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Preschool

It's hard to decide when to put your child in preschool/daycare and sometimes it comes out of a necessity (work). My son started preschool at 18 months and it was the greatest thing for me. Every mom is different. It gave me time to myself, to maintain my part-time job, and he got to socialize with other children (which he loved). Yes, they get sick, but it's true what they say, their immune system improves. Now he is four and he hardly ever gets sick. When he does, it's a cold and it only lasts a few days. No antibiotic needed!

When you are researching a preschool, there are several items you need to look into before deciding on one:
Are the teachers certified?
Is the facility safe and clean (and state regulated)?
Do the children look happy and well kept:
  •     Faces cleaned of snot.
  •     Clothes changed if they get dirty with food, etc.
  •     No smelly diapers still on.
  •     Children greet you when you come in with smiles.
  •     If a child is crying, they are attended to (of course if they are in time-out, they are at least not left completely alone).
The room has a variety of books, activities, and games.
Artwork, alphabet, numbers, calendar, and similar items displayed on the walls.
Music is used as part of the classroom curriculum.
Ratio between children and teacher is small.
Clean bathroom with toilet and sink accessible for children to use.
Teachers seem friendly and motivated.
There's a daily routine (circle time, play time, nap time, snack time, etc.).

Overall, you should have a good feeling about the place when you enter. Moms have incredible intuition. The catch is, differentiating it with denial!! Sometimes, we just feel guilty (well, we feel like that all the time) or we are not ready to let go. You have to be able to know the difference. If you are not ready, that's OK! I'm a huge advocate of our public library system. Check out the nearest one, since they offer free baby and toddler classes for moms. In the children's section, they usually have games, puzzles, besides books, for your child to explore. There are also computers with educational games or you can check some of them out and movies too!!

Parenting.com has some links you may find useful. I have included two below:

The Right Daycare

Finding The Best Daycare




Subpages (1): Early Literacy
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