How Many Yrs of Preschool?

Updated on March 28, 2011
T.N. asks from Boston, MA
26 answers

How many years of preschool are you sending your children to?

I know many people send their kids to two years because of daycare issues. How about moms that are SAH?

I just feel like two years of preschool is so much! I want my girls to go to get the socialization skills, and we are going to end up sending her for two years....I just feel like going to school when you are three....well, she is still just a baby!

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answers from Milwaukee on

I am a SAHM, I sent my daughter for two years, but she only went twice a week for the morning. She loved it and asked to go more days but I told her kindergarten would come soon enough where she can go every day.



answers from Nashville on

My kids both went to a two day a week preschool. That way I got to have them home with me, they got to still be my 'baby' and they got the socialization AND they learned how to follow instructions, sit at a table, get in line, etc My son started at ago 3 and went till age 5 then on to K. My daughter went at age 2 and this is her last year, she will go on to K this fall at almost 6 yrs old. I do have friends that just put their children in the one year before K and the kids are fine. I found that as sad as I was at first, I really enjoyed my 'me time' while they were at preschool and they really loved going.

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answers from Savannah on

Funny. Preschool isn't "school" at all. And my son misses his "school" and friends on weekends because he can't wait to go back. He started going to a 2 day a week program (Tues, Thurs) when he was 3 years old. Not because he needed to go, but because he WANTED to go! They have circle time and sing songs, learn weather, the silly things like who gets to be line leader or who gets to put the weather stamp on the chart is a big deal and something to be looked forward to. Then they PLAY. Then they do a little "class activity" where they learn a letter, color, shape, number, or count stuff. Yes, we do those things at home but he also likes having friends to do it with. Then they PLAY. Then they color something or work on some art craft. Then they PLAY. You get the picture. They have a snack, go outside, later they have lunch, then nap, then go outside....Now that he's 4, he's still in preschool but now going 3 days a week, having a good little time. He lives for Fridays so he can do show and tell. Show and Tell is something that's either beginning with the letter they're working on that week, or to do with the number they're working on that week. Spanish "class" is when a lady comes and sings a song to them, reads them a story in Spanglish, they play a couple games using the words they've learned previously and the new ones from the story. Then they play. Next year, because of his birthday, he will just be starting pre-K, and will go to school 5 days a week. Just shop places for a program you think will work best for your daughter's needs and what you want for her. Some are mostly academic, some are mostly play, some are "nothing", and some have a good balance you can be happy with. I LIKE the fact that even though my boys have socialization with playdates, parks, church, Bible study, awanas, kung fu, soccer, and neighbor kids, storytime at the library, pick up games at the beach, or any community event that comes up (family night at a rec center, parades, etc) ... they still have time to be themselves and develop social skills without "MOMMY" there to hover over them and watch what they're doing. I come in at all times, any day I want, sometimes just to peek in and see what he's doing. It makes me smile and proud to see him holding court, or playing nicely, sometimes playing alone, whatever. I feel like stepping back just a little bit is what allows them to develop who they are and what they want to do, or how they will react and practice what you teach them. We teach them a lot, we're with them a lot (playing and talking)....but they need to have their own little lives so they can practice it instead of just looking at me when something comes up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I'm a SAHM.

My daughter had 1 year, before Kinder.
SHE told us, she wanted to go to school.
She LOVED going to Preschool very much. It was special for her.

My Son, will have 5 months, before Kinder. We could not afford to send him previously. And, I was home schooling him anyway.
But, he is loving his Preschool very much.
Both my kids, went/are going to Preschool part-time, half day.

To me... 1 year of Preschool before Kinder, is enough.
2 years is really not necessary.
Unless as you said, you are not a SAHM and thus need to have your children at Preschool/daycare.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My DD is 3.5 and started 3 yo preschool in Sept - she loves it! And my hubby is the stay-at-home-parent, so it's not a daycare thing. She'll do preschool again next year, then start kindergarten 2012, most likely.

Her preschool now is just 2 days a week, 2.5 hours per day. Next year we'll have a choice between 3 or 4 days a week, mornings or afternoons. So right now it's really only 5 hours a week that she is away from us - it's not like "5-days-a-week, full-day, doing-homework SCHOOL school." What I like is that she does get a chance to socialize with other kids, learn how to get along in a group, listen to an adult away from Mom and Dad, and get to do stuff and play with things that I don't have available at home. And they do periodic assessments of her skills (pre-reading, pre-math, gross motor, fine motor, social, etc.) and let me know how she is doing, and tips for things that I can help her with at home - all the while making it fun and more like play. It's been nothing but a positive experience for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My kids went to 3 years of pre-school, starting at age 2. The first year was twice a week from 9 - 3, then the second and third years were full time M-F 9-3.

My oldest went early because he has special needs and he qualified for a program which was wonderful for him, full of different speech and occupational therapies, etc.

My middle child saw her big bro going to school and DEMANDED that she get to go, too. In fact, a few months after she turned two, I told her that if she wanted to go to pre-school, she'd need to be potty-trained first. Kid trained herself in two weeks!

My youngest saw her big sister go to pre-school and kept asking when it was her turn. Once again, when SHE was two, I told her she needed to be potty-trained first (of course, she didn't really, the pre-school was happy to take non-potty-trained 2yr olds). She, too, practically trained herself "I'm going potty 'cuz I'm going to SCHOOOOL!!" That first year for both girls, they only went two days. On the days they *didn't* go, they'd ask "why can't we go to school today?" "are my friends at school?" By the end of the year, I was sure they were ready for full time the next year - and was I ever right! They LOVED pre-school, loved their friends, the teachers, everything. We were really lucky to have found a really phenomenal school. Even now, in 3rd and 4th grades, my girls remember pre-school and how much they loved it. You know, now that I think about it, my youngest only went for 2 years because after 2 years, her teachers told me she was ready for kindergarten, so we started her a year early in K, which was the BEST decision we made for her.

I think it's up to the individual child and how ready they are for pre-school. Many of my friends kept their kids home with them right up until Kindergarten and those kids are doing great as well, it's just an individual choice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I am a SAHM and let me tell you my kids LOVED preschool so I sent them each for 3 years. It was great for me as well. It put such a nice structure into our lives and we met a ton of people as well. I can't imagine NOT having done it really. When you stay at home with the kids the week can be SO long. And unless you are supermom, which I am not, it can be difficult to fill up all of those minutes. The couple mornings of preschool a week made sure the kids were doing fresh and interesting things ( a good curriculum will involve the kids in some really cool experiences) , gave them a chance to meet and make friends, gave them exercise and gave me a chance to do a few things so the time I DID spend with them was more quality. Unless your child truly hates it I really cannot see one reason not to send them.

A good preschool is NOT school BTW.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

Why do you need any years of preschool? Socialization happens every day at home, and you have so few fleeting years with your littles, especially if they aren't homeschooling. Are you concerned that she learn to interact with other children? Have playdates! There is nothing she will learn at pre school you cannot teach her at home... and your instinct is right--she's just a baby!



answers from Houston on

that answer is going to vary due to the kids circumstances and the parents circumstances. my oldest was 2. my youngest was almost 3 i wanted him in for social skills and the fact that he has a disability and needs extra help learning what the rules are due to his special needs. he is a monkey see monkey due kid so for the most part i feel he will benefit off of preschool



answers from Las Vegas on

I put my daughter in at 19 months. At that age there isn't a curriculum, however, they are taught table manners and how to clean up after themselves. She has been at the same school and she is now 5, moving on to K this August. She is an only child and often misses her friends when she stays home.

As for the social skills, we are working on greetings. At the post office today, she wanted to help, so I allowed her to hand the post-lady the mail and the lady said to her, "Hi, how are you". She answered, "Fine", but I assisted her with, "Fine thank you, how are you". I don't always have to encourage this, she will sometimes do this on her own.


answers from Minneapolis on




answers from Pittsfield on

I have 4 children, and my oldest went to pre-school for 2 years only because I didn't feel he was ready for kindergarden yet. He has a summer birthday, so I thought I'd give him another year (I figured, what's the rush?), and he'll still graduate when he's 18 like the rest of his classmates. So he went 3 days a week when he was 4 (8:30-11:00) and 5 days a week when he was 5 (also 8:30-11:00). I think it was the right choice for him.

My other 2 went just when they were 4, for 3 days a week (8:30-11:00), and that worked out perfectly for them. They adjusted to pre-school without any problem.

I think pre-school is fine for 3 year olds if you think they would love it, but I don't think you should feel the need to send her at 3 because other people do. She'll have no trouble socializing at 4 if she doesn't go at 3. My hunch is you don't want to send her- it's ok not to :)



answers from Boston on

My oldest had no preschool, my middle had 2 years and my youngest will have 2 1/2 before he hits kindergarten. The ONLY reason my 2 youngest went/go to preschool is because of speech issues. They have all gone to daycare because I do work but with it is was just daycare and not a preschool. The daycare my youngest attends does do some preschool but he goes to the public preschool during the same time and gets bussed back to daycare after they are done the preschool learning.


answers from Los Angeles on

mine will not go to any preschool. Preschool is for working moms or moms who need a parenting break (not judging needing a parenting break). If you don't feel the need for this parenting break, then keep them home and work on early reading at home. Teachers like it when kids have gotten preschool because it makes their job easier, but whats more valuable to you? Time with your baby, or getting them some skills early that won't actually have any lasting benefit (kids with no preschool catch up to their preschool buddies by third grade).



answers from Washington DC on

My oldest daughter went for one year when she turned 4, and my middle daughter will start at age 3. She will only go two mornings a week, so I felt like it wasn't too much. It is good socialization for them, and as long as she enjoys going, then I think it's a good thing.



answers from Kansas City on

My oldest went to PreK-3 and PreK-4 (he's now in kindergarten). My middle son will start PreK-3 in the fall. I am a SAHM and still send them. PreK-3 is 5 hours a week (8:30-11 T & TH), so it's really not that much! I will drop him off, run a couple of errands, and go back and get him. Maybe you can find a program that is just a couple hours a week.



answers from Chicago on

2 mornings a week at 3 yrs old and 3 days a week at 4 yrs old. my older son ended up doing an extra year of preschool cause he just wasn't really ready emotionally so he got 5 days a week when he was 5. the next son's birthday was in january so he missed the cut off and did the same thing as the older kid not because he wasn't ready but because of the birthday thing. preschool is really only a couple hours and its good for them to get the socialization.



answers from Spokane on

I actually regret sending my daughter to preschool and will NOT be sending my younger two. It's not that we've had a bad experience; her teachers are wonderful and she does like it. But I feel like there's nothing she's learning there that I don't teach her at home - except the attitude. I could have waited another year for that! lol The only reason I didn't pull her out was because she *does* like it so much and it's only 9 hours a week. Plus, the cost sucks :o)

It takes many years to learn to "socialize". It's not like if we send them to preschool they'll magically be socially superior. Children have 12+ years of school to socialize - and besides, isn't school for learning anyways! LOL



answers from Providence on

I really don't understand the negative comments towards preschool. Preschool and daycare are not the same. My son is 3. He's attending a wonderful program. He can write his first and last name. He can also rhyme words, can tell you the first letter of any word that you say, and is starting to sound out words now... the foundation of reading. At this age kids' minds are like sponges. They will learn anything that you take the time to teach them. I strongly believe an early strong start in education will benenfit him during his whole life. Considering the state of the public school system these days you have to go out of your way to ensure your childrens' success. Not to mention he's learning to cooperate in a small group.... routine, structure, dicipline, respect, sharing, taking turns, helping younger kids, making friends.... skills that will be important for the rest of his life. I definitley recommend starting preschool early. But, clearly you should research the quality of the program before enrolling. Good luck!!!



answers from Boston on

my daughter is working on two years in daycare/now preschool (at the same place), she is almost 3 1/2. She only goes two days a week (full days) - it has been the best thing for her. I'd have her go more days if it were possible for us. Maybe think about not having your daughter go for 5 days a week? Or half days? For us, it's not just the socialization (which is a big part), but also the structured days (because our days at home are not so structured!), as well as the learning - the folks at our daycare/preschool are excellent, and she is learning so much (and they were amazing with potty training too :).



answers from New York on

So many things to consider...
The age of the child and the age the child can start Kindergarten
The preschool program - 2 or 5 days a week, 1 or 4 hour program
Is the parent using a preschool program as their daycare option

Both my girls went to preschool for 1 academic school year. It was 5 days a week for 2 1/2 hrs a day.

I your just concerned about socialization they can get this by having play dates, playing with other kids on the playground, attending local events like story time at the library.



answers from New York on

I own a preschool and I really think it depends on the child and what their needs are. I have parents bring their children for a tour and they scream and cry and say they want to stay, and then I have parents who come in and their child will cling to their leg in fear and not leave their side the entire tour. That is always an indicator to me when they really want to go to preschool, or their parents want them to go to preschool. From an academic and social stand point they can get all they need to prepare them for elementary school in one year. However, some children are very bored at home and are craving to get out and socialize. I fine that if boys were asked and had the choice of staying home or going to school most would opt for home. Girls on the other hand can be much more social. The boys are happy at home playing with their own toys, and that is okay. This is just general not all boys or girls apply, just my opinion. To answer your question how much do they NEED, one year is really enough. Good luck!!



answers from Cleveland on

We sent our son to two years of preschool, but he's our youngest and his two older siblings were away at elementary school all day. He just got bored being home all by himself, and we live in a rural area, so it's not like he could just play with the neighbors.

He is a very bright and social child and he totally enjoyed being with other children all day. I think it was the right decision for my son, but every kid is different.

If you child is happy being home and is getting enough stimulation at home, maybe she doesn't need two years. If she's getting bored and if you think she'd enjoy preschool at three, then, why not?


answers from Hartford on

I didn't send any of my daughters until they were four years old. My middle daughter needed two years of preschool, so she was there for four years old and five years old. She has developmental problems and has Autism (with all that entails with social challenges, learning challenges, etc.).

I'm a stay-at-home-mom.

The others did just fine with one year of preschool. Anything earlier than four or five years old is really day care.



answers from Dallas on

I am a SAHM and I will be sending my daughter to preschool in the fall. She will be almost 4 at that time, but will have 2 years of preschool. I am sending her because she wants to go. She has been asking me for over a year to please go to school. I am a certified teacher and have been teaching her for almost a year now. She wants to go, so I want her to go. I have found one that is 2 days a week for just 4 hours a day. That should still give me plenty of time to be with her and even get some time for myself. Who knows? Maybe after all of these years, I will be able to get a mani/pedi once in a while!
Best of luck on the decision!



answers from Providence on

I agree, she is still a baby! If you don't absolutely need to because of work situations, don't feel like you NEED to send her to pre-school just b/c other moms are doing it. Kids love to be home with their parents and have the freedom to get up when they are ready and for you to bring them to fun places and have friends over, etc. The time that they are home before school starts is so limited, and then they are in there for at least 18 years. You can teach the academic stuff to them, and just make sure you do playdates, storytimes, museum classes, etc for them to get the socialization and school structure introduction. My son is almost 4 and is not in pre-school. I may send him next year for a few hours a day, two days a week at the most, b/c I may be working PT and to prepare him a little bit for K. You do what you feel she needs, but I don't think it is necessary!

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