What do you WM's do for pre-school? (XP on WM's) — The Bump

What do you WM's do for pre-school? (XP on WM's)

I don't really post here, but:

We're at an in-home place right now that only has our 2 boys and one other boy. We love it, but would like to do actual pre-school for our older one next fall. He'll be in K the following year- late birthday!! It's also a 20 min drive from our house, then we have 20+ min drives to work after that!

Do you go to a "regular" day care center type of place? Do any traditional pre-schools offer wrap-around care? I know that's probably a local thing, but it seems like all the pre-schools are for like 2-3 hrs only, so I guess they're just for SAHM's? 

We'll probably end up at a center so we can take them both to the same place, but I just don't even know where to start!!

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Re: What do you WM's do for pre-school? (XP on WM's)

  • My daughter started preschool this year. It's 2 mornings/week from 9 to 11:30. Surprisingly, there are a lot of working parents making it work out somehow. DH and I manage drop offs and Grandma almost always does pick-up. I was surprised at how many other grandparents are at pick-up. We have a nanny, too, who will start taking her and picking her up some days.

    We LOVE her preschool, but I do think they have a harder time finding families who can make it work than they did 30 years ago!

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  • Our boys go to a school that starts at 12 months and goes through Kindergarten.  They offer part time, either MWF or T,TH or FT, M-F.  The traditional hours are 9-3 and parents must bring morning snack and lunch.  

    They also offer before and after care, 6-6 for working parents.  This time has scheduled activities but does not follow a curriculum like during the daytime.  

    I am not sure if schools exist like this in other places but it is really great for us (we are in Europe).

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  • We do the 2.5 hour preschool, 4 days per week.  My husband and I both work full time.  It's not impossible to do, but it is extremely hard some times.  My job is much more flexible than my husbands so I work a flex type of schedule to help make it work.  M, W, F, I work 10 hour days.  My MIL watches DD and takes her to school M-Th.  On T, Th I work 5 hour days.  This gets me off of work in time to go pick her up from school those 2 days. 

    Do you know any parents of children that attend this same preschool?  Do you have any flexibility in your job hours?  It may be an option if so to work together with another parent and working the schedule. 

    Otherwise, it sounds like an all day program is more what you need.  When I was looking for preschools for DD we checked a lot of all day options, google was our best friend in finding things in the area that might work.  It takes a lot of research and visiting places to finally decide on something that will work for everyone.  Also, don't forget the churches.  Many of them have all day preschool options that give a more family type of feel vs. a typical daycare preschool program.  (in my experience).

  • We are at a school /daycare. We love the structure and curriculum.

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  • My girls go to a daycare center/pre-school. They start a structured curriculum at 18 months that changes and expands as the kids get older.
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  • Our school district offers a public 4K program with busing. DD1 took the bus from daycare to 4K and then back to daycare again. When I worked full time, we used a daycare center just because that's our preference. Now that I'm part time, Grandma babysits. DD1 is in school, and DD2 is in preschool at the YMCA.
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
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  • Our preschool offers several schedules. Kids can go MWF or TR or Everyday. Preschool hours are 815-230 or half day leaves at 1130. They offer before school 7-815 at a per day charge ($2 a day) and after school 230-6 at a monthly charge ($90).

    My boys go everyday 815-500.

    There is a good mix of Every day all day ers as my boys call them. And go homers.

    In our area I HIGHLY recommend a preschool over a daycare center. Even one that claims to be a "learning center". There just really is a differnce in the quality of teachers and program.

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  • The programs really vary with each preschool. I'm a PT work at home mom so I don't have to utilize extended care, but our current preschool offers care up to 6pm. Our last school only went to 4pm.
  • This will depend on whether you want your child to go to traditional part-day preschool or a full-day daycare center that offers a preschool curriculum for kids who are 3 and 4.

    If you really like your in-home daycare provider, and you don't relish the idea of sending your small children to all day "school," then see if your daycare provider would be willing to do pick-up and drop off on school days.  When my kiddos were in preschool, there were always a good handful of kids who were picked up by their nannies or babysitters.  My SIL was an in-home daycare provider for several years, and she routinely took the kids to their preschools and picked them up again!  And, a part time preschool can be really inexpensive.  Preschool + babysitter might still be less expensive than full time at a daycare center.

    On the other hand, if you like the idea of both kids being at the same school, and you are looking for a more structured daycare environment for your son as he gets closer to real school, then it might be time to switch to a center. 

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  • OP, I was in your exact situation.  Both of my boys went to an in home daycare. But, when DS1 turned 3 we felt the need to put him into a more structured program at a preschool.  So now DS1 goes to full time preschool at the local Y (he LOVES it), and DS2 is still at the in home daycare.  The full time preschool hours are 6:30am- 6:00pm, so I can drop DS1 at school first, then drop DS2 off at daycare. Having two different stops is hard, but usually DH will take one and I'll take the other.  So I only have to take both boys when DH has to leave the house extra early (like this morning).  I dropped both boys off today and I still got to work by 8am.  A lot of the kids at the preschool only go part time, but the full time option is certainly available.  Hopefully you can find one that will fit your schedule.  

  • I  have the same question, same dilemma, but I don't pay for childcare at all right now, so considering a daycare/preschool option is financially out of the question. We have three different babysitters (family members and a friend who trades babysitting with me), so I still have no idea what we're going to do. I know we'll figure something out, but I'm not looking forward to it!


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  • imagechristinak22:
    I don't pay for childcare at all right now

    Wow.  Lucky you!  Preschool (especially full time preschool) is expensive.  But, in my opinion, worth every cent! 

    If you can't afford to pay for preschool what else could you possibly do?  Will you just wait until they're 5 so they can go to kindergarden?  Not judging, just curious.   

  • DS's is in pre-kindergarten at a private elementary school which offers before and after school care---very convenient.

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  • Thanks for all the replies! I called the local daycare centers near us... For both boys it costs more than I make a week!! I currently work 4 days/week but the centers do 2,3,5 day options. Ugh. And the in-home dcp we use now is 20min away... Really don't want to do 2 stops, but we'll see! This is quite annoying!
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  • DS is in preK at a private elementary school. Their day runs from 8 to 3. There is before care starting at 7:30 and aftercare till six. We do after care and pick him up between five and six. His sister is at his old center. They are not close at all and neither is our work. This creates a really long commute for us 90 min one way but it is what is best for the kids right now.

  • DS goes to school from 7:45-2:30 5 days a week at a private elementary school.  They offer aftercare, so he goes there until 4 when I get out of work.  It's a very long day (and week for that matter), but he has gotten more used to the schedule.  I really don't have a choice since I can't drive him all over town during the day.
  • We go to a daycare center/preschool. DH and I both work fulltime. DD is at school from 730 am until 530 pm. The preschool program starts at 30 months. DD plays and learns all day. They have a curriculum which is largely play based learning, with some structure in small groups. DD already knows everything needed on the "list" for kindergarten readiness and she won't attend kindergarten until next fall, so for us, this has worked out perfectly.
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  • Bot of my girls have done an amazing PreK (one in it now) program the year before kindergarten.  It is at the elementary school and is part of the early childhood programs.  It is 100% pay and costs about the same that I was paying for full time daycare but this is way better.  Had we done this the girls would have done the preschool program in the daycare center where they had been since infants but honestly, their is no comparing the 2 programs.

    The PreK program at the school is 5 days a week, full days.  The program is open from 6:45am until 6pm but the main "school day" stuff is the same as the elementary program from 9:30 until 4.  The rest is the before and after care.  The program includes breakfast, lunch and a snack and all field trips.  It follows the Regio Emilia program which is wonderful.  The staff is great and they really work to the kids level - my older DD was behind her peers and my younger DD is ahead and they have done amazing things to keep each child challenged regardless of where they fall on the spectrum.  The kids have plenty of time to play outside or in the gym and motor room, they have stations set up in the room (computer, dramatic play, library, art, etc) and they do group time 2x a day plus they have reading buddies with a 4 grade class and they get to use the elementary school areas such as the media center, gym and big playground (when the bigger kids are not outside, they have their own area as well).  They do include a rest time as well.  

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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