Recently, I realized that my baby is growing up. Next year this time, he will be four and a half years old. Gone will be the lazy days of day care and “mamaw’s house,” where he can show up late and leave early; nothing to do all day but watch Mickey Mouse and play with the blocks and trains. He’ll be half way to kindergarten. And that means one very important thing for this mommy– I’d better get my butt in gear and figure out how to get him into a preschool.
I grew up in a small, rural town. I went to school with the same kids from kindergarten through high school. There was no question about which school I would attend because there was only one in my community. Back then preschool didn’t exist. I went to kindergarten every other day and learned letters and colors. I napped. It was laid back.
Perhaps that’s why I’m overwhelmed by the preschool choices in Kanawha County. There are at least two dozen centers. Some are collaborative, meaning the county school system partners with a private agency, like a church, and some are in an elementary school. Some preschools are three hours a day and a few are five or six. Some offer both breakfast and lunch. Others don’t. Then there’s something called the round up, which I still haven’t quite figured out.
You get my drift. There’s a lot of information to digest and many factors to consider. Most importantly, I’m worried about how my son will react to the change of environment. He’s been going to the same day care center since he was two. He loves it there and he has his own group of friends. He could stay there next year, but it comes with a hefty price tag. That’s hard to swallow when I could potentially do this for free, minus the cost of aftercare.
So, I’m asking you, my fellow mommies, how did you choose your child’s preschool? How did your child handle the change from day care to “big kid” school?
After all, my son might be old enough to attend a real school now, but he’ll always be my baby.