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By Sarah Corbin
I have little kids.
We weren't living in Oak Park when making daycare decisions for my now second grader. And my only resource for finding childcare for her was a neighbor's word and the phone book. My husband was working full time for BestBuy, and with our bakery I was working more than a full time position. Our time to investigate locations was limited. We were lucky to have found the day-care that we did for our daughter. She loved where she was, we loved where she was, but with limited resources to investigate we were lucky.
Luckily for us the decision for our now 3 year old had a lot less to do with luck and much more to do with research and first hand knowledge of the different programs in the area.
Last January, when the decision for pre-school was looming, we attended the Parenthesis Pre-school Fair. This year it is being held on Thursday January 12, 2012 from 7pm-8:30 at the Parenthesis Family Center 405 S. Euclid Avenue.
My husband and I were extremely grateful that we went last year. We had the chance to really check out a number of spots, directors were on hand to explain their philosophies. We got an idea of who might fill up quickly once registration began.
Parenthesis provides each attendee with a printed listing of pre-school and daycares participating with space to write notes. That little booklet, and the Early Childhood Resource Directory published through the efforts of The Collaboration for Early Childhood were just what we needed.
This year Oakpark.com has become a host for early childhood resources through a partnership with The Collaboration for Early Childhood. Oakpark.com has added new listings, enhanced information and map directed listings to help you "map" a course for the best possible child care decision. Many childcare centers have added photo's and up to date open house information right on OakPark.com.
The Collaboration for Early Childhood releases it's 2012 printed directory on the night of the pre-school fair. They publish this only every two years. For those of you new to Oak Park or who haven't ever seen this directory it is a must have. You can certainly pick up the Resource Directory for free at lots of locations around Oak Park. Detailed education and information is also available online at The Collaboration for Early Childhood's website: www.collab4kids.org.
I'll be at the pre-school fair handing out information about the resources on OakPark.com. Rumor's are that we might also be able to do a segment for Feed the Meter that night. See you there.
I should also say there is a small admission fee for the fair. $5 per person, $8 per couple. Payable at the door. They ask that you not bring children. And you don't need to make a reservation. If you have questions feel free to call 708-848-2227.