Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Summer Camp

When I dropped Raphaeal off at Gan this morning, they had posted a sign that said that "Due to popular demand..." they are extending their run by one more week into August, a camp of sorts for the kids who already attend the nursery the rest of the year.

I will, of course, take advantage of this arrangement, especially since I had started interviewing sitters for the month of August and found the pickings to be slim.  It also depends upon the timing of Raphaela's surgery;  I have yet to receive the results of the sleep clinic, and therefore cannot return to the ENT surgeon to finalize.

In Israel, you pay the same monthly amount for the whole year of nursery, even though they do not work during August; everyone deserves a vacation, and I presume that they charge the tuition this way in order to spread out the payments.  But here is my question:  if we have paid full price for the month of August, shouldn't the camp be free, or at least charge a minimal symbolic amount?

At the end of the day I am not complaining, the phenomenal care they provide has allowed my daughter to grow emotionally and intellectually this year, and I trust their care takers.

13 comments:

midlifesinglemum said...

Our private gan goes on until August 8th at no extra cost. You don't say if the extra week is after Tisha B'av on the 9th or if it is the first week in August.

Commenter Abbi said...

Tuition in August pays for the vacation that the gannanot are legally entitled to (I guess maybe a bit more since I think it's supposed to be two weeks of vacation, in addition to chagim. Though if the gan is open on chol hamoed succot, maybe not).

So, if they run a kaytana, the fee is in addition to the paid vacation the gannanot are entitled ot.

Sarah said...

I always thought of school tuition for private programs as being a sort of "this is the deal" thing. Meaning, the parents are told beforehand "this is the price, and here are the dates and the services we provide," and you decide if it's worth it to you. If not, you (one, that is) needs to find a cheaper place. If you like it, you pay for services up until a certain date. If you want more services above and beyond that "deal," you pay more.

Also, I can tell you as a teacher in a private program, I get paid the same amount each month no matter how many days of school there are. So the tuition for August is, indeed, helping pay for more busy months.

Doc said...

There are things that a first-time parent does not know, and I keep learning new things. The environment they provide for Raphaela makes me feel happy and safe, and is therefore worth it to me at this time.
What's ironic is that once a child reaches the age of three, the city pays for Gan, for the most part. It is that period of time when you are still buying diapers that you also have to pay privately for care-takers.

Amy Charles said...

Okay. As far as I can make out from googling around, though, the cost of private gan age 0-3 is still about a 20-50% of what you'd pay for childcare in the US, plus there's a child stipend, yes? And then the state takes care of gan once the child is three. More discounts if you've recently made aliyah. So this, really, is not bad at all.

A *week* of cheap-o summer camp here costs around $175-200, so around what, 500-600 NIS, and that's for older kids who don't need so much supervision. I have no idea what prices are like on the coasts; higher, I assume.

Nicole said...

Amy charles - i don't know how much private daycare costs in the USA, but here it costs 2500-3500 a month (maybe jerusalem is cheaper, i don't know). the child support you get from national insurance is 169 shekels a month.
the state does not take care of daycare from the age of 3 - compulsory kindergarten is (almost) free and is from the age of 5. For ages 3-5, there is city council kindergarten (not free, but a bit cheaper than 0-3 private care), but if you need a full day then it still costs approx 2000 shekels per month (half day costs approx 850).
In August, as doc said, you pay full fees but there is only daycare until August 8 usually - but as Sarah said - each place is different and you can find places that are open through August for the same price if you hunt around.
I am paying 2700 for daycare through to August 8, and then another 3500 shekels for summercamp till the end of the month :-(

Amy Charles said...

thanks, Nicole, that's helpful information for comparisons. So fullday for you is about $900/mo -- I'd say that's on the low end here (flyover US), but not something totally disproportionate. And that child stipend sounds like almost nothing at all (why do they bother, then? Is it different at different income levels?).

Doc said...

The child stipend is 169 NIS per month, no matter who you are or where you fall in the income bracket. A single parent can get some discount on child care and rent if he/she can prove abject poverty, earning less than 7000 NIS per month, total, which is about $2K per month. And if the parent is willing to send to a sub-standard care facility. Most parents I know take that 169 NIS and immediately transfer it to some savings account in the child's name, since the amount is almost neglible.

Private Gan in Jerusalem falls in the range that Nicole mentioned, between 2500-3000 NIS per month, through August 8th. For the next three weeks, parents need to scrounge around for camps that cost far more, usually for a program that only lasts one to two weeks.

I can say that in comparison to the US camp system, which has day camps (I went to Eagle Day Camp as a kid) and sleep-over camps, they may be expensive, but they can cover the parents in terms of programming for the entire summer.

Ariela said...

Why don't you send RR to a public Maon like WIZO? The tuition there is on a sliding scale depending on the family's income and I am sure a single mom gets a nice discount. There is an excellent WIZO maon in your neighborhood and I know people who sent their kids and were very happy. This could solve some of your financial worries.

Ariela said...

I just saw your comment and having sent 5 kids to public day care centers I can attest that the care at many of them is excellent. Also, the WIZO in your neighborhood is excellent.

Doc said...

The WIZO in my neighborhood is relatively good, but they have a high ratio of Gannenet to child. And they have a three year waiting list, by which point it will become moot.
I am very happy to make certain sacrifices to send Raphaela to her current Gan,despite the financial issues.

Amy Charles said...

It was that way here when I was a kid, and I wish it still were. I suspect things have changed because family situations have gotten so much more fluid -- you can't sign a kid up for the whole summer because the family's going away, or the father has visitation, or the stepsibs are coming, etc. I used to get picked up on the corner by a camp bus, lunch & bathing suit etc. all packed, eight weeks. But it's nuts here, a week here, a week there, half-days, swimming lessons not part of camp, diy for transportation...if you've got a lot of flexibility, it's great, because it's all a la carte.

Commenter Abbi said...

I used to pass by a WIZO maon behind the mall in Talpiot on Pierre Koenig every day when I used to walk to Pardes from my apt. in the Kamonim. There was always a gannenet yelling when I passed. :( It used to make me sad and I had no kids. I just can't stomach maons because of that, although I think there's supposed to be a good one in my neighborhood.