Please Help Me with Preschool Recommendations.

Updated on November 23, 2009
L.L. asks from Aurora, IL
5 answers

So I was told that I should get on the ball about finding a preschool for my child like now. He is 2 1/2yrs old and will be three in the summer. I was told that I should have started already because some shcools have deadlines and or waiting lists.? My friend who lives in another city told me this and I just felt dumb for not knowing this. I guess I want my baby to stay my baby I wasn't thinking that far ahead.
I live in aurora by the Provena Mercy hospital area . I am still new to the area and dont know where to start. What do I look for? Should I have already started to do this? any reccomendations on where to go? I really need some guidance, Thanks for any info you can give me

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answers from Chicago on

Make sure you figure out if you want 'play-based' or 'curriculum-based' before you decide on a pre-school. I go with a play-based for 3 year old pre-school.



answers from Chicago on

there are a couple of new preschools in sugar grove, besides the magnet place at wcc. There is brightest stars in the Landing office park on route 47 and a really nice school-atmosphere center right on capitol and park behind the jewel. the name escapes me at the moment.



answers from Chicago on

Not sure exactly what kind your looking for but here are some really good ones.

The Goddard School is where my grandchildren went it was phenomenal

Wesley Methodist has a wonderful preschool program

New England Congregational also really good

Holy Angels (have to be 4 by sept 1st for that one one of my sons went to this one when he was a child it was great)

Sugar grove campus of Waubonsee has a great preschool called the magnate place. my older son went there and it was great.

the fox valley park district also has a really good program which is perfect for the just want to get used to leaving mommy for a few hours a couple times a week program.

good luck and don't stress out there are lots of spots. just start calling around to see the guidelines.



answers from Chicago on

Searching for a preschool should not be this stressful. But it has been for me! There are so many preschools here in the far western suburbs that it will make your head spin. I think the process of choosing a preschool is harder when there are so many choices.

The first thing you should probably do is leaf through a PACES guidebook. PACES (I'm not sure what it stands for) is an organization that puts together a guidebook each year with a brief description of most area preschools. The guidebook is available for $5 at Anderson Bookshops, and I think you should be able to just look through one at a library. I wouldn't bother buying the current one because a new one should be coming out soon. PACES also holds a preschool fair each year. Lots of area preschools set up booths that you can meet some of the staff and pick up brochures. I think last year's fair was at Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville. The year before that it was at the Naperville 95th St. Library. Not all of the area preschools participate in this fair.

Most preschools have a big open house sometime in January so you can visit and see what it is all about. Registration for the fall (way too early in my opinion) usually starts in January. In the past, many preschools have had so many kids try to register, that they set up waiting lists. I haven't heard this as being a problem so much lately--probably due to the economy.

You are in a tough position because your son is only 2 1/2. I'm guessing that he isn't potty trained yet. Most preschool programs for three year olds require that they are completely potty trained. It's really hard to predict whether or not he will be potty trained or how well his skills and abilities will develop by September. My advice to you is to just relax, go to preschool orientations, and wait until early summer to decide which school to choose. You can also test out some of these schools by sending your son to one of their summer camps. You can also start off with a Parents Day Out program through a local church. These are usually one day a week for 4 hours a day. There is no real curriculum. The kids just learn to play with each other, listen to stories, and make art projects. Your child does not need to be potty trained for a PDO program.

I made the mistake of choosing a school for my daughter last January. Although she was potty trained before starting school this fall, her gross motor skills are a little behind, and she is strugglig in her Montessori school. I've decided to pull her out and send her to a more play-based preschool. I can't tell you how stressful it has been to have my daughter cry about school every morning for the past three months. It's only preschool, right? I only hope that the next school I choose will be a better experience for her.

I wouldn't worry about registration deadlines or waiting lists. I wish I would have waited until later to register my daughter for preschool. There are plenty of schools out there. It's not like you're applying to get your son into Harvard ;-) My advice is to find a preschool where the kids and teachers look happy. The school readiness curriculum should be your secondary concern. Good luck with whatever you choose.



answers from Chicago on

Hi L.. I didn't realize the timing issues either! Here's what I learned last year: Many of the "highly in-demand" preschools in my area start taking applications around December 1. But most of the preschools (around me) start taking applications in January. MWF morning programs tend to fill-up the fastest, because many 3 year olds are still taking naps in the afternoon. If you feel strongly about reserving a place in a morning class, get your application in as early as possible.

Just because a school is in high-demand does not mean it is the best school for your daughter. Call some of the schools that sound interesting and ask to take a tour. Some schools consider themselves academically-oriented and will spend a lot of time "teaching" your child letters, numbers, etc. Others use the 3 year old program to teach socialization and "learn through play." What are you most comfortable with for you and your daughter?

But the biggest thing I learned last year is not be overly concerned about being on a waitlist. Due to the poor economy, many preschool have more openings than ever. If you end-up on a waitlist for your school/time preference, there is a really good chance that you will make it in!

Good luck!

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