Should I Send My Child to Preschool?

Friday, March 17, 2017

It seems like the buzzword amongst Austin parents is "preschool" -- which waitlists is your child on, which type of philosophy are you leaning towards, and how much does it cost? There are a plethora of fantastic preschool options in Austin, ranging from religiously affiliated church preschools to peaceful Montessori programs. The better question is, should you actually send your child to school?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so black and white. It depends on quite a few factors that pertain to your home life, personal philosophy, and financial situation. Here’s a breakdown of what questions you need to ask yourself when making the decision of sending your child to preschool:

Do you need or want childcare? Are you working from home or just generally wanting time to run errands or clean the house? Are you working full-time outside of the home and need a full day’s schedule of care for your child? Preschools offer all different types of hourly options, with some offering extended care or full-day care. If you’re a mom that has other commitments -- or just wants a break! -- preschool might be a great choice for you.

Does it fit within your budget? Preschool prices vary quite a bit, ranging from a couple hundred a month to over a thousand depending on the school and hours. You’ll want to ask yourself if preschool falls into  your household budget.

Does your child have other outlets for socialization? Perhaps you’re enrolled in ballet lessons or soccer, and your child knows how to collaborate on a team -- or you have other siblings at home, so taking turns and sharing is a regular part of his or her day. Parents often send their kids to preschool to learn social skills over academics, and your child might already be obtaining those valuable skills from other areas of your life.

Here are some overall benefits of preschool:

  • Academic achievement
  • School readiness
  • Social/emotional development
  • Down time for parents

With that said, here are some drawbacks:

  • Cost
  • Potential clash with learning style
  • Potential overstimulation depending on your child’s personality
  • Increased illness

Back to the question at hand -- should you send your child to preschool? The answer is, it depends. It’s best to sit down and write out a list of all the reasons you’re considering preschool, as well as a list of what concerns you have. Prioritize that list, analyze your budget, and we are confident that you’ll make the right decision  for you and your child.

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