• Like many families, childcare is very costly for us even though we have a family member help watch our youngest. We send our middle child to preschool at age three, and the school is fine but I am not sure it is worth the nearly $1,000 per month we spend. Now that she is going, we are worried that pulling her until she is ready for kindergarten may be a difficult thing for her. I would love some sound advice on this issue.  --Chris, StrongMoms Facilitator

  • Check around your area--in mine there are lower cost mommy day out programs that mesh preschool with some day care aspects. These are considerably cheaper because they are usually run through churches. You may be able to slash your bill without sacrificing her socialization and school time. Ultimately though, preschool is not a necessary requirement if it puts too much financial strain on your family. 

  • We send our daughter to a church daycare, which will transition to a church preschool when she is old enough- I know that this option is not available for all parents, but we were fortunate to get her a slot. I am not sure if I want her to do the pre-school though (I have time to think about if since she is only 14 months old) I know if the financial strain is too great in your family, depending on your circumstances your child may qualify for public education pre-school (if you have it in your area).

    If that is not an option, maybe you could look into a drop off care. Most of the ones I have seen allow your child to go up to 3 hours a day for 3 days a week at a daily rate. The drop off care centers are typically designed to follow a pre-school curriculum or are early childhood certified depending on your childs age.

    If you are concerned about the financial aspect in general, you could look into mommy and me and daddy and me groups, where you could have get togethers with other parents with children in your area. The downside with these groups is the scheduling, especially if you are a working parent. This would provide your child with the social aspect of pre-school, and depending on your events the educational aspects without the cost.

    As I have been told time and time again, children adjust better than adults: So do whatever you feel is best you and your family. My opinion is she probably would mind leaving school as long as she can still socialize with other children her age.

    Pre-school although nice, is not a requirement for children. I can also speak from experience: some adults I know who did pre-school didn't go straight on to college because they were just schooled out. Think about if you had already been in school for 15 years by the time you graduated high school...

  • Thanks ladies... our town offers a free preschool lottery, as the local high school offers a child care vocational program. Our daughter is in that lottery and I would almost rather hit that lottery than the Powerball... like I said... almost! Just hoping to win one of them!

  • That's funny! Good luck on the lottery!