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Preschools

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5 years 3 months ago #94525 by Melbelle
Hey all! I could use some advice.

My oldest child is 2 1/2. My husband is determined to transition her from all-day care at someone's home to half-day care and half-day preschool. I do not at all see the point of this, and it actually seems potentially negative. I really like her daycare provider. She has been there since she was about 7 months old. She has 3 of her own children and takes in 2 more, so it is a family-like environment, and I really trust her. That is beside the point, though. He feels that a preschool would be good for her learning and exploration, and that if the daycare lady doesn't want to do part time (which she doesn't) we can just get a nanny. I also have a new baby (1 month) and have no desire to leave him with a nanny I don't know.

I am probably overreacting, but this is killing me. I don't want my daughter in preschool. I don't want to switch daycare providers. We are totally stalled on this, and I resume rotations in 1 week, with no daycare contract for the next school year yet, and no nanny.

I could maybe be swayed if I thought preschool were actually beneficial when compared to a structured family environment, but I am not convinced that it is. Does anyone have any insight or information on this?

Thanks so much!!

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5 years 3 months ago #94563 by clee03m
I think preschool at 3 can be beneficial. So maybe a compromise would be wait a year? Honestly I think 2 is young. And 3 is probably not necessary if the kid is already in an enriching environment (like the daycare provider takes her to museums and things). My 2 cents. Good luck

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5 years 3 months ago - 5 years 3 months ago #94566 by tr_
Wow, I'm totally with you on this. Why would your husband want to switch your child out of a stable situation where she is comfortable into two different, new care environments with a complicated schedule and new people, at the same time as she just got a little brother and you are going back to work? That just sounds nuts. Changing care situations is a big deal for a kid. It doesn't sound like an easy transition at all. Even if he wants to do the preschool thing it just doesn't make sense to force this change right now.

I'm a fan of center-type care myself but it's not for the academics, I just think it's safer - plus I like the interaction with other kids. It sounds like you are very happy with your current arrangement and finding a new nanny in a rush definitely does not sound like a good (or 'safer') option. (On the academics, I agree with clee - I think the academic benefits of early preschool are more relevant for kids whose home environments are not enriching. Also some preschool by 4 or so is helpful so they aren't shocked by kindergarten, but there's a long time yet for that.)

FWIW I do not think you are overreacting. Unless there's some other information here, I think your husband is being irrational.

My only question is, what was your plan for the baby's care when you go back to rotations? Does the day care lady take 1-month-olds or did you have another plan for him?
Last Edit: 5 years 3 months ago by .

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5 years 3 months ago #94568 by English
Yes, I agree with what tr_ said except the part about centers being safer. I sent my almost 3 year old when he was 2 1/2 to a preschool that had great recommendations and low student to teacher ratio. My son has a late bday so he was the oldest in the class. A lot of what they were teaching he had already learned from his nannies. He regressed in some ways as well-- he was just starting to sit on the potty and since no one in his class was potty trained he stopped. I also felt he wasn't as clean as I like him. Snot all over his face, etc. That and him getting sick all the time sealed the deal to find him a nanny. My parents had pressured me to send him to school because they believe kids should go to school early to be more advanced. My hubby wanted him to go so he could learn to sit in a class and follow directions and for the socialization.

I agree with tr_ that early preschool is only beneficial to those whose children are not stimulated but if the child is stimulated in daycare and home then you only need to send them when they are around 4. Just make sure they have play dates and play with other kids. Melbelle, why is your husband set on the preschool? What about it is convincing to him that it's better?

As for safety -- there is a good book called Protecting the Gift by Gaven de Becker on keeping children safe. It's interesting some of his points-- one being that when you send your child to daycare or preschool the assumption is that people are doing their job and all the teachers have background checks and if they are neglectful then someone will intervene. He says the truth is that that may not be the case and you need to check inspections and see what they were cited for, etc. I have interviewed some former daycare teachers and they have told me some stories of neglect by other teachers and when they report it then nothing is done. My tangential point here is that some daycare centers are excellent and others not so and the same with nannies. I don't think you are overreacting either-- to find childcare you can trust is priceless. My son has had 3 nannies-- all fantastic and every time each one left I thought I would have a heart attack fearing I would never find someone else, but it all worked out.

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5 years 3 months ago - 5 years 3 months ago #94571 by tr_
So I totally agree that every day care option has to be judged on its own merits - there are terrible centers and there are wonderful in-home day cares. (It sounds like Melbelle has found one of the latter and as I said above I wouldn't see any reason to change what she is doing.) Overall quality differences seem to be greater within categories of day care type than between them.

That said, overall home-based day cares have >7x the fatality rate of center-based care.
asr.sagepub.com/content/70/5/729.short

Rate of infant death due to violence, 1985-2003:
Family day care: 2.31 per 100,000
In-home day care: 2.00 per 100,000
Center-based care: 0

Rate of infant death due to accident, 1985-2003:
All home-based day care: 1.60 per 100,000
Center-based care: 0.23 per 100,000


Of course the absolute fatality rates in day care are (thankfully!) extremely low, and there are many other aspects to judge a particular child care option on that may be more immediately relevant than this extremely rare outcome.
Last Edit: 5 years 3 months ago by .

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5 years 3 months ago #94572 by clee03m
What is family day care and how is that different than in home day care? You mean my kids have the highest chance of death because we take care of them at home?! They do some crazy stuff at home that wouldn't be allowed anywhere else I guess.

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