The first year, I had enrolled my child for preschool and daycare.
The teacher was a nice lady. She encouraged my 3 year old to like the school going experience. So I totally ignored the smaller things like the partiality shown between the owners’ kids and other kids. (It is run by 2 ladies whose daughters are currently in the same school).
However when it came for LKG I chose to go for a standard school and only opt for daycare from Compass.
But that would mean a certain risk on my child’s safety as she would be dropped by the school bus at the day care premise and then being picked by the Compass staff.
Hence I spoke to the 2 ladies who run the school directly that I wanted personal attention for the safety of my kid.
They agreed and only for the first day they appointed a staff to pick my kid from the bus. Later it was left to the security at the gate to pick up the kids from their respective school buses.
Since I stay in Karthik nagar and extremely cautious about my kid’s safety, I had always ensured that my family member stood in front of Compass to see the daily activity of my kid being picked from school bus.
These were the risks observed.
The security guard had the duty of the gate keeping and also picking up the kids from the school bus.
1. Since Compass had its regular school which was half day, there were always parents coming/going/waiting in front of the gate to pick up their kid. Anyone can stand there in the guise of a parent.
2. Not always the buses stopped in front of the school gate. People who know Karthik nagar would understand better, the road often being dug up or blocked for repairs and buses stopped at the adjacent road and the security has to leave the gate service and go to fetch the kid from the school bus. (Imagine putting your 4 year old’s safety with such school)
3. Also as of last week, there were 2 buses dropping 3 kids between 12:30 to 12:45. The gate security has to run between buses and put each kid inside the school gate and rush to the next bus. Since we do a regular check, we see such happenings.
4. Since the regular school of Compass is still 1PM, the door of the school will be closed. The day care kids will be left alone inside the premise to take off her/his shoes and then knock and wait till the doors are opened.
With the above said, we continued with Compass since we had a family member daily monitor the routine. Days when it was not possible, we used to call the school admin staff (I used to call her) or the owner(other parents) and the response was not spontaneous. They needed at least half an hour to get back to school from their home lunch and respond.
After Dusshera vacation, we saw a new security appointed at the gate. Compass has never informed parents of staff/teacher/security change. So I had raised this concern on the watsapp parents’ group for after-school-daycare as to how the first day of the new security would be handled. (We didn’t have anyone from our family to monitor the activity for a few days).
The owner responded to contact the old security as he would take care of pickup in addition to his new office boy role. Hence I called him after 5 mins of the school bus arrival (by monitoring the North Star app) at the destination. He was given other task and was not present at the gate. He only answered my call to say I will get back in 5 mins. After 30 mins of disconnecting my call 3 times he went to the school kitchen to ask if she had arrived or not and only then picked up and said a yes. I know most of the staff there and came to know about this.
Since the day turned with so much of tension, I again raised the concern in the watsapp group and similar to the previous , rest of the parents joined me in voicing their concern about the security of the kid and keeping the parents informed. The owner (an American lady) replied that there was a meeting the next day at 12 PM on 15th Oct 2016 (the next day). Only I had agreed to go since other parents said they were out of town or didn’t not respond to come for the meeting.
How the lady plotted on terminating the service.
1. My husband, kid and me were present at the school premises sharp at 12 PM. On 15th October 2016.
2. This lady pretended to be busy in a meeting and said will be back in 2 minutes.
3. When it was 12:45, I called the admin reminding of the appointment. She called the owner and so she came down and said, “Can you come upstairs”
4. We went upstairs and saw her husband coming out of the so called meeting room. Fine, it could have been an important discussion.
5. As we entered the room she first closed the door of the room (it was the 2 lady owners and my family in the room now) and without a single feeling/word of apology for making us wait for 45 mins, her first statement was “Since no other parents turned up, this is no major concern”. This only showed that she never respected for feeling of insecurity we had. She never wanted to address it.
6. She had asked more than 6 times, “what is your expectation” and we only said, we need a contact number so that we may call to get a confirmation about my daughter’s return. She flatly responded “No”. …… “Since we can’t provide what you expect, we would severe the services.”.
7. The way she handled the discussion was towards getting us out of the group since I had raised a concern on the care and safety that was a lack and that too in the watsapp group and other parents joined after me.
8. The next minute she removed us from the group and informed the other parents that they have come up with a solution for the safety.
9. They refunded only exact half of the day care fees though it was Dusshera holiday and my kid attended day care for just 2 days.
10. Though it was their inability to provide a secured service and their move to terminate the service, they refunded only Rs5000 of the 12500 security deposit we had paid. I don’t remember if the non-refundable amount was 7500, but since it was their mistake they must have returned the full money. There are other daycares in Karthik nagar where the policy is to refund full non-refundable amount if school fails to provide any service or if kids do not adjust to the school for which parents would discontinue.
11. Amidst my tight office schedules I had to take leave to take care of my kid and find a good day care where people have the basic ethics in their business and treat parents with due respect and manners.
12. I have been cheated on the money front also where my loss is Rs10,700 and have to reinvest for the non-refundable amount for a new school.
13. It has been an emotional trauma for me for the past 3 days on how cunningly she tricked us to attend the meeting alone and the behavior of treating us and her unapologetic behavior.
How they handled the discussion.
1. She never let us talk. At times I had to shout on top of her voice to express my views.
2. “Yesterday your kid’s bus arrived 10 mins late and security had to leave for other task.” Please, we are in Bangalore.
3. “Do you thing anyone will lift your kid?” Does she know the Bangalore happenings? With this attitude, how can she ensure she has safety in place.
4. “Do you raise such concerns ever with the regular school who runs the bus”. Of course. But will you play the blame game with the other school if something really happens?
5. “She is picked from the bus by a staff”. Now I know that you do not know what is happening daily in the school.
6. “It’s India and we have the problem of irregular staff”. Only in Compass we have this issue where teachers/staff/security change so often. It’s all about how you treat them. This is the second time I hear this American lady talk down about India or Indian culture of parenting.
7. “You are not paying for full day school. We have our school working till 1 PM”. When I said about the kid waiting inside the premise but outside the closed doors she said this. At the time of payment they have package from 12 – 3, 4- 6:30, 12 – 6:30 etc. I had to remind her that I am paying from 12 PM.
8. “We have done so much for your kid”. You have done it for the money we pay. We have chauffeured for the school trips in addition of paying for the trip transportation. We have done it for the love of our kid.
The owner’s attitude:
Every parent is of the opinion that the second lady is very rude to parents. But that is because the first owner(sorry for calling the first and second, but the American is the first there). Only on speaking to her on the day of meeting I knew she has instructed such a rude culture in the school.
But the school words goes like “We believe that parents are partners.“
When my kid was attending regular school there was an incident where she was turned back home to come in school uniform on the day of Independence day celebration. The school staff missed to paste the notice in my kid’s diary. When I wrote to the school owner, she never reacted on the letter nor did she apologize for the mistake on the school staff for their carelessness or for the attitude of strict disciple to send back a 3 year old back home for not following the dress code which was not notified.
Also during Dusherra vacation, these owners were not present in the campus. Only few care takers were present to take care of a few kids who were present. Since Oct 7th was the last day of term fees payment, I asked in the watsapp group as to whom I should hand-over the cheque. She said a staff name, who was not present in the school. Me and many parents returned without making the payment for lack of any staff authorized to collect fees.
But during the meeting when I pointed that she was not aware of which staff is absent/present in school(then how does she say, “We can’t give you a contact phone number. You have to believe that your child is safe in school”), she could not take it anymore and asked, “so what are you trying to prove?”
I was paying Rs6400 per month and there were only 2 school buses with 3 kids coming between 12:30 to 12:45. Couldn’t she dedicate a single staff to oversee the child pickup from the school bus, at the same time also ensuring that the gate security can concentrate at the gate duty?
If the kid does not come to day care, they do not call back the parents or have any system in place to ensure that the kid will not turn in for the day. But when questioned, she said that she called up the regular school bus driver. But they have no records as to how many days my kid had not come for day care. I know this since the care takers will have other means to find out if my kid is coming for the day care or not(since I am from Karthik nagar, we have some common people)
When the school bought a minivan for kids pick-up/drop service, they posted in the watsapp group asking if anyone was interested, they could get back. Again the admin called each of the parent to ask if we wanted the bus service or not. But when it comes to any information, (like parents who pick up the kid needs to submit a photo and obtain an ID card of the school), the school never bothered to call us or inform us. They could have at least used the school diary. The only way of communication was verbally from the security. This negligence is specific to day care. There is no staff or rules in place to monitor the day care. I really had this feeling that the security was the only person who was bothered about the day care kids. Of course the care takers too were good but I clearly felt that the administration was not involved not any staff overseeing the after-school-daycare activities.
All the information is 100% true as per my experience. I have recommended many kids to Compass and by my good word of mouth there were additions to Compass. With too many new joiners if Compass has forgotten to be grounded then it will definitely pay the price.