It’s archives week here at PSMB. Today is tip feature day! Here is one from Maggie (thought it was fitting since most preschools are registering NOW).
I got my first bill for preschool this week. Scary.
Within 6-8 months of Miriam giving up her naps, I decided I wasn’t homeschooling material. This kid needs to go to preschool. For my sanity. And to socialize with other children or something. Of course the FREE (lottery funded) preschools cannot be attended unless your child is 4 at the start of the school year – we have a fall birthday.
Lucky for us, in addition to the many childcare/preschool facilities in town, Georgia is also full of churches – many of which run their own preschool or elementary schools. So how on earth do you choose one?
- Start early! I know it’s not even the start of the school year, but I promise it’s not too early to think about this. Start now and you can spread out your research instead of packing it into 2 weeks like I did. Some schools register as early as January and February!
- Determine your budget. This may take a little research to begin with. What can you even expect? I found the range to be about 170-300 dollars per month for PK-3, 3-5 half days a week. Registration fees vary from about 170-500 bucks! This may help you eliminate some choices right away.
- Research! I was a newbie to the area and did not know what was out there. I started searching McDonough Preschools on Google. I looked for a Catholic school, just because I went to one, but I was also interested in Montessori education and schools with a closer location. Determine what is around you and then what is important to you.
- Get some reviews! Grab your mommy buddies and ask away!
- Schedule some visits. Pick out 2 or 3 schools and plan a visit! Prepare some questions (security, curriculum, etc) You’ll get correct pricing info, a tour, and maybe a peak at the class. Bring your future preschooler with you to see how they react. I think it’s a great courtesy to let the school know you are coming, however, the preschool we choose did not know we were coming. We stopped there on a whim, but things obviously turned out well.
- Mull it over. Discuss with someone you trust, your spouse or a trusted friend if you need some extra feedback. Review your options, make a second visit if you need to, say a little prayer and…
Good luck finding the preschool “of your dreams” If you have any tips about choosing a (“free”) PK4 – send em this way!
********** Since this date I have noticed one thing. I used Google. I probably found half the schools that are in my acceptable driving distance. It might not be a bad idea just to drive around your town, keeping yourself in your desired driving distance. Again, there are lots of church schools you might not find otherwise!