Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Day 352 - Sign Up for Preschool Early

Today's first time parenting tip - Sign up for preschool around your baby's first birthday

I know it sounds crazy, and it is, but around Chicago, if you don't sign up for daycare or preschool early, you're sunk. We called at least 60 day cares and only found 1 that was taking infants. Guess who were sending him too.

Supposedly it's just as bad for preschool. Waiting lists for all the "good" ones fill up fast. What makes a school "good" isn't how expensive a building they have or if they have an Xbox 360 for the kids or even how much they charge. A good preschool is only as good as the teacher, and you can find some great ones that don't teach at the popular preschools.

Even so, you should lock up your spot as early as possible. If you don't send your baby to daycare, preschool becomes even more important as it teaches kids how to learn and play with others before they get into a more academic grade school setting.

Of course, if you don't know where you're going to be living in the next few years and there's a chance you could leave the area, you've got another factor to add to the mix. We're definitely in temporary housing, so we're going to hold off a little longer. If it comes down to it, we might just have to plunk down a deposit and maybe lose it if we have to move farther away.

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