PreSchool, Day Care, Waiting Lists....What?!

Grace is in a wonderful day care. She loves her 'Ghani and so do Hubby and I. Afghani, the woman who cares for Grace, has become an extension of our own little family. I honestly cannot imagine the last 3 years without them being part of it. Afghani is a big part of how I have managed to stay relatively sane as a working mom.
That being said...........................What about preschool? Should Grace start a preschool program? You know, one of the structured half days learning her ABCs, her numbers, her colors, and how to act in a classroom as opposed to a home day care environment?

I have gone back and forth in my mind the past few months. Hubby says to let it be; what we are doing now works, Afghani loves Grace and vice versa, and Grace is happy. That is all true.

I cant help but think Grace would benefit from a structured preschool. It would give her another social environment to navigate (with the Day Care Clique issue, this holds more water for me than it did before), it would teach her how she needs to behave in a school setting, and she would get the basic knowledge she will need for kindergarten. All good reasons, I know.

Sure, it feels as if there is a ton of time before "real" school (i.e. kindergarten) starts but its only 2 years away. Wow---just typing that is strange.

On the flip side, do I really want to embark on the pre-school hunt? There are waiting lists for preschools......is it really worth it?


MaryP said...

I am a home daycare provider, former kindergarten and elementary school teacher, former large-daycare-centre worker, and homeschooling mother. I've lived and worked on all sides of this issue.

My thoughts?

The educational/pedagogical concerns? There's nothing that goes on, academically, in preschool that can't be taught by a loving parent in normal interactions every day at home.

Socially? She can learn just as much in her current group, with an involved, concerned, emotionally intelligent adult than she will in a larger group (with the same kind of adult!).

Now, if the patterns at her current daycare are entrenched and Grace is always going to be at the bottom of the pecking order there, that would be a good reason to change environments. Give her a fresh slate, as it were.

Cliques will exist wherever she goes, of course. The advantage of a larger group is that even when one clique excludes her, another will include her.

There's also the stability factor. If you change environments now, she'll be changing again in less than two years. How does she manage change? For some children, this would be a good reason to stay put, for others, it wouldn't be a concern.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each choice, and as you're discovering, there's no clear right or wrong way to go on this one. (Which also means that either decision is probably a perfectly good one!)

Best wishes!

Bri said...

I know we plan on getting Ash into preschool when she turns 3. When she turns 2 she'll start a pre-preschool which is 2 hours a day of structure. Just because she doesn't really function well on a schedule (other than her own). I've read a bunch of studies on both sides of the argument and the points I was looking for come down on the side of preschool. Kids that attend preschool tend to have an easier time adapting to a school environment and a higher scores early on in math/reading. Long term there are no ill effects of preschool vs nopreschool - but my thought was if it helps out in the short term - wouldn't it also make school more fun in the long term? No negative connotations?....

Just our opinion...