Preschool Question - Lexington,MA

Updated on April 22, 2008
W.D. asks from Lexington, MA
4 answers

I am a first time mother of a 1 year old and am wondering when I should start looking into preschools. Also, do you have any advice as to how I should go about researching them? Are there any good resources online? Thanks!

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answers from Portland on

I think it depends on your siuation. I know that a lot of stay at home moms start their children in preschool when they are 3 and they go for 2 years. My children have gone to day care and have a lot of socialization. They are both bright kids and so preschool, for me, is to introduce them to routines that they will need in school - sitting and listening, waiting for turns, and more structured activities then they get at home or daycare.

If your child isn't around children much, 2 years would probably be better for social behaviors and skills. Same thing with the academic skills. If your child needs more help with that, might be helpful.

Typically, Preschool begins with the school year and registration happens in early spring for the following fall.

In terms of finding one, that can be tricky. Our local preschools put ads in our local newspapers. Once you find a couple. Visit each one for a morning and ask for references and CALL the people! Parents are honest and you can tell a lot from what the parents say - even when they don't realize they are!

Good luck to you.



answers from Boston on

Well, it depends a little what kind of experience you are looking for. Are you going back to work and you're looking for an all-day daycare type preschool, or are you at home and thinking about a few hours a week of preschool enrichment?

I can't help you with the daycare type, but as a stay-at-home mom I did a fair amount of research prior to sending my eldest to preschool. In fact, the first thing I did was to explore whether or not preschool would be a valuable addition to her day, be advantegeous for kindergarten etc, or if it was just "routine". I spoke with several people and consulted kindergarten teachers, and what they said was this:

If a child is at home with a caregiver, preschool is only an asset at the 4 year old level, and only then if it's a few hours a week. It is not necessary for learning purposes (letters, number, etc) which can be easily learned at home, but for learning the basics of group socialization, leadership skills, and classroom etiquette. IF there's a good preschool that fosters that kind of environment in your area, then it can be very beneficial.

If not, there are better outlets for enrichment than daycare preschools such as art classes, music classes, My Gym-style classes, local playgroups etc.

We did finally enroll our eldest in 4 yr old preschool locally. It's a 3 day a week program for 3 hours a day. She LOVES it and I'm glad we've sent her--her social skills have really blossomed and there isn't a day that she's not excited about school.

As far as finding it: I asked lots of other moms whose opinions I trusted. The same name came up repeatedly with glowing remarks. Once I'd gotten an idea of what was in the area and had recommendations I went and visited the schools. When I'd decided, the earliest I could make a deposit for a spot was in January for the up-coming fall session, so investigating years in advance won't be necessary.

I hope this was helpful. If not, and you're looking for an all-day school maybe someone with a little more experience there can help you. Good luck!



answers from Hartford on

I've found that the time to register and secure your child's "slot", tend to be Oct/Nov...the year before she goes. So, next Oct/Nov...if she'll be'd be securing a slot for her when she starts a three year old program. Many schools are two days a week for three year olds. I'd like to put in a plug for "coop - cooperative" preschools. They are run by a board of parents and the certified teachers. I like it because you are more involved, get to know the other children and parents quickly, and you can participate in your child's education. Also, they tend to be less expensive because they can cut costs by having the parents involved. Where are you located? I'm in Glastonbury, CT and love Buckingham Coop Nursery School.

Research is important. There are many websites that will give you a checklist of important those listed by the other moms who posted here. Be leary of schools where all the art projects look the same (how much done by kids?) or vague handouts/references for their curriculum or qualifications.


answers from Hartford on

Very often, you can find a good preschool through recommendations of close friends in the area, friends that you know are looking for the same qualities in a preschool that you want for your own child. So you have to decide if you want a preschool that is Montessori, or simply follows the Montessori style. Do you mind a preschool that includes prayers? Or do you prefer one that's purely secular?

We have a fantastic preschool in Windsor, Wilson Nursery School, that uses the school attached to the Wilson Congregational Church, and while they get funding from the Church to help run it, they do not teach prayers or attend services. Teachers are certified, and the school is accredited with the state of CT. Not all preschools are accredited.

You DO want:
1. A preschool that's accredited.
2. A preschool with certified teachers.
3. A preschool with a varied, but established, curriculum.
4. A preschool that separates children by age.
5. A preschool that allows parents to drop in and watch the classes.
6. A preschool that will sit down and interview with you.
7. A preschool that works with you in regard to how you discipline your own child.

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