The Preschool Derby

14 Jan

I am lucky that I have close friends that have children older than Miss H because they have prepped me for the things to come. When I was stressing about childcare when I was on maternity leave, they told me it would work out. Also, at this time they warned me that while finding childcare was hard, finding a preschool was worse. Remember, I had a 5 week old baby and I did not really care about their preschool problems. I mean, preschool was YEARS away. Well, we now officially have preschool problems and I totally see how this is worse than finding childcare.

There seem to be three distinct buckets of preschools in this area. Half-day programs all week, half day programs a few days a week and full-day programs all week. After hearing stories of co-workers about working alternative schedules, hiring drivers and/or nannies to deal with pick-up and drop-off and other craziness to accommodate the three-hour window of half-day preschool- we immediately removed those from our list. Half-day programs tend to have lottery systems or if you are a member of a church that has a preschool, you get in. The full-day preschools are limited in number and the most competitive because if you are a two working parent household, this is really the best option. But this option comes with open houses, parent tours, essays, parent interviews and if we make if through all those steps- the classroom visit for Miss H.

Originally, we had three preschools on our list but knocked one off because of the uniform requirement. Why you ask? I have a hard enough time convincing Miss H to wear something that matches so I knew trying to convince her to wear the same thing, day in and day out, that did not include accessories like tutus, necklaces, rain hats or any other thing she deems to be pretty would be a daily battle. Now, the list has two schools and we have submitted one application packet and Kerry and I will be interviewing soon. We have another open house to attend this month and then we will start working on the application packet for that school.

On the plus side, the first school is super cute and nice! All the classrooms open onto outdoor space and they have a great garden. The teachers were really friendly, the kids seemed normal and they have a worm bin as part of their gardening project. I think the worm bin will be a highlight for Miss H, too. So, keep your fingers crossed for us.

So, this is the official preschool derby. I can’t imagine what college is going to be like!

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