First off, I am thankful that my state has UPK, but I really wish parents had the option, like this year and since the program was put into effect, of a half day option. I will most likely be home again next year and really only want her in school half day. We cannot afford a half day program at a private or Catholic pre-K next year, so UPK is our only option. Hell, I could even just keep her home, but I feel like then she would be the only kid not in UPK. So I only have a few schools offering half day programs to choose from. Three in really bad neighborhoods, so they are out, 2 with at least a 30-35 min drive each way on city streets or another school right up the block from her speech office (she goes 3x a week). They have one full day program and one half day program with 9 seats. I went to that school last week to fill out an application.
We got a tour, nothing special, MUCH bigger then DD's current pre-school (she's 3 so goes 2x a week for 2 hours) that she loves and no warm fuzzy feeling either lol. I got bombared with question after question from the director on why I didn't want to enroll her in full day. She was really pushy about it for a good 10 min. or so and kept trying to convince me that my kid needs full day. It was almost like she didn't want me to apply to the half day program. The only thing I could think of was that maybe they get more money from our DOE if they fill up all the full day seats. Then she was telling me that I may end up like her other parents paying for extended day. I have 0 interest in extended day. Apparently, I'm not the only "crazy" parent who doesn't feel the need to send kid my 4 year old to school full time, bc I heard her say we were the 5th applicant. So there's only 4 more slots. She kept saying that the program still might turn full day, but then in her next breath she was saying they have a 2 year contract with the DOE, so it will be based on if she fills all these seats, which I'm going to bet she will. I gotta say, I didn't really care for the director, but she won't be teaching the class.
My other option is to send her to one of the other full day programs at schools closer to my home, but pull her out 3 days a week early (aroud 11:30 or so), so she can still stay with the same speech therapist she's doing great with. I emailed the director at our local YMCA and she said it would be fine to have her leave early, since she has 2 other students now who leave early to go to Speech Therapy. I submitted the full day program application to my school district as well, and put the YMCA and a few other schools who said I could pull her out early. I don't want it to be disruptive to the other students though, but if it's during nap/lunch time and the director is ok with it, is it a huge deal. Would you send her to the half day program (if she gets in) that I applied to or try at a full day program closer to my home, like the Y?