Friday, January 13, 2006

Daycare vs Preschool

Toddlerspeak (TS) goes to daycare 2 days a week. (The other 2 days are at G’mas.) Her current daycare is pretty much around the block from our old house. It’s a small daycare for a center. The group she’s in has 18 month olds up to 4 year olds. It’s in a house that’s been converted and it’s not one of these bright, shiny new places you see. You know the ones that cost the same as college tuition. Anyway, the main reason for having her in it was socialization, so we didn’t worry so much about what the schedule was and how much instruction she might or might not be getting. And let’s face it, the price was right.

So now that we moved we don’t live around the block from the daycare. It’s not totally out of the way, but as I pass about 10 centers on my way to this one and I do feel a small amount of frustration toward it during those times. Daddyspeak and I figured we’d wait to change her daycare until she turned 3. Figured we put her in preschool with extended care at that point and since it’s only 6 months away, no big deal, right? Well a new baby is arriving at that same time. Hmmm, what to do? If the change in schools isn’t as positive as hope for we don’t want her to think that we’ve made the change related to the baby and then have her blame it on the baby. I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff she can blame on the baby w/out us adding to it. She’s not completely potty trained yet so we can’t put her a preschool yet.
I found a “school” by the house that I really like. But it’s not as structured as a true preschool. In a lot of respects it’s not much different from what she’s in now. It’s bigger (it’s not shiny and new, but it’s close), the student/teacher ratios are really good, they have these cool science, music, art, etc…programs, they feed them (I think that’s a big plus—currently we have parents who send their kids w/donuts for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong; donuts are ok once in a while. But this is what that kid has every Friday for breakfast and it’s not like a party so the other kids get some. It’s not even Krispy Kreme for Christ Sake!) But they don’t do the preschool stuff till age 4 (pre-K). Because she’s mixed w/the bigger kids at this current school she is getting some of that now. So I’m feeling really unsure about it. I ended up going to see a couple other schools to see if this is the norm, (the pre-K thing) and it is. I’m torn. Should I wait and keep her where she is until say September? Should I move her and make my commute easier? Am I potentially limiting her education potential so I can have better commute??? I really only want to make this move once. I don’t want to move her now and then move her again in September. Am I worrying about a non-issue? ACK! I need a mocha.