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My husband and I are researching preschools for Fall 2010 in the hope of putting down our deposit so we aren't later wait listed. I am home with my child full time and was hoping for a 3 day program. I am trying to find a great local preschool (Glenview) but I'm starting to feel limited because of my desire for a part-time program. Have any other parents placed their 3 year old (never having been in day care) in a full time preschool? Did they transition well? I know that working parents have their children enrolled in childcare very early on but I'm just having a bit of anxiety about having my child attend an academic program 5 days/week at such a young age. Please share your experiences. Needlessly Worried Mama?
Most programs at this age are really not academic at all. They should be about child development, doing the stimulating, age-appropriate things kids should be doing - playing, art, music, movement, learning about the world around them, how to engage with other kids, etc.
In the programs our kids have been in, the staff really know how to handle the kinds of anxieties that may come up - both the child's, and the parents! Good Luck! Poppa
But we see in our son the benefits of his pre-school experience (he is actually in his 4th ''school'' so far.). He has always been good at going with other people, he has made many friends, he has been exposed to a diversity of children and care-givers, he can sit still and listen to teachers, and he can concentrate well on projects/art/drawing.
To answer your question more directly, there are a ton of different philosophies and variations of pre-school. If you're concerned about too much ''academics'' early on, there are home-based and play-based preschools that they might enjoy. When you visit the schools to evaluate them, bring your child so that they can check out the rooms, the play structures, and the teachers. I've always told myself that if it wasn't now, then at kindergarten they would have to separate for all-day school. So for us, we don't anticipate any anxiety over kindergarden. For our son, it will just be one more new school to attend, with some new friends and some old friends. Bryan in Oakland
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