Preschool — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies


When are your little ones starting preschool?  How does this work if preschool isn't all day and you work far away?  One of my friend's had a 2 year old that just started and it dawned on me I might need to get on a waiting list or something.  Sigh...

Re: Preschool

  • image smaher:
    When are your little ones starting preschool?  How does this work if preschool isn't all day and you work far away?  One of my friend's had a 2 year old that just started and it dawned on me I might need to get on a waiting list or something.  Sigh...

    I was freaking out about the same thing the other day.  ugh. 

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  • My 14 month old will be starting one day a week in a few weeks.   It's 4 hours a day in the morning.  

    All of the programs are different in terms of how they manage their waitlist.  Most of the ones I know of you apply in January/Feb and classes are determined in the spring.  There is not a rolling waitlist.  Some places do this but most of the ones I know of (in Arlington) do not.   

  • We've decided to wait until DD is 3.5 to start her in preschool.  That would give her give her 2 years in preschool before starting kindergarten.
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  • Random thoughts in no particular order... 

    DD #1 started preschool at 2 1/2.  I looked at/researched/visited schools when she was 2 yrs. old (February, while I was on maternity leave with #2) with the thought that she'd start that September.  I'd say most of the preschools I looked at said they'd fill up by about May/June.  (It's not like getting on year long wait lists with infants in centers).  So I guess my timing was OK - look maybe 6 months out. 

    One thing I learned - there are a TON of options for part day preschools - I mean there are probably 20 part time programs within five minutes of my house.  Full day preschools are harder to come by.  If you both work full time, and don't want to have to interrupt your work day to go pick up LO in the middle of the day from school and bring them to daycare, you may want to look for full day.  When you look at full day, there seem to be obvious "schools" that follow a school year (like the one DD goes to), then there seem to be ones that are basically daycare centers where there is no school year so kids start any time of the calendar year.

    Most we looked at would help potty train your kid, though the one we ended up with (and love) took only potty trained kids - which was fine because it made us get on the ball and train DD #1 for her to start at 2 1/2.  That was OK for her though - with DD #2, we plan on sending her to the same preschool, but if she's not potty trained in time to start at the school at 2 1/2, obviously there is no such thing as "rushing" potty training.  So we'll just cross our fingers that we can train DD #2 by 2 1/2, and if not, oh well, we'll wait a few months and maybe put her in at 3 or whenever.

    IMO anytime between 2 and 4 is the ideal time to start them in some kind of preschool with some kind of curriculum.  With Montessori we wanted to get the girls started as early as we could because I adore the Montessori method.


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  • We'd like to start DD as soon as she's potty trained.  I'd start her sooner, like right at 2, but I don't want to have to worry about cloth diapering limiting my options.  I've already been looking at my options though. 
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  • DD's daycare has a strong curriculum so she's already in a preschool environment. Regarding my friends with kids in 'regular' preschool, they either SAH or have nannies unless you can find one of the few full-day pre-schools.  From what I've heard, most of the preschools in Arlington have waitlists (just like the daycares). Enrollment windows are around February and admittance priority can vary by school  (lottery, priority to siblings, church members for church-based preschool, etc). 
  • DD1 started right before she turned 3 (in a 2.5yo class). She went 2 mornings last year and will be going 3 mornings a week this year. She was READY to start last year; she misses the Sept 30 cutoff by less than a month so I couldn't imagine her not going last year. But I also can't believe that she'll be in preschool for 3 yrs before going to K! That seems like forever!

    I looked at a few preschools near our house - visited them, compared days/hours, price, general feel of the school, etc. We applied in Jan or Feb for her to start in Sept. Her school (and the others we looked at) don't have rolling admission - you apply in the spring for that fall. If you don't get into a class you want, they'll put you on the wait list and fill openings that way as they come up.

    DD is in a halfday class, but I'm mostly a SAHM and the day that I work my DH and I juggled our work schedules to handle dropoff and pickup. It helps that we both work close to home.

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  • DS starts in November when he turns 2.  We were fortunate enough to get him into one of the few full-day programs in our area, but he's also been on the waitlist for 11 months. 

    The school is for both all-day and half-day students--preschool is from 9-1 and they run daycare starting at 6:30 am and ending at 6:30 pm.

    If I didn't work full-time, I probably would have waited until he was 2.5 to start preschool.  With his November birthday, he's going to have 4 years before kindergarten.  But the place he's going is pretty neat (5 acres with farm animals and pony rides), and I'm guessing he'll like it more than hanging out with me anyway. :)

  • DD is starting when she is 18 months in October. We were able to squeeze her in even though she misses the Sept 30th cutoff (by 20 days) although she still can't start til she's 18 months officially. Preschool part is from 9-1 and then there is regular childcare. She has been in a nanny share since 4 months and is showing many signs that she is ready for more socialization and stimulation. I got her set up in Feb, mostly b/c I found a program I really liked and wanted to lock it down.
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  • we got on a waitlist in June for a full day preschool that will start in September 2011. Also, we want to look at two montessori schools this fall but we are planning on moving next year but not entirely sure where we will end up so it is hard to commit to one of those programs.

    there are a lot of half day programs but you either need to be able to leave work, have someone else do the pick-up and also arrange for childcare for the remainder of the day. I was listening to a co-worker complain about their half day program cost, plus the cost of someone to drop-off and pick-up plus the cost of part-time childcare and it really stressed me out.

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