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How do I handle preschool when I have to work full time?

How can I possibly get my 4 year old to preschool in the fall? My husband doesn't view preschool as a necessity, but I do. The problem is that we both work full time with inflexible hours and we don't have the financial ability to cut hours for either of us. Is preschool absolutely necessary? I mean I know it's preferred, but if I can't figure out how to get him there, is he going to be really behind?

Unfortunately, grandparents are out (either working full time or don't drive) and there are no other young kids in our neighborhood. My mother-in-law watches the kids while we are at work, but she doesn't drive and there are no preschools within walking distance. They do go to a daycare, but only on Wednesdays.

Any thoughts? I'm feeling stressed

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Asked by KatieHas2 at 10:39 AM on Apr. 22, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • my son goes to preschool at a licensed child care center that offers full day care. He goes to "preschool" from 8-12:30, then is in "aftercare" the rest of the day

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 10:42 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • my son's prek is lottery funded. Which helps so much. He has to be there by 8 am (they do have a early drop off program for parents that have to be at work earlier for a small fee.) After i drop him off i go to work. It ends at 2:30. If i'm not there to pick him up in time then i just leave him in after care which is 7.50 an hour. Its not bad. I usually pay no more than 30 dollars a week. Plus lunch cost.

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:44 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Preschool is really important, without it your child is very likely to be behind both academically and socially. Sending your child to school without adequate preparation is unfair to him.

    Look for a full day preschool (not a daycare) that has before and aftercare. You may also be able to hire one of the instructors or classroom assistants to watch your child before and after school even if an official aftercare program is not available. Also talk to your friends and see if any of them might be willing to take him. If you find someone to do it, shower her with gifts and praise.

    Answer by Suzy_Sunshine at 10:45 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • i also believe it is important. He has progressed so much and has learned so much from the teachers and kids in such a short period of time. You don't want your child to be behind when they start kindergarden.

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:51 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Many day-care centers will offer a preschool curriculum as part of their care program at 3 -5 yrs old.

    I am a big proponent of quality preschool instruction. However, I don't think it's a necessity. Find out what your district requires for kindergarten readiness. Despite what it may seem like at times on here, a large number of districts do NOT require academic pre-requisites. In my children's school, for example, reading is still considered a 1st grade core component. My DD is one of two kids in her kindergarten class that can read independently. Our preschool experience was much more about learning to function in a classroom setting. The kids that did not have that experience prior to starting K needed a little more time to adjust...but by mid-year it was a level playing field.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:03 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Your husband is right, preschool isn't a necessity. Especially if you're stressing out about it. Your kid won't die if he doesn't go to preschool.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:06 AM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Go to the school where your son will be in kindergarten and ask them what he needs to know before he starts, and then work on those skills if there are any he hasn't mastered. You might also ask your MIL to help by doing some learning games with him. I don't think preschool is nearly as big of a deal as you are making it out to be. If you are more worried about socialization, then find ways to get him involved in something where there will be other kids; maybe sign him up for a sport or some sort of lessons whwre he can interact with other kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:56 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Like others have said, there are many childcare programs that offer a preschool program within. Those are handy because you don't have to worry about picking up and dropping off right on time. I personally feel preK or something similar is a must. My son was doing several grades ahead of preK curriculum but he was sent anyways because of the social side of things. School is about more than academics. That being said though, your current childcare may be enough as is. Is he with a good number of children? Is the day structured? They move from station to station, they get to do things like cut and paste, outside play time, walking in lines, etc. It is possible you don't need to go anywhere else.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:01 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • You may want to check into the preschool program offered by your public school system. They are required to have a certain number of regular education students and many also offer before and after school care. You will still have to pay tuition like a private preschool.

    If that isn't an option, a day care that offers a preschool type curriculum/program will certainly be fine.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 8:44 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • My 3 year old (who will be 4 in Aug) started preschool in Jan. She has advanced socially as well as academically. Her preschool opens at 6am and closes at 6:30 pm. There is no additional fee to drop off as early as 6. I am a SAHM so I only put her in half day and I can drop her off anytime I want I just have to pick her up by noon. They serve a healthy breakfast at 8:30 then lunch at 11:30 so I know she is getting her nutrition. She comes home with progress reports and any activity they did like coloring or painting. It is fun for me to see and fun for her to do.

    Answer by StevensWife at 5:42 AM on Apr. 23, 2010

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