Preschool: Choosing the right preschool

My son is three and a half years old. I am having a lot of trouble trying to make a decision on where to send him to preschool. I am not sure if I should send him to a private preschool or if I should send him to a Catholic school? There is a big price difference in the both schools and a difference in class size. Can you help me?


You have several issues to think about. First, ask yourself how the quality of the two programs compare? Are the teachers loving and warm? (Obviously, a smaller teacher-student ratio is better for children.) Do the kids look happy? Are there interesting projects up on the walls? Is there sufficient room for large motor play -- both indoors and outdoors? What are the schools' philosophies? Do they believe that young children should learn through play (which I believe); or do they believe in group instruction or worksheets (which are not appropriate at this age).

Second, you have to decide if you want your child to receive a religious education. You need to decide if you will feel comfortable with religion in your child's curriculum. You should ask the director of the Catholic program to explain how much religion is in the curriculum. You can then evaluate your own feelings.

Third, you need to decide how important it is that your son go with his two friends to a new school. Is he really attached to these children? If so, this could be a deciding factor. If not, he will doubtless make other friends where he goes.

Please remember that this situation is probably changeable. If you choose one program and are dissatisfied with it, you should be able to choose another one the following year.

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