T1 started preschool back in September of 2012, shortly after we moved to Palo Alto. We knew it was the right time to put him in school because of the way he responded to church nursery time, and because we thought it would advance his language skills as he was forced to navigate a new environment and voice his needs. He was 2 1/2 (29 months) when he started.
Obviously things like safety and loving caregivers were our top priority; price, location, and schedule were also determining factors. I’m not so married to a certain school of thought when it comes to preschool education that I was ruling things out automatically based on the style. I love the idea of Montessori for young children (as of right now we’re thinking public school once our kids hit kindergarten) but the nearby options were well outside our budget or distance I was willing to travel. I also wanted to find a place with full-day options because I didn’t like the idea of dropping him off and then picking him up 2-3 hours later. The commute looked like it would be at least 15 minutes one-way and that’s not a lot of time to get anything done (I don’t know about you, but I work best when I have long chunks of time to attack my to-do list).
The place we chose is called Children’s Pre-school Center (CPSC for short) and it fit all three of my criteria regarding price/location/schedule. A commute that isn’t too bad (I’m able to avoid rush hour freeway traffic if I take a side road), drop-off as early as 7:15 am (though it’s closer to 10am by the time I get us out of the house) with pick-up at 6:15 pm, and a price that worked for us. He would be grouped in a room by age, and would be one of the oldest kids in his classroom.
I liked that I could pack his lunch and they would reheat as needed. I liked that they would allow him to be in diapers/pull-ups (we were going to potty train him right before he started and didn’t know how successful it would be). I like that they have “sports time” with Mr. Dave on Wednesday mornings. I liked that it was play based and that the weekly themes for the classroom activities were based on interests shown by the children (for example, they did a babies week because several of the little girls love to spend time playing with baby dolls). I most loved that they could get him to nap! Something I can’t do on my own no matter what I try (unless it’s going for long drive or walks in the stroller).
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