Reducing Daycare/preschool Days

Updated on January 25, 2012
S.Q. asks from Sacramento, CA
13 answers

My husband is now a SAHD, and I am the provider for the household. Because his income is gone, our budget is very tight, and I am having to make cuts everywhere in our spending. My two older boys (5 & 6) go to school, but my youngest, who is almost 4, still goes to daycare three days a week.

Daycare is costing us a considerable amount of money, and the school that he goes to is wonderful. The teachers are loving, interested in the children, and provide great outlets for creativity, learning and social development. I suggested to my husband that now is not working, we reduce our youngest to two days per week at preschool. My husband suggested we could even reduce it to one day. I said told my husband that if we did that, he would be expected to put more effort into our boy's development and education - that is, reading, creative play, educational field trips, painting etc. My husband said that he would, but I'm having a hard time believing it. He always talks the talk, but seldom walks the walk.

This suggestion really appeals to me financially, but I am worried about the effect it may have on our little boy. Will we be denying him opportunities that he has at school? Will my husband come through? Do we need those extra days to prepare him for kindergarten?

What are your thoughts? I would be grateful for some input into this situation.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I would call the local school and find out if they have any openings in the Pre-k program. That would be free.

I would put him in the free Pre-K program and hubby can have some free time every day and the child will be at school with the siblings and then have some one on one time with dad until the others come home.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure your hubby will find that being home is boring, lol. He'll be itching to go out and do the zoo, museum, etc. Either way, I think it's way more important that they have parent time and play lessons than formal school at that age.

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answers from Philadelphia on

What do you think is more important for small children, heck even older ones, time spent with a parent or time spent with peers? Learning comes automatic and they can catch up very easily, if needed. Where in adult life are you surrounded by 25, more or less, of people your age? I can say that financially stressed parents aren't good for kids. Do what your gut says and it will work out, but not perfectly, because that isn't life, you know?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you are worried I would find local free activities that your husband and son can engage in: story time at the Library, parent-child dance class, museums ect. Even cleaning the house can be turned into a fun learning activity for a 4 y/o cause it is all about the approach-your excited/ their excited! He will be fine just have faith

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

The biggest, biggest thing to work on at this age is socialization. So unless your DH is going to go to a playgroup and have regular (1 or 2x per week) playdates, I think you should think seriously about this.

Also, check with your local school district on kindergarten readiness and when he would be eligible to go. If he's going to be eligible to K at 5, then you might want to leave him right where he is for now. If he has another year, and you as a family can commit to getting him ready (letter/sound recognition, etc.) then go for it.

Check with your preschool teachers, too, especially for your son's class & find out what they think. Tell them honestly that finances are super tight, but that you don't want to short-change your son's development. Ask them if they think reducing days will impact K for him. Also, ask if they have a financial assistance. The preschool we send our son to has a couple of scholarships available based on financial need.

My DH is a partial SAHD, and I have to say that while I have been disappointed in his doing social things (DH Is an introvert, and I think the idea of going to a "mommies" group gave him the heeby-jeebies, LOL), he has wholeheartedly embraced preschool for our son, and realizes that the school is better suited for helping socialization than he was. He has done a tremendous job, and it fills my heart with joy to know that our son is so attached to him. But I also recognize that if our roles were reversed, we'd do things differently, and as long as DS is happy & healthy and moving in the right directional developmentally, it will be okay if DH doesn't do things the way I would.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I could be wrong...but isn't yo gabba gabba only like 20 minutes? He did not watch 4 hours worth of tv. Trust me, my grandson makes me find ALL these shows and he doesn't watch nearly that many hours. He watches like 4 or 5 episodes of one show and a few of another in an hour or two when he won't nap.

Kids learn at all times and when you don't even know it. Last night my grandson sang all the words to "You are my sunshine" to me. I didn't ask him to. He just did it spontaneously. I was so tickled. But here's the thing. I sang that song to him as he was falling asleep when he was a baby. He's going to be 2 and a half next month. For the last 6 months or so, my daughter has been completely strict about him sleeping in his own bed. The only time I get to sleep with him is when she leaves him overnight and goes away. That almost never happens. I had no idea he knew the words or even cared that I sang them to him. He sang that to me to get my attention and he was so tickled and proud when I was surprised.

I just say this to explain that even if your husband spends 10 minutes per day, 2-3 days per week, reading him a story or doing some phonics or math flash cards or counters with him, he'll learn more than you will even know. If you take advantage of the library, keep an eye out for free puppet shows or other community things for them to go to, he'll be getting all he needs to be ready for school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I would be less concerned about the academic kindergarten readiness and more about change in socialization with same aged peers. Imo, the social experiences for kids this age out weighs what's needed academically. There are ways that your husband could give your son that though... setting up regular play dates with friends, joining a play group that meets regularly, classes... It doesn't entirely cover what they get in preschool, but can be enough.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Like the previous poster said, the education is far less important than the creative play and socialization.

Have you looked into other options besides daycare? My son goes to a co-op preschool and we love it. It is play-based and really fun, but he learns so much. It's inexpensive and, since your husband is staying home, he'll be able to fulfill the duties in the classroom. I did a quick google search and found one in Stanwood - is that near you at all?

Co-ops are a great way to expose your child to preschool and other children without the expensive fees of daycare.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm surprised your daycare even offers one day a week. I'd start of going down to 2 days. See how you do financially with only paying 2 days vs the 3 days you are paying now, and also see how dad does with him being home 3 days a week. If its still a financial struggle with paying two days, and dad is doing well with your son being home for three days, then go down to 1 day per week in day care.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Study I read (sorry, but I've since lost the actual reference information): Kids in preschool do better in school than kids without preschool. HOWEVER, kids who learn the same things from a parent at home as those who are going to preschool do EVEN BETTER. Parents are the best teachers for their children. I think it's silly how parents today feel that preschool is just a given! It's a waste of money if you're willing to be a teacher to your child. And that doesn't mean sitting down to the table for three hours a day - it means interacting with your child in your every day activities.

Kindergarten is for learning to read and write. Give dad a chance!!!



answers from Portland on

Most young children are very bright and learn at an amazing pace. If you are struggling financially, then remove him from preschool. It's honestly not that important. In England, they finished a series of studies that showed it is better for small children to play when they are younger and to start school later for better learning. So they start school at 6 years old. We don't put our children in any form of preschool, but instead work with them at home in fun ways. Children love books and reading. When we play, we incorporate counting and other basics so its fun. The biggest concern is socialization. If you have a large family or group of friends where there is plenty of interactions then you are fine. Another option is to put your child in an activity once or twice a week. Gymnastics is a great one as it teaches socialization and discipline, so learning to listen and pay attention will be well understood for school time and its less expensive then preschool.



answers from Seattle on

What about a co-op, if there are any near you? Often, co-ops are much lower fee as a parent would need to participate at least one day a week (meaning, work in the class). The co-op my daughter goes to is M-W 12-2:30. It isn't all day but it is something. It gets her around other kids and they are teaching the basics (respect others, stay still, raise your hand, no interrupting, etc) while letting the kids get creative at art and learn how things work in discovery. If your husband is SAHD, then this might be a good thing - as it also gets him involved in your sons early education. We have dads in class and they do great. It is just a thought if you are unable to get him in a pre-k class as mentioned earlier.

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

Suzie Q.

I say skip the preschool entirely if money is tight! I have three children who are all in elementary..and a one year old. None of them went to preschool but ALL are excelling in of their class in reading, math, etc.

Personally, I think preschool is a waste of money, unless your child is under-develope mentally and socially it's not necessary. Preschool is a helping tool to get them prepared for school only if your children's not needed as they will catch up with other kids within a couple of weeks of school. Plus, schools cannot/will not adjust to kids who already knows more than others who didn't attned pre-school and learned their ABC's early. So...your children will just have to sit thru what they've already learned in preschool!

As you have three children who are close to each other...I'm sure your children do not lack social skills as they socialize everyday with each other.

As for being worried that you're husband won't be more involved in your boy's developement, I woudn't worry too much. My husband and I both work and our kids goes to grandma's (who doesn't do much except watch and feed them) therefore, it doesn't leave us much time to do creative play, trips, etc. with our kids. they are kids...their minds are super creative that they don't really need your help! They just need a little nudging to do things instead of watching TV. Your husband just needs to be prepared to clean up after them after their creative play! The ONLY thing your husband really needs to be diligent in is getting them to READ...READ...READ or read to them!!!!

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