It’s that time of year again when parents of preschool-aged kids have to lock-in their decision about what kind of school their kids will (or won’t) be attending next year.
While our journey has been a lot different than today’s contributor, (between them, my kids have attended play-based, religious, secular, outdoor, and montessori preschools). One thing I can definitely relate to is the surprise at having to wrestle with the decision again and again each year and with each kid.
I naively thought I’d find a great preschool when my oldest was 3 and be set.
But circumstances change (we’ve moved since then), options change (I just couldn’t pass on that outdoor preschool experience once it opened and the next year I needed more hours than it could provide), and – most importantly – each kid is different and sometimes even the same kid’s needs change from year to year.
So here I am, with 6 collective years of preschool under my mommy belt, once again looking at a whole new place for my 2 1/2 year olds’ first preschool experience next fall.
I have to say, Jessica’s experience makes me feel like at least I’m not the only one!
Who knew we’d be shopping for preschools with kid number three? But here we are, basically waving the middle finger at our old preschool as we motor past to the new one, all because we recently discovered that we have serious preschool deal-breakers.
And the price tag is one of them.
I felt a twinge of guilt last week when I sat in the playground, filling out the paperwork for the new preschool, the one our wildcat of a four year old will be attending in the fall. But then I looked up at my son zooming down the slide and back down at the monthly fee highlighted on my clipboarded papers, and I instantly felt better.
Obviously, the bottom line isn’t the only reason we’re changing things up. But all the deal-breakers I had the first time around – the stuff that had me wrinkling my nose when we toured preschools, like an older facility and teachers lacking education-based graduate degrees – don’t really matter anymore.
Five years ago, we were impressed by an immaculate facility with its hand-painted murals, coded entry, sprawling play sets and child-sized garden plots off each classroom. We approved of the emailed notes sent home every day by our kid’s teacher, and we thought the academic-based curriculum was important, even though socialization was the actual point of preschool.
For the privilege of sending our son here twice a week from about nine am to just after lunch finished at one, we paid $315 every month.
Our preschool priorities were: nice facility, educational curriculum, involved director, highly qualified teachers, good parent/teacher communication, great location and reasonable price.
When our second child was ready for preschool, we went back to the same school. Easy peasy.
Because of the August birthday craziness that completely messed up our preschool/kindergarten scheduling with number three, it’s been a while since we shopped preschools. We hadn’t planned on shopping at all, actually. Why would we?
Well, because Read More