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!