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don't delay: preschool admissions ahead

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:43pm

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the stress is gone. January and February brings another round of stress: the preschool admission process.

We want to do you the service of making you aware of this now in case you’re not surrounded by other crazy preschool moms who spend the next 6-8 weeks visiting schools, attending open houses, putting down deposits and waiting for the right phone call. Your child may only be nearing age two, but if you have any interest in putting one of your bunch into a preschool program, our suggestion is you start researching now.

Why you ask? Because programs for the younger kids (18 months to 3 years) can often be tougher to find due to state certifications dealing with diaper changing. Basically those who might have to wipe poopy diapers have to undergo different requirements for certification. So there tend to be fewer of these programs in many places. If suddenly you discover, come June you’re little guy is ready for school….you may not find a place. We’re just warning you now.

If you’re about to become a Baby Buncher or newly joined this ‘Bunching’ trend, preschool may be the farthest thing from your mind as you’re getting your baby on a schedule and just trying to keep junior from stuff toilet paper down the toilet. But if your oldest is nearing the two or two and half age, preschool can be a saving grace for many Baby Bunching moms.

Preschool means three important things:

1. Time for your toddler to play with friends his own age.

2. Time for you to spend with the newborn alone. This can translate to quality breastfeeding time without the numerous interruptions.

3. Time for you to get chores or errands done. This also means a mini break for you, which in turn means you're refreshed when your toddler comes back home.

4. Your toddler learns how to share, craft and play nicely while someone cleans up for three or four hours.

The preschool admission can be a daunting process with lotteries and waitlists. Ask around in your network for recommended preschools. The Savvy Source Preschool guide may get you started, but ultimately, people in your area will know best. Yes, ask strangers at the playground if you have to.

For little kids it’s all about playing in a safe environment, but from one mom to another, it’s easier if you can get into the school you want right from the beginning so you don’t have to go through this process each year. This year we’re planning to move my youngest to a new school, and I’m dreading starting this process all over again. The difficult thing is it’s hard to know your child’s learning style at age two. So mainly, look for schools that you feel good about and that people you know recommend. Accredition is a good measure of a good preschool, but not always.

For your reading enjoyment, I blogged my entire journey of this process last year.

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