21 answers

Preschool Vs. In-Home Playcare for 3Yr Old W/anxiety?

My gut instinct answers this question for me but I need to hear it from other expert mommies.
I have a 3 year old that has social anxiety issues. He is being tested for SPD (Sensory processing disorder).
I have been at home with him since September. At that time he began to socially withdraw from his classmates, would have outbursts of fear/anger if he felt overwhelmed (senses).
So we made the decision for me to quit my very stable job & stay at home with him.

Economically - this is NOT working for us.
I must return to work FULL TIME. That means I will not be able to enroll him in the ISD based preschool as it is only part time & there will be no one available to take him.
His social withdrawl is becoming worse the more that he is isolated from other children so I know that he needs to be socially acclimated SOON. He is now refusing to play at McDonalds or even the "germ pit" at the mall.
(Will politely sit on the sidelines & watch the other children, but says that he wants to go home... it's so sad.)

There is one "in home playcare" down the street. He NEVER goes to anyone and he goes to this "mommy" as if she is his grandma. So far no issues when I have taken him for a few "test sessions".
However, there is no structure to his day, no nap, no "learning".

Here's what keeps sticking in my head... At his last doctors visit his pediatrician STRESSED that all children should start preschool by the age of 3.
I can't get that out of my head. My heart tells me to ignore it.

What if he needs the professional skills of a seasononed childcare professional to walk him through the steps of learnig?
Am I hindering his development?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

it is so sad to see them get so upset. I have twins (g/b). they are 3.5. My little girl is attached to me all the time. she has a hard time separating from me. However, once I am gone she seems to do fine.

I am writing to you about ISD. My son attends the new school for speech. He is picked up on the bus and dropped off by the bus. I am stay at home. However, the bus would pick him up and drop him off from daycare/school if he attended one. So research about having him evaluated and go from there. I love the school and my son has made great progress.
Let me know if I can help in any other way.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that the sooner you get him involved in a school type environment, such as preschool, the longer he has to adapt to it before he hits kindergarten and it's more important academically. You could even look into preschools that are for kids with special needs if you think it would help him. They offer smaller classes, with more one on one time for the children.

More Answers

Hi C.,

I see you already have alot of answers, but I taught preschool and head start for many years and wanted to share a couple of thoughts with you.

First of all my heart goes out to you, your partner, and your little one. I admire you for wanting to take the time to make the very best decision for him and for you.

Preschool is good for a lot of things. Surprisingly he can get several of those at the playcare. The skills learned at a preschool that are most helpful for later learning are social skills, listening skills, and negotiating skills, how to start and stop one activity and move to another, communication skills. All of these are skills that can be learned in a home playcare as well. A child can be super duper smart, ahead of the game even, but if he doesn't posess these skills he has a more difficult time in kindergarten than if he came in having never learned a thing about numbers, letters, colors and the like.

Preschool fosters curiosity and a desire to learn new things. The beautiful thing is that you can do that, too. With just thirty minutes a day, you can introduce him to ideas and concepts that will spark his interest and make him curious to learn more. You don't have to be a seasoned childcare professional. There is a pretty good chance that he might actually learn better with you right now, in a comfortable and not overstimulating environment. You can teach him numbers by letting you help cook things and dealing with the measurements. You can teach him colors using egg dye, jello, fruit gummies, and a million other things. You introduce language and it's uses best by reading to him, getting repetitive books that are easy for him to memorize and letting him "read" them to you.

I would stick to the playcare situation and just pick up the slack in the learning department, if I were you. And if you want any ideas, feel free to email me and I will send you some that are easy and cheap, if not free.

Hope this is helpful,

L.

1 mom found this helpful

All children should go to preschool by age 3? I've never heard that, nor do I agree. Small children learn while playing in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. If this in-home daycare is where he feels this way, that is where I would send my child. I would speak to the childcare provider about a nap or rest time. That is important for all young children. Ignore your pedi and go with your heart on this one! I completely agree with you!

1 mom found this helpful

Go with your gut! I went through the same issues with my now 6 year old. Looking back on it now, I wish I would have pulled him from preschool and let him just be a kid. My vote is for the play care down the street.

The second item I would consider is changing pediatricians. Everyone is a little different and for a doctor to make a blanket statement that every 3 - year old should be in a preschool does not show individualized "best for this patient" care. I have heard wonderful things, and am considering changing to, Dr. Baine (spelling?) in Frisco. Apparently, she understands and offers suggestions on how best to meet the needs of children, especially children who have SPD.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I agree with your gut feeling. I think I turned out just fine and I never attended preschool. I went to in-home daycare until I started Kindergarten. Your son feeling secure is more important. If he's comfortable he will learn more and grow in his environment. I would however talk with this lady at the in-home daycare and discuss a schedule with her. I think a routine with naps and feedings is very important though it does not have to be rigid on the exact times. My son is 2 and a half and has been with his in-home for 1 and a half years now. She's wonderful and she is structured. Ask this lady if she can incorporate some learning time each day. Here is how our schedule is set up. =-)

Breakfast is the only meal that is not at a set time since parents drop off at different times. She feeds them when they arrive, typically 8am-8:30am
9:30 - 11:00 is learning time, play time, and every Wednesday she takes them to the library
Lunch everyday is from 11:30-12:30
Nap for all of the kids is from 1pm- 3pm
Snack time at 4pm

Best of luck to you and your little one!
Z.

1 mom found this helpful

Once again, preschool is not crucial. I own one and I see every day kids who need it and kids who do fine without it. Of our 8 kids the 4 who went are no smarter or more successful than the ones who didn't, and they are all overacheivers.
Help your child with his medical issue first. If he loves this person it is important for you to encourage him to form relationships. He can learn his ABC's from you at home evenings.
There are seasoned childcare professionals who know nothing about kids with anxiety. Give your child security and he will learn just fine. Stop letting PHD's with no kids tell you what yours needs.

1 mom found this helpful

I think your doc was out of line to tell you that ALL children should start preschool by age 3 if even at all. We opted NOT to send our kids to preschool because I knew that there was nothing an institutionalized setting could teach my children at such a young age that I couldn't. For instance, my children both (boy and girl) knew their ABCs by the time they were 4. My son could spell most sight words by the time he was 5. Both kids could count and recognize numbers to 30 between the ages of 4-5. Now, my son is in 2nd grade and reads 165 WPM which is above average according to standard testing. My daughter is in Kindergarten and is doing very well with her letter naming and sounds and is right on target. No, they are not geniuses, but everything they know, I (in partnership with my husband) gave them the tools to start with, and I am dang proud of that. We taught them how to spell the objects in the room while playing games at night before bedtime. I spent the time on the floor with them playing with magnet letters and numbers. I read stories to them daily. I took them on walks through the neighborhood with a plastic bag for finding treasures to examine later (threw some science in too) and I took them to the park to run around with other kids (social skills you are worried about). My son has always been on the outgoing side and would run up to any kid on the playground and become immediate friends. My daughter is a bit more on the shy side, and it takes her a bit to warm up to others, but they are both doing great socially and academically, and what do you know, they NEVER stepped foot in preschool or daycare. Imagine that! So, you say you need to go back to work, well, make that work around your son. I understand needing to go back to work. I am working for the first time in almost 8 years, but I work around my kids' and husband's schedules, so that one of us is always here for them, and I am still home in time to hang with them for a little while before tucking them into bed. So, I say your mommy gut instinct is right on...listen to it. And I give you props for putting your son before your job. He's way more important.

1 mom found this helpful

it is so sad to see them get so upset. I have twins (g/b). they are 3.5. My little girl is attached to me all the time. she has a hard time separating from me. However, once I am gone she seems to do fine.

I am writing to you about ISD. My son attends the new school for speech. He is picked up on the bus and dropped off by the bus. I am stay at home. However, the bus would pick him up and drop him off from daycare/school if he attended one. So research about having him evaluated and go from there. I love the school and my son has made great progress.
Let me know if I can help in any other way.

1 mom found this helpful

My heart goes out to you. I haven't read all the responses. But I was wondering if your job that you left last fall, would take you back parttime? It would allow you bring in something, without having to pay for preschool/daycare. If you figure out the cost of child care, it might make sense in the long run. BTW, I know lots of kids who didn't go to preschool and they did fine in Kindergarten. The only issue I've hear their moms say is that following the class routins/schedules etc, took a bit of getting use to. Good luck.

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