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Changing from In-Home Care to Preschool
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Changing from In-Home Care to Preschool
My husband and I are not in agreement about when to
transition our almost-19-month old to preschool. She has
been in a small, loving, home-based daycare since she was
3-months-old. It has become a second home to her. She's
comfortable, happy, loved, cared for, and is always excited
to go in the mornings.
In looking forward to preschool, I've been doing some
research and have noticed that most preschools begin after 3
years of age. Fine by me. My husband thinks our daughter is
going to outgrow her daycare and would like her to begin
preschool at 2.4. We have baby number two on the way, and I
would love to minimize major changes in all our lives and
would welcome having both kids at the same place for a year.
Anyone have words of wisdom? We are both educators and agree
that we want preschool to be a play-based, developmental
experience, so to me it seems silly to rush that next step.
I'm curious if anyone feels they made the switch too early
or too late or if anyone has any resources or advice to share.
don't rush it. I know everyone around here is gaga over
preschool but having done both daycare and preschool for my
kids, I think a really good day care is way better for young
kids than preschool. I started my oldest in preschool at 3.
Most preschools are much bigger and instead of handing him
over to the care of a specific person it's much more of a
free-for all. Frankly I was shocked. That said the year
worked out well for him and by the time he was close 3.5 / 4
it was definitely the right environment for him. Now with my
youngest, I have an opportunity to start her at the same
preschool at 2. I am not going to do it - I am going to wait
til she is almost 4 (probably a little too late, but given
her birthday that's the way it works out). I've had this
conversation with several friends and we all agree that the
rush to preschool is way over-rated. Small day cares
maintain way better ratios and take on much more of a
''caring role''. Preschools in my opinion take on much more of
a ''supervisory'' role.
so over preschool
My ''mama's boy'' youngest son who was 2 in August started the 2yo class in
September @ Hearts Leap Pre-School. My husband was sure he'd never go. He
went half a day four days a week and loved it from the onset. He's now in 3rd
grade and we've never looked back. It depends on your kid, the school and most
importantly the ''fit'' between the two.
mom of many
I think 3 is a better age than 2.4 to go to pre-school. Both
of my kids were in a lovely home day care until 3 1/2 or so
and there is no reason for 2 1/2 year-olds to be bored in
day care. You said she loves it! Two is young for the
sometimes overstimulating pre-school environment with many
more personalities to deal with. Especially since you have
another baby on the way, it makes sense to keep your child
in her familiar, loving home day care setting until she's 3.
my 2 cents
We also struggled with when best to move our daughter to preschool. In
the end we chose to leave her at her daycare until 3. It was a great
decision. She went from being the youngest when she started to the
oldest when she left. She learned to love younger kids, to be kind and
gentle with them and to be extremely confident as well. The reality I have
seen since then is that 2 year old preschool is not much different than
daycare and at 2 the transition is harder than at 3. My daughter is happy,
confident, social and intelligent and for us this was the right decision.
Waited for preschool
Rule number one: don't make major life changes in coincidence with the
arrival of a new baby. Adjusting to the presence of this new interloper will
throw your daughter for a major loop. She will need to emotionally and
cognitively accommodate this new competitor for mom and dad's love.
Rule number two:let your daughter guide you in picking a time for
preschool. Perhaps she is a genius, but maybe she is not yet ready
emotionally. You will know when the time comes. She will be capable of
doing directed activity for a set period of time, capable of participating and
cooperating in group activities, she will have the necessary focus, etc. I
can't imagine that at 19 months, she is already exhibiting signs of being a
good little student.
Take it easy! Unless she asks to be in ''school'' herself at 2.4 years, go
slow as you add on a new baby to the household.
If she is happy where she is, why move her? Also, many preschools will not
accept children before they are 2 years, 9 months old.
I would also consider a few other factors. When will she start kindergarten?
Do you want her to spend more than 2 years in preschool? (From a teacher's
perspective, one year of preschool is probably sufficient to be ready for
kindergarten). Also, what are the ages of the other children in her daycare? If
she is the oldest by far, then perhaps it's time to move her to preschool. If
there are other children close to her age, then I wouldn't be in a hurry.
I'm in the middle of searching for preschools for next fall, and I can tell you
that there is a huge difference in preschool environments. Some are large
and structured a bit more like kindergarten, whereas some of the smaller,
home-based preschools have the warm, intimate, homey feel of home-based
daycare. Why not visit a few different types of schools that accept children at
the age you are thinking of sending her, then see what your gut tells you
about when and where to send her.
Also, based on my experience, the search for preschool is a very time-
consuming affair. There are SO MANY different preschools, each with
different environments, schedules, etc; and most only accept a handful of kids
each year. So you need to visit a lot of them and apply to
several.....It's a lot
of work, and you should do it now if you are thinking of enrolling her for next
Finally, do not underestimate the value of convenience. If your child is happy
where she is, and it is more convenient to have her and your newborn in the
same place, then I'd see no reason to change the situation right now.
Our 2 year, 2 month old has been going to an in-home family daycare since she was
10 months old. Now she's headed to pre-school. How many weeks ahead should we
start prepping her? Any advice on transition (goodbye to daycare providers and friends
there)? Her new school has a nice plan for entry--I'm more concerned about the
goodbyes at her wonderful daycare. I'm probably more anxious about it than she will
be. Thank you!
I actually think it's wise to start prepping your child for preschool, perhaps a week or
two in advance. My son, who had little trouble in daycare, had a traumatic transition to
preschool, because I did not prep him (took him 6 weeks to get adjusted, and there
was a lot of crying). I just assumed he was fine in daycare, so he'd be fine in
preschool. Turns out he was very much attached to the daycare provider and upset
that he was no longer going to her.
We finally had to write her a letter, telling her how much he loved her, and see her one
more time to say goodbye, before he was able to really transition to preschool (where
he ultimately did very well).
So I think that working with the daycare provider to decide on a ''goodbye'' routine, as
well as visiting the new preschool to get used to it, would be a very good idea.
this page was last updated: Jan 24, 2011
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