Thoughts on preschool

When I was looking for local recommendations for childcare, a co-worker recommended that I contact a preschool to get Jack on the waiting list (now I know I’m back in the city!).  This would ensure that he could start when he turns 2.  Yes, 2 years old!  I was blown away.  Perhaps I am naive, but does a two year old really need to go to preschool?  Neither my husband nor I went to preschool, so we have no experience to draw on in making this decision.  I have no idea what constitutes a good preschool, and I worry about pushing the school thing so early.  I want Jack to enjoy his childhood, not be bombarded with structured learning as soon as he starts talking in sentences.

I perused the preschool’s website today and it didn’t really answer any of my questions, although I did read that they focus on fostering self-sufficiency by letting the kids assist in preparing their lunches and cleaning up and such.  There is lots of play time as well as activities like painting and other crafts.  So far this doesn’t sound a whole lot different from daycare, except for the fact that there are more kids per caregiver.  What’s the benefit then?

Joe and I may go for a tour to get a better idea of what this early preschool business is all about.  Perhaps seeing it in person and speaking with the teachers will give us a sense of whether this path is right for Jack.  My memories of a structured daycare when I was young are not fond, so I am wary.  I want Jack to have a lot of opportunity to learn and express himself, but I suspect that is better done with smaller groups of kids and a more reasonable child:teacher ratio than 8:1.  Most of all, I want to ensure that Jack gets a decent amount of individual attention and affection at this tender age.  I don’t want to see him lose his carefree attitude and sense of humor; that would be devastating to me!

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Comments

  1. Wow, 2 years old is really young. I didn’t think that schools even accepted children that young.

    What is the cost difference between daycare and preschool? I agree that it seems a little strange to send a 2 year old to a structured learning environment, but I think it’s worth investigating (as I’m sure you will). It might be worth taking a visit to the school to see what they offer. They may have more activities than a daycare that Jack could participate in. But it would be a trade off, since there would be less caretakers per children. I really don’t think you can make a wrong decision here, as long as there’s no big difference between the preschool and daycare. It’s going to depend on what you and Joe feel more comfortable with in regards to Jack’s care.

  2. Wow, 2 years old is really young. I didn’t think that schools even accepted children that young.

    What is the cost difference between daycare and preschool? I agree that it seems a little strange to send a 2 year old to a structured learning environment, but I think it’s worth investigating (as I’m sure you will). It might be worth taking a visit to the school to see what they offer. They may have more activities than a daycare that Jack could participate in. But it would be a trade off, since there would be less caretakers per children. I really don’t think you can make a wrong decision here, as long as there’s no big difference between the preschool and daycare. It’s going to depend on what you and Joe feel more comfortable with in regards to Jack’s care.

  3. Rob and I went to preschool and from what I remember there wasn’t a ton of structure involved. We also only went for a few hours a day, not like a regular school day. The parents were supposed to be very involved. The major purpose seemed to be getting used to larger groups of children, which I would consider a benefit. For us, the more structured learning began in Kindergarten so the preschool kinda eased us into it all.

    That being said, 2 does seem pretty young. Kindergarten starts at 5 right? So that would mean 3 years of preschool? Wierd. I suppose going for the tour can’t hurt.

  4. Rob and I went to preschool and from what I remember there wasn’t a ton of structure involved. We also only went for a few hours a day, not like a regular school day. The parents were supposed to be very involved. The major purpose seemed to be getting used to larger groups of children, which I would consider a benefit. For us, the more structured learning began in Kindergarten so the preschool kinda eased us into it all.

    That being said, 2 does seem pretty young. Kindergarten starts at 5 right? So that would mean 3 years of preschool? Wierd. I suppose going for the tour can’t hurt.

  5. I started preschool when I was 3 for 2 mornings a week – my mom said it was time for us to get a break from each other. 🙂

  6. I started preschool when I was 3 for 2 mornings a week – my mom said it was time for us to get a break from each other. 🙂

  7. I think most kids start when they’re four or five, depending on when they start kindergarten.

    I’m not sure that I could part with my 2 year old on a consistent schedule like that… or at least not in my head right now – ask me in 2 years! 🙂

  8. Preschool isn’t a structured learning environment at all. It totally depends on the place, though, and what development theories they base their program on. While there is more structure than a typical daycare, at most places it’s really more about social development and cognitive preparation for kindergarten. There may be set times for naps, snacks, painting, outside play, etc, but Jack won’t be forced to sit at a desk and copy alphabet dittos or anything.

    BTW 2 is definitely too young. My CD class defines “preschool age” as 3,4, and 5.

  9. Oh and btw, preschools tend to be a lot more progressive now than when we were little, so I wouldn’t worry about him going through whatever you went through that made you hate school. 😉 Just take some tours and see what the places are like.

  10. Oh and btw, preschools tend to be a lot more progressive now than when we were little, so I wouldn’t worry about him going through whatever you went through that made you hate school. 😉 Just take some tours and see what the places are like.

  11. Chad and Michele have Curtis in a Head Start program, that I believe is a preschool type environment. Curtis loves it. He started when he was 3, he’s going to be 4 in November. He even rides a bus to and from school and adores it! Hows that for a 3 year old! Mind Bottling. 🙂

  12. Chad and Michele have Curtis in a Head Start program, that I believe is a preschool type environment. Curtis loves it. He started when he was 3, he’s going to be 4 in November. He even rides a bus to and from school and adores it! Hows that for a 3 year old! Mind Bottling. 🙂

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