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Switch to preschool soon or stay at home daycare?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I need the wisdom of the tribe here.  I'm agonizing over the crossroads of switching from a small home daycare that is developing a preschool curriculum to an established preschool with a good reputation. 


Where we are:  There are pros like small group, quiet homey environment, care provider that is creative out of the box thinker and teaches this way.  Subjects are not the norm of ABC's, 123's.  This is good for DS as he does not need these basics. 


There are cons like DS and care provider do not gel well. Care provider is rather authoritarian.  DS does what he is told, but will not do more.  Examples:  he doesn't show her what he knows,and won't potty for her.  He has fun at daycare, and goes willingly, but I have a feeling he doesn't completely trust her or feel comfortable with her.  Also, there is just 1 other child his age.  The rest are much younger toddlers.  


Where we may go:  The preschool has an excellent reputation and claim to teach each child at their level.  They do stress lots of basics ABC's, 123's that DS has know for some time now.  The group of kids would be twice as large, but they would all be DS's age.  They would not cater to his picky eating habits, but I could pack a lunch. 


What do you think?  Stay where he seems comfortable, or move on?  Rumor has it that once families leave the home daycare, the provider has not allowed them to return due to - spite maybe?

post #2 of 8

Personally I would look for a different inhome provider.  Over the years I interviewed many many inhome providers before I found a good fit for DS.  Our needs changed, the providers changed etc. 

post #3 of 8

I would suggest going to a different home daycare, if you like the environment so much. You could ask friends for referrals, or even your doctor. I do not think that would be the best place for your DS, because if he refuses to go potty or obey directions, the teacher may take it as misbehavior instead of trust issues and kick him out eventually. But I think you could try a Waldorf preschool, they do not emphasize academics but instead focus on play and socialization until age 7, which might be a good fit for him. But if you don't want to leave, you could ask to observe the place for a day or so or volunteer (I'm sure they would appreciate some help!), that could give you some clues about your DS and the teacher's relationships. If it's just one person out of many caretakers that he doesn't like there, then I suggest going to the person in charge of the room and ask if maybe he/she could watch your son and make sure that if he has issues again, he can go to her instead or she can step in to avoid conflict. Unless he really likes his peers enough to stay, I would suggest taking him out, the others younger or not. 

post #4 of 8
Do you have/can you find any other options? How much of the time would he be engaged in 'academics' (ABC's 123's etc) vs play at the new school?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

The structured academics in the preschool take up almost 2 hours in a 10 hour day.  This is broken into 30 minute sections througout the day.  Some of that would also be good fine motor practice, like glueing popcorn onto a big print out of the letter P - stuff like that. 


I don't HAVE to move him from where he's at.  I'm just wondering if it would be better for him to have more than 1 kid his own age to play with.  He really enjoys playing with other kids, but he's not as good as some kids at navigating these relationships.  He does learn social skills pretty well by watching other kids interact, he just doesn't get the chance to see that much where he is.

post #6 of 8

Have you looked into other options? An extended day montesorri program might be perfect for him. 

post #7 of 8
You probably have a gut feeling about which would be best for him? I pesonally would probably switch to the daycare based on the descriptions of the programs that you provided. But that's me thinking about my experiences and my child. (I spent a lot of time trying to find a play-based preK with a multi-age classroom for DD. Was going to keep her home if I couldn't find one - but I eventually did.)
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!  I think the local Montessori school would be great - too bad it's so expensive and out of my budget.  The preschool is where he will likely attend K-6 as well, so I  guess I'm just nervous to switch him to a different environment too early, but he will be nearly 4 before he gets a preschool spot.  Secretly I think there would be nothing better for him than quitting my job and homeschooling, but that can't happen.  I guess I just have to go into it thinking that nothing is permanent and we can switch again if needed.

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