The Girl who Cried Pre-school

Everyone here in France is getting ready for the big rentrée, which is a big fancy word for "back to school".

This was also the time that Nathan was supposed to start pre-school.  After months of searching for a school and months of waiting to find out if they had a space available and finally getting our official "acceptance" letter we ended up not sending Nathan to school.

Instead, his big rentrée was back to daycare.  All of his friends are gone and he is now by far the oldest in his class.

All of this because the French school system is set up to screw with families with two working parents.

In France all schools are closed on Wednesdays.  Supposedly kids learn better if they have a break mid week, and so school is Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Friday.  If you are a family whose parents work Monday - Friday you are pretty much stuck on finding somewhere to send your child on Wednesdays.

Some families hire nannies to take care of their children on Wednesdays.  If the big nanny debacle of 2009 is any reminder - this was not an option for us.  Nathan's daycare has a "Wednesday Recess" where the kids who have attended the daycare in the past can go their first year out - but with only 60 openings they were already booked up.

And so, with no other options we decided to keep Nathan in daycare until January when hopefully a spot will open up.

All of this cleverly designed by the French government to make me feel guilty for being a working mother.  This, in addition to the school lunch break from 11:45 to 2 p.m., where most mothers pick up their children because heaven forbid they have to stay in school any longer than they have to.

And while I worked myself into a tizzy about all of this, I've learned to embrace that my oldest baby will remain a baby for a few more months.

The school has graciously accepted to save Nathan's place until January, when hopefully we will have a second go at the rentrée.


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12 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Ugh, what a hassle. I hope things work out in January.

The Anecdotal Baby said...

Ugh, sorry to hear about your misfortune. What a difference from the U.S. Hope all works out for you come January. I dread having a school-age kid. I'm so unprepared :/

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I so hope that works out for you, and oh my gosh, that photo of him by the statue is just too cute!

The Bonny Bard said...

That just sucks! Although... at least he likes his daycare! Have you by any chance read a book called Bringing up bébé? It's an american mother's viewpoint of how the french raise their kids and was curious to hear your opinion as an American mother raise a kid in france!

The Bonny Bard said...

Also, you look très skinny in the background of the second picture. I hate you a little. ;-)

Tallulah@Bilingual Babes said...

As if organising the whole rentree wasn't hassle enough! Fingers crossed for January.

jeands said...

that sound like a lot of stress and hassle. I hope things will work out come January.

Jessica said...

Wow. What a pain for school. I hope it works out for you in January.

Sonya said...

Love the Title! My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the school schedule. I want that schedule! What time does school start and end with only 4 days and a big break every day?

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I so hope things work out in January!

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Really? Wow, I hadn't heard of schools being closed on Wednesdays. You're right-what are working parents supposed to do??? Or single parents for that matter? You'd think that maybe they'd provide a daycare that was in school for the parents who work full time. And a lunch break that's over 2 hours?? Maybe I should move to France.

Susan said...

What a pain that sounds like!
I can't believe they take a break mid-week...is that all the way through high school?

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