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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Great Debate...

Enter the world of parenthood and everyday is filled with its own set of challenges.
Our current/upcoming topic that is a HUGE decision...preschool. Now the parenting begins and the playing is left till after school. Kai will be 3 in April and ready for his first year of preschool this September. These days, it is not only where to send your child, but at what age as well. There are some new "junior kindergartens" that take children as young as one. In essence it is a childcare facility at this age, yet they still have some structure to their days (as much as you can give a one-two year old!). The topic is on the table because over the next few weeks, registration begins!

We began our thoughts on this pretty quickly after Kai was born. The reason being, most of the good schools (yes, even preschools) have waitlists for years! If you can believe it, some actually register your name the minute you find out you are pregnant. A little excessive, I think yes! But to each their own.
We were originally thinking of sending him to a Junior kindergarten a few days a week starting this past fall. It didn't pan out for a few reasons and in the end I have been happy it didn't. What's the rush to send your baby to school so fast!? They have their entire lives to be there. Come the fall, I think he will be ready, and so will we by then.

Now for us, the decision is where...and why! Sienna follows Kai around everywhere. She loves to sit and read, and yet she loves to stick her hand in dirty diapers...yes discgusting! But she is a big factor in our equation of Kai and preschool. With Kai going a certain number of days/mornings a week, Sienna will still need to have a place to be. Currently, when I am working, the kids are with our part-time Nanny. She is fantastic and the kids love her, but realistically, we cannot afford to employ a nanny and pay for school; and so, our thoughts are leading us in the direction of a junior kindergarten where Sienna can be on the same "campus" as her older brother. The two of them can have the same schedule, and this in-turn makes a happy mom :-)

Here are some of my thoughts and "foreseen debates" that we are, and will be, dealing with:

- How many days a week
- Time of day (morning or afternoon)
- Preschool and part-time nanny
- junior kindergarten for both kids
- Preschool and daycare!?

For those of you who don't have children yet, or you do but you have not gotten to the stage of looking into preschools, they seem to charge an equivalent rate to University. Since the children are 1/4 to 1/2 the height of a grown adult, the tuition is reflected by 1/4-1/2 the price! Not really, but I figure, pretty damn close! So if we are shelling out this amount of money for our child's education and learning, I want to make sure that we are getting the most value for our dollar. Preschools are private and therefore you must pay...I can see another debate a few years in the future, private or public!?

We have looked into CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts), and they offer some amazing things at their schools: from uniforms all the way down to meal planning. This is a Junior kindergarten. And here, the days are full from 9 to 5 if you want. Great for a working 9-5 parent, but not necessary for me...but maybe this is where the kids can go on the same 2 days a week and no more would be needed!??
Or do we go to preschool...there are some amazing ones in our neighbourhood: from Montessori programs to French immersion.
Wish us luck and please send thoughts, suggestions and advice...it is all welcomed and appreciated!

"It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear." ~Dorothy Evslin
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