All you need to know about Klabb 3-16 (& our verdict!)

Jobs for Mums March 29, 2017

Anyone who juggles family and a career will accept any help that comes their way with open arms because the truth is achieving a work-life balance, being a great employee and a super parent is no easy feat. Admittedly we all have our moments and occasionally nag and point our finger at initiatives which may not be designed to suit our needs as perfectly as we expect, however, the truth is that we really do appreciate all the support and initiatives which are designed to make our life easier and which will continue to give our children the opportunity to learn, grow and collaborate with their peers. 
A couple of days ago The JobsforMums Team spoke with Elizabeth Pisani, Chief Executive Officer at the Foundation for Educational Services at the Ministry for Education & Employment. Our mission was simple - we wanted to gain clarity regarding the Klabb 3-16 programme structure and get a full rundown of all that's planned for the government's after-school programme which is intended to bridge the gap between school dismissal time and the time parents finish work and pick up their children. Here's what Elizabeth shared
'During these last years Klabb 3-16 has evolved in various ways and frankly, the original scope was probably different to the state the programme has turned out to be. We are now focusing more on giving children an educational experience whilst at Klabb 3-16 and moving away from a child-minding service. Parents who benefit from the service can have their mind at rest that whilst they are at work, their children are experiencing learning in a different way.  The Foundation for Educational Services mission is to ensure that the programme should have educational value, whether that relates to formal or non-formal learning and for this reason it has evolved incredibly' 
So what we followed and read about in the social media several weeks ago was close to being right. If Klabb 3-16 was going to focus on giving students an after school educational experience then this would mean that parents would have to pick up their kids at a set time and not any time that works for them. So is it back to the drawing board for busy parents who are trying to juggle work and family time? 

‘A balance needs to be reached. On one hand we want to make sure we support working parents, but on the other we also have a duty to prepare proper educational programmes, which hold value, and that they can benefit the child. I stress that it must benefit both the working parents and the child. It cannot be simply one way or the other. At this point, pick-up times are flexible enough to make it more convenient for working parents and ensure that children are benefiting from a structured, well planned programme. Furthermore, hours are predetermined to ensure that the learning experience offered is effective and a good balance is maintained.  From this year we have also started a number of initiatives together with local communities. A few initiatives are a foreign language acquisition programme, sessions about healthy lifestyle and Darba Wahda – a Valletta 18 initiative that brings together children and the elderly and engages them in conversations. These are examples of how children attending Klabb 3-16 can benefit from different initiatives. To ensure that students are interested and motivated we are working on short programmes of about 8 -10 weeks each so that children can experience different learning experiences.’ Elizabeth commented.
The Klabb 3-16 team acknowledges that if students are arriving home later than the typically end of school time with piles of homework then they won’t have much quality time with their parents so during the Klabb 3-16 classes students are also encouraged to dedicate some of their after-school hours to completing their homework. During Klabb 3-16 students have time to do their homework and are assisted by tutors however we do encourage children to engage in non-formal activities which are planned according to the different interests and abilities of the children themselves. We believe that after school hours should include a mix of snack time, free play, homework time and non-formal activities’ Elizabeth explained. 
So children can leave Klabb3-16 and have a home-work free evening ahead of them - great news for parents and children alike, although we must emphasis the obvious - it is our responsibility as parents to ensure that all homework is completed. We all agree here right? 
While Klabb 3-16 might not fit in perfectly within each of our individual careers, it is a service which any parent may use, and has been designed to support a better work-life balance for us working parents whilst keeping the best interest of your child in mind. 

Are your children enrolled in Klabb 3-16? We’d love to hear your stories and reviews. Drop us a line and share your experiences and recommendations.

In the meanwhile, if you have any questions here are some FAQs which should help.
Q - How are children divided? 
A - According to age groups. Play workers are assigned to the different groups and ratios are 1:15 or 1:20
Q - Who has been assigned to take care of the children? 
A - One coordinator and a number of play workers and tutors are employed in each K3-16 centre according to ratios.
Q - Where can I get more information? 
A - Have a look at the Foundation for Educational Services website here and follow Foundation for Educational Services on Facebook
Q - How can parents enrol their child?
A - Families can enrol their child by filling in an application at their preferred centre. Download Registration Form – English Version / Download Registration Form – Maltese Version

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