I was browsing through my Yahoo! Groups, and one of my friends, Cz, had an experience I'd like to share here:
"Just want to share with you with what happened to me this morning and hopefully learn from this experience. I am a young mother with a 2 1/2 year old daughter. Like most mothers, I am constantly in the lookout for places which offer activities where my daughter can learn and enjoy as much as she can. Once when I was in SM Megamall I chanced upon this play center called Kids at Play dun sa may 5th floor. For a mom like me who has scoured a number of pre-schools and play areas, the place somehow held a quaint charm to it. Even if it was a very small area for a play school and I never got to observe any of their lessons or modules, I immediately enrolled my daughter for a 4-session saturdays only course, quite unusual for a picky and maselan mom like me (syempre all first time mothers feel that they only want what's best for their kid). Di ba usually pag school ang pinagpipilian ang dami mo pang ready made questions for them to answer? For me I didn't go through that anymore, kasi I only wanted something light for my kid, yung tipong play-play and for socializing lang with other kids. If I wanted my kid to learn the cognitive basics, I wouldn't enroll her in a school na nasa mall (without going through a lengthy debate on it, I'm sure my fellow teachers would definitely get the reasons for this). Basta instinctively, inenroll ko na lang kaagad. My expectations from it were not the same as I would have for a school that's not located in a mall). I told my husband, basta gut feel ko maganda , kasi yun lang yung play area na nakita ko na may mini stage. That was my mistake. When it comes to choosing a school, in this case kahit play school lang na nasa mall, better talaga na you stick to your ready made questions and if the school administrator, or in this case, the manager of Kids at Play (I don't remember her name, basta yung parang boyish na matanda na maikli yung hair) cannot answer them well sa umpisa pa lang, be wary na. My problem with them occurred when after our 3rd session, I didn't bring my daughter anymore because she started waking up late in the mornings, around 9 sometimes even 9:30. Mga 3 Saturdays din kaming hindi pumasok. Ako naman, I didn't call to inform them, kasi, dahil wala pa silang clear cut rules or policies (what they only have is a poster on their wall with the usual rules na wear socks inside the play area, no eating in the play area, those things). On the third Saturday that my daughter was absent, Teacher Dang called me in my house asking about Bea but never was I informed na forfeited na yung last session ni Bea. And then this Saturday morning buti na lang tumawag muna ako because I was ready to let Bea attend her last session, naka-bihis na kaming lahat and all, yun pala hindi na sya pwedeng pumasok. I complained to the administrator (yung ulit matandang babae na medyo parang lalaki) about it kasi wala namang complete orientation sa rules and policies nila (come to think of it, wala silang sinabi about any rule and policy, parang on your own ka na lang bahalang mag-tanong sa kanila) . Sabi nya that's how it is with other pre-schools naman. Kapag nag-absent daw hindi na continuous yung learning nya. Hello, Sabi ko, ganun ba yon?!! Eh di syempre lumabas na ang pagiging teacher ko at sabi ko yung mga modules nila independent from each other na kahit mag-absent, hindi nya mami-miss out yung flow kasi more on play-acting, arts, song and dance ang class. If they were cognitive focus activities, I would understand but I enrolled my daughter sa isang play play course lang!!! Kasi ang nature ng mga ganitong play-schools, tumatanggap sila ng bata at any given time hindi naman nila sasabihing, wait till this batch ends and enroll in the next. Pagsabihan ba naman ako na ang focus daw nila is not to earn money but on the development of the child!!! And if you think about it, hindi na lang nila naisip na, hey we can let the child join this class kahit na it's our (nowhere anywhere written, never-ever mentioned) policy to forfeit session after 3 absences. On the other hand, if we treat them right, we can ask the parents to re-enroll for another course kasi matatapos na yung una nilang enrollment. TALK ABOUT LACK OF SERVICE!! Buti pa sa Socialite's Driving School where I enrolled myself for a 5-day refresher course at hindi ko na napasukan yung 5th, ok lang sa management na come take my last session when I can in spite of the time gap/absences. Eh yun pa, ako lang ang studyante na pagbubuhusan ng oras at effort ng teacher. Sa Kids at Play, ano ba naman ang payagang pumasok ang anak ko sa 10-11:30 with a group of kids na iba na ang batch, MALULUGI BA SILA kung nag-join ang anak ko sa class na yun?!!!! E di nawalan pa sila ng isang customer. For all parents out there who are looking for playschools, pre-schools or are planning to enroll their kids this summer for whatever classes, don't make the same mistake as I do. Be an intelligent parent (para ko na ring inadmit na I wasn't intelligent with my decision to enroll my daughter at Kids at Play SM Megamall) and ask the same legitimate questions you would normally ask a real pre-school or a big school. Kung hindi nila masagot ng maayos or sasabihin lang verbally at wala kang makikita in black and white na rules, think twice about it."
What's worse is that when my friend called Kids at Play, that manager/administrator/idiot abruptly hung up on her.
She's asked us, her friends, to spread the news through word of mouth, so I thought I'd spread it through word of blog.
If you have young kids/toddlers, don't enroll them at Kids at Play.