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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>My son is 13 months old and I would like him to start 3 mornings a week of preschool in the fall.  Most programs register this winter for this fall, so I am looking now.  It seems my options are</p>
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<p>1.  Crappy chain daycares</p>
<p>2.  Outrageously expensive private schools</p>
<p>3.  Affordable, nice church based schools that include things like devotions, prayer before eating, relgious songs, bible stories, etc.</p>
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<p>I am an atheist and although I won't give two hoots if my kid decides to be a priest or a buddhist or whatever when he's older, I don't think I would appreciate him being indoctrinated as a toddler.</p>
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<p>Anyone else have these kinds of problems????  What resources have you used?</p>
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<p>It's not even that I want him to learn all that much, other than social skills, and have a little fun and play with some other kids while I go to school.</p>
 

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<p>We are an atheist home as well but we didn't have a problem finding quality, secular preschool. My DD went to a program run through the rec center. It wasn't "fancy" but good, solid teachers and play-based curriculum, certainly affordable. My youngest found a program in our community center (and yes, HE found it lol.) Wonderful school run by wonderful people and secular. They weren't part of the city, just rented the space.</p>
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<p>Maybe you need to broaden your search? Look at your local community colleges or universities. Many offer secular preschool programs mostly for the professors kids but will accept others. Some may be part of an early education major in the school. Look at several community parks and rec programs. You might also check into local school districts. Many offer fee-based preschool or state-funded preschool for qualifying families. Our district offers preschool from 2 to 5 and has five classes to choose from.</p>
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<p>Does your county have any sort of regional family magazine? This can be a wealth of information on preschool and enrichment activity classes.</p>
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<p>I used a ridiculously expensive private school and a crappy chain daycare.  We liked both very much.</p>
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<p>I think, when you take away the religion, a church pre-school is really just a co-op of like-minded people.  Do you have the time or resources to start a playgroup or pre-school co-op with your own like-minded friends?  You might also get some good local resources from your local holistic moms group or LLL.</p>
 

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<p>Another options is looking into a Jewish temple school. We've personally found the Jewish community quite respectful towards personal beliefs and less inclinded to convert. If your choices are truely limited to religious schools, you might have an easier time personally dealing with a non-christian school. We have some friends who have their kid in a Jewish preschool and they love it. They just look at the occasional religious stuff as cultural education and the kids don't seem confused at all.<span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
 

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<p>Atheist here and we use the church schools that still are not that cheap here. While I could care less about the religion, the school is quality, the programs/things they do there are amazing. It makes dealing with the church aspect of it worthwhile for us. </p>
 

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<p>Y?</p>
<p>Local parks & rec?</p>
<p>Co-op through the local technical college or parent-driven co-op?  (that won't work if you're not keen on volunteering though)</p>
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<p>I also second the idea of actually checking out the "crappy chain daycare" places if you've not already.  Many of them are run a bit like franchises, so if you have a director/owner that is on top of things they can be decent.</p>
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<p>You might also see if any of the local high schools have a technical education program.  Sometimes they have preschools run (supervised by teachers) by kids in the child development program.  Same thing with any technical/community college, many have lab schools, though competition for the non-faculty/student spots can be fierce.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>I think I found one I like, and surprise, it's a church!  It's within walking distance of my house, was very clean and nice, kids looked like they were having a blast (well except for one, poor little dude).  The price is right $200 a month for mon wed fri 9am to 1pm, sept-may.  It has a nice playground, and they also go on field trips once a month.</p>
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<p>I am going back to school myself to pursue a nursing degree, and I plan to use the time to take a couple of on site classes.  I'm exited for me and for DS!!!</p>
 
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