South Windsor parents line up early to get kids into popular pro - WFSB 3 Connecticut

South Windsor parents line up early to get kids into popular program

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Parents lined up early Thursday morning to get their children a spot in South Windsor's 4th "R" Before and After School Program. (WFSB) Parents lined up early Thursday morning to get their children a spot in South Windsor's 4th "R" Before and After School Program. (WFSB)
SOUTH WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -

While South Windsor parents are at work, their elementary school age children can take part in a program right at their own school.

It's called the 4th "R" Before and After School Program.

Parents lined up early Thursday morning outside of the town's Parks and Recreation office to register their children for the 2018-2019 school year.

"I was able to catch a nap since nobody was here," said Mansour Ndiaye, who was first in line.

Registration actually began at 8 a.m. and was done in person and online.

Ndiaye started waiting outside around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

"I think this is a good program and we all try to get our kids in," he said.

The 4th "R" Before and After School Program includes a number of different activities, including homework and quiet time, arts and crafts, and wellness.

There are morning and afternoon sessions that run from August until June.

Parents told Channel 3 that it's a convenient option.

"It's at the school they go to, it's before school, you can get it after school, and half days on Wednesdays which is really difficult for working parents," said Christina Ayala, a parent.

However, spots are limited as the popularity of the program continues to grow.

"To have to get here this early just to get care before school is kinda sad," said Katie Lepak, a parent.

If there isn't room, children can get put on a waitlist until a spot opens up.

"I hope there is more allocation of resources or they hire more people or there's more space available for the kids," said Vijay Srinivasachari, a parent.

Channel 3 asked the town's parks and recreation director what's being done to meet the demand.

"We are working with the Board of Education and have been working with them to add space, so we can add children," said Ray Favreau, director, parks and recreation. "And then when you add children, we have to add staff to keep the 1-to-10 ratio."

Favreau said they recruit all year round and it's an ongoing process. They use a lot of students and their schedules often change.

"We are interviewing people almost every week," he said. "We just hired two people yesterday to replace people who left to find full time work."

Favreau said he understands that a lot of parents left disappointed. He asked for patience.

"In a perfect world, we'd take everybody," he said. "We don't like to turn people away. That's not our philosophy, but you do reach limits. We're at a crossroads with those limits and improve and expand those limits."

Forms can not be turned in early, hence the line on early Thursday morning. Registration is also only for town residents. Any registration forms that are faxed or mailed will be processed at the end of registration day and will be subject to any waitlists.

Non-town residents can register their children on April 6.

Information on the program can be found here.

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