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Extra Curricular Activities At Pre-School

By Jo Green - Mon 11th Oct 2010

The kids attending pre-school (3 to 5 year olds) have the option to remain at school for lunch, or come home between the hours of 12 and 3pm (apart from June and September when school finishes at 1pm, and July and August, when school is closed completely).

It can be difficult for working families, or those without grandparents living closeby to be able to juggle everything, and so remaining at school to have 'comedor' can often be the only viable option for the child.

Initially we wanted to bring my daughter home to have lunch with us because we felt that 9 till 5 was a long day for a 3 year old and that she would get quite tired. Her having a siesta at home aswell was not really an option because by the time my partner had picked her up from school, made lunch for us all, and I had got back from work, there wasn't really that much time left to eat lunch and have a siesta aswell. We have only found out over the last few days that, ironically, those that stay at school for 'comedor' more often than not all manage to have a 45 Minute siesta, so that is looking like it may turn out to be an option after all.

If we commit to her having comedor on a full-time basis the cost is 3.80Euros per day and is deducted by standing order every month, however for a maximum of 2 days every week it is possible to buy and use an occasional ticker, which costs 4.80Euros per day.

Last week we were sent a letter from the school advising us that there was now also an option to extend school hours in the middle of the day (IE finishing at 1pm as opposed to 12) by enrolling on optional / extra activities. These would be arranged by the 'Ampa' (A kind of parents association) but with the full cooperation of the school itself, but staff times and material etc... would have to be paid for at the rate of 9 Euros per month, per subject.

The 5 options (1 activity per day of the week) were Dancing, Theatre, Coordination, English and Aerobics. For obvious reasons we decided not to bother with English, Aerobics seemed unnecessary . Although not compulsory, the local Town Hall pay for all pupils to do the coordination activity (they also pay for her English language books that she uses as part of her compulsory lessons but not the optional lessons) - so we decided to take them up on their generous offer and enrolled her on this aswell as Dancing and Theatre.

That will mean that she will only have a 2 hour break in the middle of the day, so we will have to see how this affects her for being tired. It may mean that we do a complete u-turn on what we decided initially and allow her to stay at school all day for comedor. We will just have to wait and see how things turn out.

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