I've posted a similar question earlier, but I wanted to try to clarify what I am trying to get at in this post. Here goes.
Background: We have two boys, a 3 yo and a 6 month old. We have a nanny. Currently, the nanny picks DS1 up from his Montessori school at 11:30 am each day, then spends the afternoon with both boys (she has the baby all day).
The issue: It is time to re-enroll in DS1's school for next year.
The problem: A nanny plus preschool is very very expensive.
I love our current situation, but DH is questioning the value of sending DS1 back to school next year. His preschool costs ~$800/month. Our nanny has an early childhood education background, and has worked in daycare and preschool settings before, so DH thinks that we should utilize her background for next year and have her teach DS1.
DS1 will be 3.5 - 4.5 next school year. We could always send him to preschool during the 2012-2013 academic year since he doesn't start kindy until 2013.
BUT, I am freaking out. I don't want to feel like I'm depriving DS1 of an opportunity to develop a love of learning and to flourish. And our nanny is great, but she doesn't understand the Montessori teaching philosophy at all. Her approach is much more mainstream (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do love Montessori).
In retrospect, I would have rather have kept him home this year and sent him next year. But, I don't know how I feel about keeping my 4 year old at home all day. I fear that he will be missing out.
Do other moms pay for a nanny and preschool? What kind of sacrifices would you make in order to do so?
800 is VERY expensive for a half day preschool. Can you send him to a cheaper one? It won't be Montessori, but he will still socialize in a group setting, and have something just for him. The Mother's Day out here can be three mornings a week, for $45 a week...
I agree.. how can they charge that much?! Our preschool is $140/month for 3 mornings a week (and I live in a high COL area!). I'd look for a cheaper option.
We have a full time nanny for 1.5 & 3.5 kids. DS attends a half time really excellent Reggio preschool. Luckily, my MIL pays for the program which is expensive. Our nanny is terrific, awesome with both kids, both kids love her, great with crafts and physical and, well everything. It is around $10k or $12k a year.
I really think they are different things though. Preschool is about forming relationships with similar age children, taking direction from other adults, skill building, etc. He gets a bit of that from our nanny/park but much less. I think it is really important. I value the play based aspect of it the most and I think it is really important. I'd be completely uninterested in something that was "teaching"
The flip side is that our younger child gets really value one-on-one time with our nanny. It allows her to have time as an "only child," allows her some time off from always playing catch up and being number #2.
I agree that $800 is WAY too much for a half day - I'm looking at a full time daycare, from 8:30am-6pm, with breakfast, lunch, snack AND dinner all included at $750/month, in a high COL area. It's also bilingual and teaches the children Chinese (speaking, and once they're old enough reading and writing). It's the best center I've found so far, and is not the cheapest, but also isn't the most expensive.
I would look around for something different.
Why not tour some mainstream preschools? You might find they would work fine. DD goes to a mainstream preschool and she loves it. They do play-based learning, write letters, come up with words that start with the letter of the week, and art. The kids' favorite part is listening to audio books, and they do little dances to songs. They also play games which teaches them to take turns and not interrupt. For discipline they do time-outs. Its half day MWF for only $100 a month, but I am in a very low COL area.