Searching for the right preschool is complicated. And don’t think just because your baby is still in utero that you are off the hook.
I was told last night (on my first official pre-school tour for my older daughter Sam who is 21 months) that not only am I behind for her (“You should have applied in spring of 2007**,” the appalled teacher told me), but I am also behind for “him” (gesturing towards my sleeping three-month-old who has yet to learn that those fabulous hands he is sporting actually belong to him).
***Spring of 2007. Note my future scholar’s amazing capacity for drool. Does this look like a child that needs to be placed in pre-school or a Boppy pillow?
I felt like I was through the looking glass. And I know this is not unique to Boston. All major cities—New York (duh), Washington DC, San Francisco, LA—are all dealing with the same stuff.
Luckily we have options. This preschool costs $15,000 a year for two half days a week (and summers off). It is one of the cheaper ones.
“I think our money might be better spent in other areas,” my husband told me judiciously last night. I have to agree. But how does one find a pre-school that both fosters the kind of creative environment I want for my children while also not costing as much as my mortgage?
The answer? A co-op.
My next move is to start examining the local preschool co-ops. But I can’t believe I am only 21-months into the whole parenting game and I am already feeling like a delinquent in my child’s education.
My daughter is a smart girl—she is frighteningly close to reading, knows all of her letters and colors on sight and can spend hours poring through her books. I refuse to believe that I have set her back by not planning for college before she was born.
Sasha Brown-Worsham is a freelance writer whose monthly column runs online at The Family Groove. Her work has appeared in Pregnancy, Runner’s World, Self and many other publications. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, son (and a cat and dog).