H.C. asks from Kenosha, WI on December 16, 2010
K.J. answers from Chicago on December 16, 2010
Wow, well, it really varies according to the specific school, so you can't really generalize that one is necessarily better than the other. Talk to your neighbors and find out where their kids go, and if they are happy with the experience. Check out websites of various private schools in your area, and if you like what you see, ask for a tour. You really cannot get a good feel for a school until you step in the door and see for yourself and meet the teachers.
B.B. answers from Augusta on December 17, 2010
In GA, all pre-k is free (lottery funded). They all follow very specific guidelines that are monitored incessantly. There's virtually no difference between public and private Pre-k, so whatever's most convenient for the family is best.
I don't know how SC works.
L.O. answers from Detroit on December 16, 2010
well... it depends.. just because a preschoolis private doesnt mean is tis good.. or bad... each school would have to be toured and you could make a decision after you see the facility, the staff, the kids, etc..
I looked at preshools run by school districts, by churches and also a for profit privately owned preschool. I chose a school district preschool.. it is in a closed elementary school.. they have a huge playground a gym and extra rooms for large motor activites.. (lots of room). The teachers were nice and caring. The facility was clean. They use creative curriculum. The price was reasonable.
I looked at a private preschool.. the room was small and needed reapair. the teacher didnt seem to like small children. the tuition was very expensive.
I.L. answers from Alexandria on December 16, 2010
We chose private for a few reasons:
1. Small class size. My daughter is one of six in her class. She gets lots of attention and they do lots of cool things that wouldn't be doable in a big classroom (made and decorated full size teepees when studying the pilgrims and Indians for Thanksgiving, etc). Also because of the small class size they the teacher is able to move through things easier, expanding on topics that I wouldn't have expected my preschooler to know. I am ever amazed at the things she is learning in preschool!!
2. We talked to a lot of people in the community and this was the most recommended place. I can't tell you how many people said, "oh my son/daughter was in Mrs. Mary's class!" Talk to people, word of mouth is the best way to get a good reputation!
I.G. answers from Seattle on December 16, 2010
I would look at both and see what you think will work best for your daughter. We have just looked for a new preschool and looked at a bunch of public and private ones. In our area I just couldn't find a private one that I really liked (and one of our two public options was REALLY horrible, too) - but the one we chose now is public... and I think she will be happy there.
Ultimately it depends on the program and the teachers - not on whether the school is public or private. It's also not much of a cost difference, unless you are low income and qualify for headstart.
M.S. answers from Los Angeles on December 16, 2010
I've learned in years past that your question shouldn't be "public or private" so much as just to check out the schools on your list and go from there. There are great public schools and horrible public schools just as there are great private and horrible private. My kids did go to private preschool and kindergarten but that was after checking out our options and deciding that this school was best for us. It cost us a lot, my son is on his last year but I wouldn't have done it any other way - this school is worth every penny. I actually didn't know there was public preschool.
K.B. answers from Milwaukee on December 16, 2010
Both private and public schools vary so much from district to district.
My suggestion is to check out ALL schools that you are intrested in. Collect all types of information from cost, transportation if needed, before/after care if needed, class sizes, get to know the teacher(s), ask what a typical day is like in their class.
I was in a public school from preschool - 6th grade. Then transfered to a private school when my parents moved from Ohio to Wisconsin. Main reason for the switch from public to private is because we would get daily religious classes. I personally enjoyed both public and private schools.
What you are looking for in a school, then compare your list to what each shcool has to offer and pick whatever one fits best for your family. Remember that if it does not seem like a good choice at the end of the year you can always switch to a different school.