Parent & Tot Frequently Asked Questions
The parent & tot program offered at MUN Botanical Garden is fully booked at this time. People wishing to register are often frustrated to discover that openings rarely become available. The Garden wishes to apologize for this. The Botanical Garden is a non-profit organization and, because staff resources and funds are limited, this program cannot be expanded further at this time. Since its inception over ten years ago, it has grown from one session to three
Q. Are there other options for those who don't get accepted in to the program?
A. Absolutely. Education staff offer a variety of family programs from May until November that do not require registration and everyone is welcome. Please, check out our Family Programs page for more information.
Q. If I join the Friends of the Garden, will that help me get in?
A. NO. Please do not join the Friends to get into the P&T program. Members of the Friends of the Garden (FOG) are individuals and families who support the botanical, horticultural and environmental objectives of the Garden. The objective of the Friends is not to offer early registrations or registration discounts.
The parent and tot program was originally developed over ten years ago for FOG volunteers who wished to participate in a program at the Garden with their children or grandchildren. When FOG membership was expanded several years ago to also include people who could not volunteer, but who wished to help support the Garden in other ways, the program was made available to everyone.
When the P&T program was expanded to include a Friday afternoon session, members of the Friends received early notice via the Friends newsletter. At that time, a waiting list was initiated. Since then the spring FOG registration package has not offered P&T program registration to members of the Friends because the program is full and the waiting list quite large.
Membership in the Friends is not required for the P&T program.
Q. Why don’t more openings become available more often? Why are participants allowed to remain with the program for more than one year?
A. Once enrolled, program participants are welcome to remain with the group until the family decides to discontinue with the program. Our experience has demonstrated, and indeed more than ten years of feedback has indicated, that the stability of the regular schedule, instructor and even classmates is a very positive and important component of the program. The development and happiness of the child is enhanced by the familiarity of the routine and the familiar faces. Many of the families in our program have more than one child, and have been with the program for several years. Hence, openings do not occur very often. While that is unfortunate, it would not be appropriate to diminish the quality of the program because of demand.
Also, most programs have been over-booked for several years now. The Sunday P&T program was cancelled a few years ago due to staff limitations and all participants were moved to the Friday and Saturday morning slots (which were already full at the time).
Q. Why not expand the program and offer more sessions during the week and/or on the weekend?
A. MUN Botanical Garden is a non-profit organization, with limited financial resources, including staff. The education program at the Garden also includes curriculum-based school programs, summer camps, tea and tours, workshops and family programs, such as parent and tot program. Education staff and facilities are operating at full capacity at this time. Grant applications have been submitted to a variety of sources to assist with the funding of this program.