Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meeting another minimum standard

Alright -- see if you can follow this...

I am required by the State to enroll Dolly in preschool. She turned four at the end of September. She did not meet the cutoff for enrollment in the public school program.

So, I took her to Head Start. Filled out tons of paperwork. Had to get a little huffy with the manager at the center when I explained that I was not going to provide my tax information. (Dolly automatically qualifies because she is a foster child.)

Dolly was put on the waiting list.

I met the minimum standard. Whew.

Head Start called me right before the last court hearing to tell me that a spot had opened up for Dolly. I explained that she was (most likely) going to move to D*** to live with her grandma. They agreed to hold the open spot for Dolly though and told me I could call after court and let them know.

Court came and went. Dolly stayed with us. I called Head Start to get her officially enrolled.

There was no one there to take my call. They told me I was going to have to talk to some supervisor.

"Some supervisor" never called me back. So, I called again. Eventually I got to speak with this person...who then explained there was no opening. I got a little tense and wanted her to explain why she had told me there was an opening if there wasn't!! I got this strange song and dance that literally made no sense. Then she asked me, "Does Dolly go to speech therapy?"

I answered yes. This supervisor said something along the lines of the fact that they can only accept kids who need "services" right now. I told her I would get the evaluation from Dolly's private therapist and I would bring it over.

I showed up at Head Start today with an evaluation that clearly shows Dolly's need for speech therapy. However, the manager said that what I have doesn't qualify. I have to have something from the public school showing that she needs services.

But Dolly isn't hold enough to go to the public school! That's why I was trying to enroll her at Head Start!!

So round and round we went. Dolly needs services. Dolly isn't old enough to go to public school. Head Start won't take her though because they only want kids that have been evaluated by the public school. I'm not even sure the man I was speaking with understood all that was going on. (Quite often I feel like conversations like this are limited because I speak English. Granted, his English was fine but he seemed to struggle for the right words to say.) I made sure that Dolly was still on the waiting list. I took her by the hand and we walked out while I explained again that she has to wait to go to school. (She wants to be like her big brothers and get homework too! LOL)

Bottom line....I'm totally OK with this. Even though the man at Head Start said I might be able to enroll Dolly in public school because she needs speech therapy – I don't want Dolly in the 4 year old program at the public school. She's too young and the program is severely lacking in quality. I haven't been impressed with anything I've seen out of the pre-K programs down here!! Also, I don't really want Dolly in Head Start either because I don't think she needs to be in a full day program. I want her here at home with me.

I called my agency to talk to our worker. She's going to pass the information along to the CPS worker. For all practical purposes I'm still within minimum standards because Dolly is on the waiting list. It's not my fault they won't enroll her.

I'm glad she gets to stay at home with me for now! For once it doesn't break my heart that all these programs won't play nice with each other.


MamaFoster said...

i know what you mean, that is how i felt too. i didn't like people acting like i HAD to enroll the kids in programs like head start (as described to me-"they can come out to the house and teach the kids how to brush their teeth..." what the heck?!?!)

anyway, glad that all that non sense is working out in your favor :)

MamaFoster said...

hey :) would you consider writing a post and linking it to my post about small businesses in an effort to get more people involved? and maybe we can work on getting you involved some how...I know you could whip up a fan page on facebook or something if you wanted to :)