(Closed) Choice of preschool?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I worked in a preschool and assisted at another ages ago and there is a huge variance in preschools out there and I don’t just mean ideologies but the basic food/education level of instructors/equipment. For example, at one of the ones I was at, the kids ate canned food and processed food quite a bit (fruit = fruit cocktail, snack = cheezits, protein = chopped up hot dogs) and the education levels of the instructors were not the best. At the university-affiliated one, the instructors all had certifications/degrees plus continuing education and kids brought their own food. The first one also had a higher student:teacher ratio.

Specifically, here in the US, there is an organization called NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) that offers a separate accreditation program from the regular governmental one and their standards can be considered more stringent (for example, smaller student:teacher ratio).

I don’t necessarily plan to match my child’s personality to the school since we are planning to enroll our child early because we are both going back to work with no additional family to watch our child. However, I am picking a school that fosters habits/ways of thinking that I would like our child to adopt. With this in mind, I’m strongly leaning towards a Montessori. Even with Montessori, there’s a huge variance with schools that are VERY Montessori and some that just do a few Montessori things (just to get the descriptor in their name so parents will pay more). We are still in our 1st trimester but we are looking to contact places soon and looking into wait lists since we are starting so early.

Generally speaking, the worst ones are the ones that are for-profit and not affiliated with a school of thought. That makes sense because their bottom line is profit, not helping your child develop.

Post # 5
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I will definitely NOT be participating in this once my child is old enough(he isn’t due till May, haha.) It’s not really a big thing in my area – preschool is common but waiting lists and tuition is not, and many people in my family (including my mother) are public schoolteachers at local elementary schools, so honestly I was raised a bit (okay, a lot) anti-private/charter school. I think the type of program that works best depends on the child though, I wouldn’t make any decisions (unless you have to) until your child is a bit older and you have a better idea of how they learn and what environment they do best in. Programs like the ones Montessori have work great for some children, but I know many who really struggled with it and just needed something with more structure.

Post # 6
Member
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@little_d:  That’s a good point. While the Montessori that I’m looking at extended until grade 8, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to stick with a Montessori that long term. We are 75% sure we are going with a private school for our child as well. The schools in our county are a mixed bag and there’s fierce competition for the cities with the best schools. Further, the homes in the area with the best school tend to be extremely small and the schools are bordering on overcrowded because there are a lot of multifamily dwellings since everyone wants to get into this district. As such, it made more sense for us to pick a less expensive, yet larger, home elsewhere and then pick a private school.

I do agree it depends on the child though. That said, I know quite a few that enrolled their toddlers in Montessori schools and then transititioned into a really good public or private school and they’re fine.

Post # 9
Member
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Preschool was very important for us. Dd goes to a very good school, you can absolutely see the difference in what she’s learning from my friends kids who either don’t go to school or go to less structured schools. She’s incredibly well spoken, people are constantly shocked to hear that she’s only 4. We toured 5 schools, all were different.  We went with hers bc we loved the life smart curriculum. Preschool can definitely be pricey, we pay about $1000 a month. 

Post # 11
Member
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@little_d:  No its not a Montessori style school. Not too many public preschools here. School should def be a good experience, our dd loves school! I did tour public kindergarten with a friend for her daughter & private schools. She went with a public school in a good school district. I don’t care for the school district where we live. But her current school offers private kindergarten with very limited space. Since she already goes to school there we get early enrollment!  Luckily!! 

Post # 13
Member
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@little_d:  I like hearing from other parents too. One of the tours I was on a mom stopped me to tell me how much she loved the school. Its good to go during drop off or end of day. Also I love the security at dd’s school.  You need a fingerprint & code to get in the building!

Post # 15
Member
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@little_d:  I think I know of two types of parents around here. Either the ones that have done their research and know exactly what they want and then the other kind that bases it off of research, budget and general impressions. I feel blessed that we don’t have to worry too much about budget for preschool and that I don’t have to go with the least expensive option out there. I find that it’s easier to pick a preschool because everyone seems to have attended that around here, but it’s harder for regular school because most of the people I know have sent their kids to public school.

@MsSparklyBee:  That’s great to hear! I have a friend whose DD is like yours and is very sociable and articulate at an early age and I’m planning to ask her which school she’s sending her DD to. I’ll definitely have to look into the life smart curriculum.

Post # 16
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Preschool here is almost $2k a month (as is daycare) and yes, they take reservations years in advance.

It’s a whole other level of insanity.

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