would feel bad for the children if I weren't the parent now.
When you're a kid, snow days are a blast, but as the parent, they are pretty much a giant bummer. And this winter? It's getting excessive.
My two children go to preschool three days a week and it costs us roughly $150 for each day they're there. This year, they've had five snow days and it's only February 4. I am no mathematician, but that seems like $750 in prepaid childcare that I paid for but didn't receive.
I am lucky to have a husband who understands that just because I work at home doesn't mean all snow days are on me. I have had help. But it still doesn't make it easy. As I write this, I have two crazy monkeys hanging on me, asking me questions, and in one case, growling like a dinosaur.
One or two snow days are understandable, but by the time this winter ends, we could be looking at 9 or more, which for us translates into three weeks of childcare we paid for but didn't receive. At a public school, the days would be made up. At a business, we wouldn't have to pay. At a certain point, someone besides the parents needs to eat some of the cost.
In talking to other moms, there are a few options different schools do:
- The school credits pre-paid tuition back to the parents for future bills.
- You simply don't pay for days canceled for snow (and the teachers don't get paid).
- Nothing, the parents just suck it up.
- The school eats the costs when they go past a certain number of days.
Right now, we're working with option number 3 and it just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. There may be a policy in place, but this winter has been unusually awful, so there needs to be some kind of compromise.
If a private school runs on the schedule of a public school, then it only makes sense that they also make up days like a public school, no?
What do you think? What does your school do?
Image via di_the_huntress/Flickr