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To Preschool or Not to Preschool...

 
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OneSource









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:17 pm
So here is my dilemma: My son is two and we live pretty far out in Brooklyn (think Georgetown, Mill Basin, etc.). As September approaches, we've looked into different preschool options and don't like the ones in our immediate area (for assorted reasons) but know of a good, reputable place in Flatbush that we used to send my daughter to. We would definitely want to send my son to the place in Flatbush but are having trouble working out transportation. The head of the preschool found a person willing to drive both ways but it would cost $300 per month, on top of the $550 per month tuition. I don't know about the standard cost for these types of arrangements but $300 per month is out of my budget and I can't drive him myself as I and my husband both work in NYC and need to be at our jobs by the time preschool starts. Early stay wouldn't be much more useful (we are both in NYC by 8am). Sure, my son would benefit from a day in an educational environment where he has structure, music, playtime, other kids his age, etc. But at what cost? The $850 per month is more than my older daughter's yeshiva tuition!

So my issue is this - we have, at home, full time nanny care already for my other son (a baby) so we can just skip preschool this year and keep my 2 year old home as well and deal with this issue next year instead OR we can try to find alternate transportation (seems impossible right now). What should I do?
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Stars









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:24 pm
Two is so young. I would keep him home, but it depends on the child's temperament of course. Also, how far of a commute is it?
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OneSource









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:27 pm
He is really young! That's been part of my hesitation here but he loves the idea of going to school like his big sister and I worry that he's bored at home.

The commute is fairly quick. Were about seven minutes away from the preschool (w/o traffic) and fairly direct to get there (like up one avenue block for a while and your'e there.)
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Sadie









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:31 pm
Would the nanny be willing to take the kids on the bus and do school dropoff?
If you signed up with the school and it turned out to be too complicated/difficult/expensive would you be able to drop out without penalty, or would you have to commit to pay for a certain amount of time?
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Stars









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:32 pm
Can you pay extra for the nanny to entertain him at home? Have playdates a few times a week?
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OneSource









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:37 pm
So the nanny can't take him there and back. It's too much of a hassle with a four month old baby at home. Plus, in bad weather (like rain or snow) I wouldn't want her to even try.

As for entertaining him at home - he seems happy but, overly worried mother that I am, I just want more for him, like a full school-like day of learning and fun.

Is it normal these days to keep a 2 year old at home if there is a nanny? He loves the nanny. We've had her for five years already so he's known her his whole life and is used to his day at home. They go to the park, play in the back yard, he has all his trucks at home... When he's bored, the nanny takes him around the neighborhood on his bike, etc.

I guess I'm just worried it makes me a bad mother not to put him in a preschool at 2 (or something along those mommy-guilt lines about giving him the best.)
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fbc









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:45 pm
For a quick and direct route, isn't 300 kind of obnoxious to ask for each month?? That's ridiculous! If I were taking someone's kid to school and it was direct and quick, I would ask for half that! Unless of course I had to go way out of my way to get the child, but I probably wouldn't agree to that, and I'm just assuming this person who is your carpool option doesn't live that far from you.
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OneSource









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:51 pm
I was told that the standard is $200-$300 for roundtrip transportation and because I am not in this person's neighborhood, she would charge me the higher $300 to get my son.

I thought it was really high. When we lived in the area and sent to this preschool before, transportation both ways (again, about 7 minutes but in a different direction) was $100 per month. Maybe there just aren't enough kids in my area to justify the lower amount? Either way, it's too much for me. I just cant swing it right now.
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fbc









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:52 pm
Oh I also didn't realize you meant round trip. That does make a little more sense to me, I thought you meant only one way.
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Barbara









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 12:58 pm
OneSource wrote:
SNIP
I guess I'm just worried it makes me a bad mother not to put him in a preschool at 2 (or something along those mommy-guilt lines about giving him the best.)


When DS was 2, we had him in a 2 day a week, 2 hour a day program. With 20/20 hindsight, it was worthless.

Let him stay home. See if there is a Gymboree or Kindermusik or whatever in the area if you want him in a program; the sitter can take him, or skip it in bad weather. Add story time at the library, and walks to the park.
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GetReal









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 1:01 pm
My kids have all been home at two. Especially if you have a babysitter anyway. One on one or one on two care from a loving nanny has many advantages over a classroom full of kids. If you want take some of the money you would save and buy some special educational games or pay for a children's museum membership.
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Stars









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 1:02 pm
OneSource wrote:
So the nanny can't take him there and back. It's too much of a hassle with a four month old baby at home. Plus, in bad weather (like rain or snow) I wouldn't want her to even try.

As for entertaining him at home - he seems happy but, overly worried mother that I am, I just want more for him, like a full school-like day of learning and fun.

Is it normal these days to keep a 2 year old at home if there is a nanny? He loves the nanny. We've had her for five years already so he's known her his whole life and is used to his day at home. They go to the park, play in the back yard, he has all his trucks at home... When he's bored, the nanny takes him around the neighborhood on his bike, etc.

I guess I'm just worried it makes me a bad mother not to put him in a preschool at 2 (or something along those mommy-guilt lines about giving him the best.)


He sounds like the type of kid who would be perfectly happy to stay home till age 3-4. I'd say Go with your gut, not with what is "normal" these days.
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elisheva25









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 1:08 pm
Some 2yr old get bored, some are more easy going . But most are perfectly fine being home . Considering you have a nanny, I say keep him home!!
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oliveoil









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 1:28 pm
Let him stay home. It sounds ideal. You have the nanny already, he loves the nanny. He has his baby brother there (who will get more interesting as the year goes along) and he's only two! No need to rush him out. He'll have plenty of school years ahead!
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nylon









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 8:29 pm
Honestly, outside of New York, 2yo preschool is harder to find and I don't think it's crucial. If he were 4 (PK year) I would say absolutely. If he were 3, probably. 2? Harder to justify.

My DS, who has a September birthday with a 9/1 school cutoff, did go at just shy of 3... But I don't know that I would have sent him had he not been in special education preschool. (He will get 3 years in preschool). His sister did 2 years, starting at 3.5, and has turned out just fine.
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lizard8









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 9:56 pm
Do you know of anyone else in your neighborhood who is in the same predicament? If your nanny will agree (with extra pay of course), she can watch another toddler for a couple of hours a day. This way they can be social, the nanny can do activities with them etc... all in the comfort of your home.
If your nanny isn't willing, maybe try to find a daily playdate with another nanny and toddler.
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pause









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 10:04 pm
I agree with all the posters saying to keep him home. For me it would even be the ideal first choice.

It's not like you need to make separate arrangements to keep him home.

Why would you think you're a bad mother to not send him to preschool? I'd say you're a great mother that he's getting his needs met all day long rather than being part of a crowd of 12-20 other runny-nosed kids! The nanny's sole goal is to take care of him and his sibling. What could be better?!

When you don't have a choice anymore, at 3 or 4, you send him, but if you have such an ideal set-up anyway? Absolutely keep him home!
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octopus









  


Post  Tue, Aug 18 2015, 10:13 pm
I've never sent out a two year old. I understand that many parents do what works for them and their working schedules, but if you just want to take into consideration the needs of your child? keep him home. You can fulfill his social needs without sending him to school. All he needs really is one or two other kids to play with sometimes. 12 kids or 18 kids really is toooo much for any two year old. Have your babysitter go to the library programs for toddlers. Go to the park. Set a schedule for your babysitter. You should not be feeling guilty over something like not sending a two year old to school!

(I'm not criticizing those that send, as I know there are many factors that are taken into consideration. )
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OneSource









  


Post  Wed, Aug 19 2015, 2:33 pm
Thank you all for the responses. I think I am just going to keep him home next year and approach this whole transportation issue next year. By three, he can start preschool. He still feels so young to me and I don't want him to have to give up the individual attention at home for a group setting unless its really time. There's no pressing need to have him out of the house. Child care is already in place. I really appreciate the gut check!
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Iymnok









  


Post  Wed, Aug 19 2015, 2:51 pm
Halfway through the year he may start to need more social. That's when play dates, libraries and museum memberships are helpful. Also get some skill building games and activities for when the baby is napping.
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