As is the nature of such things, not long after I ranted about S's resistance to toilet training, the proverbial light bulb went off and she started enthusiastically and eagerly cooperating. She's exclusively wearing underwear now and I'm beginning to lose track of how many days since she had an accident, which means.....
I can enroll her in preschool!
I'm a stay-at-home parent. Or I don't work outside the home. Or I don't have a job. Or I don't have paid employment. However you want to phrase it, it means that the state does not pay any childcare expenses for foster children in my home. It also means that I don't need S to be at a daycare 5 days a week for 8-10 hours. I just want her to go to part-time preschool -- 2 or 3 days a week, for 3 or 4 hours.
Around here, the preschools that offer that sort of day require 3 year olds to be "completely independent in toileting" to enroll. (So, yes, that was feeding some of my personal desire to get her toilet trained. I couldn't enroll her in school until I could tell the school that she was training!)
Personally, I think it's ridiculous that the state will only pay for a 3 year old to get regular, structured, social interaction with children of her own age if that interaction is for the time a parent spends working a job. I also think it's short-sighted of the state to not realize that they are going to burn-out at-home parents of preschoolers, since it's not like I can set up a casual play-date swap with a good friend, either, without said friend having to go through a lengthy approval process. I get the flip side of it -- that they don't want lazy foster parents to abuse the funding to just hand the child off to someone else -- but I really think they could consider allowing a small amount of funding towards preschool. It's not like I'm expecting to get a blank check in the amount that full time daycare would cost!
But, I can't change that rule, so we are paying for it. In the it-never-hurts-to-ask category, we have asked our agency if they can help us out some; the agency caseworker is looking into "creative funding". And since the preschool she is attending is a part of our church, the director is also looking into whether she can find some "scholarship money" and has a few specific "anonymous" people in mind that she thinks might jump at "paying for a foster child to attend the preschool." We'll see. If not, we'll be spending almost two-thirds of her per diem on preschool.
She starts next week. I can't wait! (Now I can schedule that eye doctor exam for me....)