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I have been a stay at home more for more 3 years now. I just had babe# 2 , I'm feeling like my son needs to get some outside attention from someone other than mom...How on earth do I go about finding a good daycare/preschool. My social circle is limited to moms that stay home with there kids so no help there... any suggestions, how do I find one?
 

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No one's doing any kind of preschool with their kids or talking about it at all? The norm here is for most kids, whether their moms are home or not, to start some kind of short program in their 3's. Usually 3 x per week, 9-11:30.<br><br>
Do a google search with your county, town and preschool. Schools will come up and you might even get some reviews. You can also post in Finding Your Tribe up at the top of the forums--see if there's an appropriate tribe for your state/region and you might get a good recommendation.<br><br>
You could also call the office of your local elementary school and ask if they have recommendations.
 

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If you look on your state's health and welfare (or equivalent) there is a list of registered daycares. Some of those probably have preschools and you can go and check them out.<br><br>
Our daycare/preschool runs an ad in the local paper in the late summer.
 

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I started with the Yellow Pages, when I was looking for DD1. I made a short list of ones that were nearby, had interesting ads, etc., and then called around.<br><br>
Another place to look is at your local library-- a lot of the smaller and home-based programs post ads on the bulletin board at our library.
 

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Ask your friends with slightly older children<br>
Check with your park and rec centers (ours does both a preschool and a mom's morning out)<br>
Local churches<br>
YMCA<br>
Yellow pages<br><br>
You probably don't want 'daycare', you want a preschool kind of program. Daycare usually means full day or half day care. For a 3 year old, a nice preschool program 2-3 days a week for a couple hours is usually a good way to start.
 

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you could ask in finding your tribe. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Start asking other people around you - neighbors, coworkers, the lady at the grocery store. Go on lots of tours and ask lots of questions.
 

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Depending on where you live, waiting lists can play a huge factor into it as well. All the preschools in my area that are not home based have waiting lists of 1-2 years. Most families will put a child on a list at several schools and then take the spot that comes up first so sometimes the lists can move quicker, other times a year could go by and no one on the list moved up at all. This is for new families, siblings of previous students always get a spot over new families here. DD2 barely got a spot in Feb for the 2010/2011 year and that was only because DD1 goes to the elem school, they also offer a pre-school as well. After they re-enrolled existing students, they had only a handful of slots for slblings, I nabbed the last spot on the same day they opened it, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> so no new families got in at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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As peony mentioned, many elementary schools offer preschool as well. Have you thought about where he will go for elementary? Dd started elementary school at pk3 and made some friends that she still plays with in 1st grade. She's now been at her school for 4 years and feels totally comfortable there, having known the school and kids for so long. I discovered ds's preschool through word of mouth. He's going to a 3 hour a day program and loves it, then he will start at the elementary school preschool program like his sister did.
 

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What about hiring a sitter who can do things like take him to a preschool sports class or library storytime? Then you can get a break and he can go play with other kids. The "break/socializing" doesn't always have to look like school.
 

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My kids did mother's day out/preschool at a church. That seems to be the most common around here and most of the schools have some openings due to the economy.
 
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