Should I send my toddler to preschool?

Real Mom Problem

“I am trying to decide whether to send my daughter to preschool. I feel so guilty; like I might be doing her a disservice not sending her.”

by Newmomkim Newmomkim

Quick Tips

  • 1. Consider the pros and cons (for you and for your child)
  • 2. Remember that your toddler's overall success does not depend on this one decision
  • 3. There's no right or wrong; do what you feel is best for your family

Real Mom Solutions

Are you wondering when -- or if -- to send your toddler to preschool? The moms of CafeMom can help!

Preschool Isn't Necessary

  • mem82

    Why can't you teach him? You've taught him how to feed himself and walk and talk. You can teach him anything he needs to know right now and probably do it better than a stranger.

  • SoniaL

    All too often these days parents are duped into the idea that unless they get their kid into a high end preschool they will never make it to college and will fail in life. It is ridiculous. You can provide everything she needs both socially and academically. My daughter started kindergarten 5 weeks after turning 5 and was ahead of her class from the get-go. We learned through play, at her pace and with whatever led her that day. I am doing the same with my other kids and they are doing just as well.

  • jwaren

    I find it crazy to pay someone to teach my child something that can be done at home. I home preschooled my oldest. He is in K now and his teacher says you would never know he didn't go to preschool. Honestly, preschool is learning through structured games and activities. Things that used to be fairly common sense to parents, but with less parents being able to be home with their child, these things are forgotten.

  • aviatioNation

    Even when done right pre-school is daycare. Children under 5 do not need structured classroom style education, they need to play.

  • nickellmomof2

    My daughter never went to preschool; she's now in 1st grade and has been at the top of her class since she started kindergarten. I feel it's more of a day care; you are paying for your child to be there. Kindergarten is there to prepare you child for 1st grade and up. You really don't need to prepare your child for kindergarten.

Find Out Why These Moms LOVE Preschool

  • Janskidtoys

    My daughter started preschool at 3 and went 2 mornings a week. What a difference preschool made for her! She used to "stick to me like glue" all the time & was afraid to try new things. Preschool changed that for her. She now can't wait to try new things & has blossomed beautifully. I'm so glad I chose to put her in preschool when I did. Now, at 5, she's getting ready to enter Kindergarten & is completely ready for it.

  • Luvmy2babies22

    I can say it's been worth every penny for my son. He doesn't like me to "school" him so being in a school environment has been great. He'll start Kindergarten in the fall and is reading and can do every thing Kindergartners are doing right now (and some things they aren't).

  • kristen1983

    I think preschool is great for kids. My boys both go to the same preschool and it has been just amazing for their socialization skills and they have learned SO much. I don't think I would be sending my oldest to Kindergarten in the fall if he hadn't gone to preschool for the past year. He's come so far, and I am really lucky to have found such a wonderful preschool for him.

  • deadlights86

    I wish my 7 year old had gone to preschool. He had a horrible time in kindergarten. My 3 year old is getting signed up this week so he can start in the fall. He will have 2 years of preschool.

Preschool Is About More Than ABCs

  • miss_AP

    Preschool is not about learning academics, it is learning how to operate in a social environment, how to respect other kids and space, how to respect adults and persons of authority, how to do things you don't like, how to listen and wait your turn, how to follow directions, how to make friends, how to work with people you don't like, how to make choices, how to express preferences/needs/desires.

  • ddhb2007

    Preschool isn't as much about learning shapes, colors, letters, and numbers as it is about taking turns, following directions, making friends and fitting into a group environment. However, if you don't like the preschools in your area, you could look into other group activities that would teach the same skills. Things like team sports, group skating or swimming lessons, or a church youth group or Sunday school.

  • Luvmy2babies22

    Although you can socialize your child and teach them, another big lesson for my son was learning to trust and take direction from another adult. When I'm in the room he always looks to me for approval or permission. I know this isn't the case for all kids, but just another thing to consider.

Try These Alternatives to Preschool

  • mypbandj

    When my oldest was preschool age, a few friends and I created our own preschool. Each one of us took a turn and held preschool at our own house - we were responsible for the lessons and the snacks and the songs and stories, etc. But the other weeks, we just had to drop the kids off. That worked very nicely.

  • erinsmom1964

    Socialization can be easily done by going to the park, the library, the rec center etc... My daughter has never been to daycare or preschool and whenever faced with other children she fits right in and has no problems. She also is testing 2 years ahead with academics - all just from hanging with her mom. While I doubt preschool would be hurtful, I adamantly disagree that it's needed. Schooling is 13-20 years of a life. I don't see the need to rush that.

  • katzmeow726

    They don't NEED to attend preschool. Socialization, basic knowledge, all those things can be done without preschool. They push kids way too hard in the early years of school, but you can still have your child prepped for kindergarten. Look up your state standards of education for k-5, and also check out a couple of books that detail what your child needs to know prior to entering kindergarten. If you're concerned about "socialization" then look in to local play groups, church nursery, programs like kindermusik, dance classes, toddler sports (like tumbling, t-ball, soccer tots...). You don't need preschool for your child to learn and socialize

2 Teachers -- 2 Opinions

  • BzMama44

    Kindergarten teacher here! Kids need some type of instruction before entering kindergarten or yes they will be behind other students. This doesn't necessarily mean she has to go to a preschool but she should be instructed by someone to provide her with all the readiness skills for kindergarten

  • JoyfulMamma

    I am also a teacher. I have chosen not to send my daughter to preschool. I can teach her at home and she has enough playdates and extra-curricular activities to be learning the skills I feel will be required. I did a great deal of research before making this decision. In most cases there are no academic advantages to preschool. Any advantage that may have been present will be long gone by grade 2. I feel that kids are pushed to grow up...why rush them. They are still so little and sending them off to be with someone who doesn't love them like their family just to socialize them is not a priority for me at all.