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 Escondido Families will be affected by the child care increase
Author: yvette larrabee 
Date:   2004-04-20 11:16:17

My name is Yvette Larrabee, I am a stay at home mother. My husband and I have a four year old daughter and soon to be two year old son. As parents we understand how important it is for our kids to attend preschool. Our daughter is a student at the Escondido campus. I understand that the fees may increase by twenty percent. I'd like to express how important it is for the fees to remain as is, and why it is important.

Prior to our enrollment I had called and visited different preschools in Escondido. There are different preschool programs that fit different family needs. For instance, Headstart, has a state preschool program for low income families. Their guidelines are low income, I believe for a family of four the requirements are about $24,000.00 a year. There are other programs like the CRS YMCA program, which targets working mothers. It seems that a lot of our low income programs are aimed for families that are in need of child care. Which makes sense. But, there are other types of families that choose to stay at home. But, who want to enroll in preschool to benefit and prepare for kindergarten. So, not being able to enroll in the state program or county programs I called some private schools. The Montessori Preschool is a private school and their fees average over $500.00 for monthly full time care. The Aplebee's YMCA preschool, averages over $400.00, these figures are based on what I can remember, back in January. I don't have the exact figures. Some of these preschools don't have a half day program. For example Applebee's part time program is four full days a week. My husband and I were looking for part days a couple of days a week. Other preschools don't meet my standards, either because of location, staff turn around, or lack of certified staff.

I understand that there is a percentage of families at the Escondido campus, that are not eligible for the state preschool program. My family is one of them. As I mentioned before we are a single income family of four. As a stay at home Mom I understand the beneficiary outcome my daughter will gain out of attending preschool. As a parent I want the best for my child. But because of our income "guidelines" we were decline services at the low income preschools, and the private preschools we could not afford. The families will be affected by the increase. Its hard living on a single income. Its also hard seeing the families of low income benefit from the low income programs.

Its hard to believe that the state of California airs television commercials emphasizing on the importance of education, starting with Preschool. If low income families are eligible for programs like Head Start, and the YMCA Resource Program, and the high income families can afford Montessori Schools, YMCA schools, and other private schools, what can the middle families afford? What programs are available to us? Perhaps there are programs available I may not be aware of. I feel Palomar was "my" program, a program that targets families like mine. Affordable, efficient, resourceful, certified staff, comfortable to afford. As a stay at home mother there is a lot I can teach my kids, but, there are some things, I am limited to teach.

I'd like to know why the fees may increase. Is the Escondido campus expanding their services? Is the staff underpaid? If the fees are increased, will the low income guidelines increase as well?


Yvette Larrabee

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