Preschool for Two-Year-Olds?

After a friendly reminder from a FB friend that preschool registration for next fall begins soon (I know, what!?!?!?), I’ve spent the last week in a flurry researching and calling around to programs in our area with hopes of scheduling a few tours. But here’s the thing – my kids aren’t even two years old yet. However, next September, they will be 2 years and 9 months. I know that they do not need to be enrolled in the first of potentially three years of preschool, but I am (currently) strongly leaning towards signing them up for a one-day-a-week program.  Thus far, my list of “pros” seems to be more convincing than my list of “cons.”  What do you think?
Pros: 
Exposure to a stimulating environment. The preschools (also known as Parent’s Day Out programs) that we have looked at appear to be fantastic. I have more than one glowing recommendation from fellow moms for more than one option. The idea of my children spending time in an environment which will reinforce social skills, encourage play, and inspire their inner musician (among other things) is truly appealing. 
They will have some time away from mom. While I am so grateful to have the option to choose to be a stay-at-home mom, I do feel that it is important for my little ones to have some time with other caring adults. We currently spend our mornings at play groups, music class, and the library on a weekly basis, but they are always with me (as well as other adults and children). I want them to know that that even when I am not there, they are loved, can be inspired, and that I will come back excited to hear about their day.
I can get a pap smear. Bear with me, as I do mean to put this on the “pros” list. Let me explain. We don’t have the luxury of having a lot of family live near us. While I do consider myself blessed to have a few trusted occasional babysitting options, the process of having to call the doctor, consult our crazy calendar, and then find (and pay for) a sitter with an open schedule often just keeps me from making an appointment for the doctor, to cut my hair, or to..ha!…get a pedicure. (My feet are such a sight – especially after a lovely bout of Hand Foot Mouth disease this summer – that a pedicure sounds about as wonderful as a trip to Hawaii…almost.) While some of these things can be done at night when my husband is home from work, I am usually tutoring, at a church meeting, or occasionally even cherishing a rare night when we can all spend a few hours together as a family before bedtime. So, yes, I will admit that I selfishly desire some “me” time…even if it is for those dreaded minutes in the stirrups. 
Cons: 
Cost. Preschool is not free, nor is it cheap – especially since we will be enrolling two at once. (However, I’m well aware that this is just a preview of what their Freshman year of college will do to our pocketbooks…yikes.) It will definitely take some financial planning on our end – something which we have already considered. 
Illness? Although I’m sure my boys have had just about every version of “kid crud” they can get (knocking on wood as I write this), I know that as soon as they go to school, they will surely get a whole new crop of crud. Perhaps delaying their exposure for a year would allow their immune systems to mature, but I have to be honest in saying that I fall into the “they’re gonna get sick anyway, have to build up that immunity sometime” camp. In other words, I have (gently) tossed my kids into the germ ball pits on more than one occasion, and I admit I have not wiped down every surface they have ever eaten off of with alcohol wipes. 
Other Questions.   Such as, am I pushing them to grow up too quickly? Will they both be ready? Could I send one twin without the other?  Will one or both be potty trained or in the throws of potty training drama? And maybe most importantly, will I know what to do with a quiet hour or two?
Any experience with 2-year-olds in preschool?  What did you love (or regret) about the experience for yourself and for your little ones?  

Post shared with:  Jellibean Journals {Moms Monday Musings}, Multiples and More, Harvesting Kale, Two In Diapers, Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

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Comments

  1. I have almost 1 year old twin girls and have been told I need to start looking already! I am excited to put them in a “school” for the same reasons you are :) We dont have any family near by and its so hard sometimes not having that help. I do have a nanny that comes twice a week for a few hours which is amazing to get that time- its def much needed when u stay at home with twins! But I think it will be so good for them to be around other kids and learning things!

  2. I’m stressed over preschool too and completely relate to your pro/con list!

  3. I put my twins in the Mommy Morning Out Program here already. We do one morning a week and I love it! I get to grocery shop and do things like that on my own and I love that. They have had a couple stomach bugs, but only one that was bad, and that is going to happen regardless of them you put them in. I love to watch them play with their little friends and have some independence from mommy. I’m so glad we do it.

  4. I didn’t have my girls in preschool when they were 2, but I did bring them to a little class once a week. Parents stayed with the children and we sang songs, read a story, did a craft, and then they got to play with all of the other children. If you don’t know many people with other children it is a great way to get your kids some interaction. I have my own preschool in my home now. I think a couple times a week might be good for them as long as they listen to the teacher. I wouldn’t recommend it all day, every day because it really influences their character and if there is one bad kid in the class, that will have an impact on everyone. Just some thoughts, but I don’t have much experience sending my kids anywhere without me :) Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to see you at True Aim!

  5. I have my two year old in pre-school, for many of the same reasons as you. I went back to work when he was 10months old ad am now on maternity leave (my second son is five months old) I think it’s important he has that independence & learns to be without me for two mornings a week, especially so school isn’t such a shock! Financially, I think it’s worth it – he’s becoming more sociable every week, and though he’s had a tough time settling in he really does have fun there! It also gives me time to tidy up etc while he’s there, so when he’s home he can pretty much have all my attention (shared with his brother of course!) But it is a very personal decision, I don’t regret sending him at all! Xxx

  6. Newest follower from the weekend blog hop, would love if you could come by and follow back?
    Erica
    http://www.ericastartwalking.com

  7. So great to hear all of your experiences. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Hi Holli, Thanks for joining Friday Chaos Blog Hop. I just became your follower/friend. You have a lovely and adorable family. Hugs!

    Shannel

  9. Thanks for sharing . visiting and following from the mommy brain mixer blog hop.

    http://newbornmama.blogspot.com

  10. We kept our twins home with a nanny the first year. No regrets.

    We started a church daycare at 1 year and until early November, they were there full-time.

    We are currently transitioning to a new center and are keeping them home until the first of the year.

    I say all of that to say,,,we have experience on both sides.

    Without a doubt, we feel confident in our decision to put them in daycare/pre-school. Sure, it’s pricey. And, yes, they do get sick. But, the pros far outweigh those issues–the learning, the friendships, the socialization.

  11. My son is 3 years old and hasn’t gone to preschool yet, and I don’t know if he will. I’m a stay at home mama, so I teach him everything they would normally teach him in preschool. I do think preschool would help him socialize more with others. I guess we will see.

    I found you through the find & follow friday hop and I am following along. :)

    http://www.thislifesbeautifulmoments.com

  12. I battled with the preschool question too. Good luck w/whatever you decide.

    Visiting you today from Friday Chaos & I’m now following you w/GFC and on linky. :)

  13. new follower! :)

    Our daughter turns 2 in January, and I haven’t really thought much about preschool… though I’ll admit only/even one day per week does sound pretty appealing!

  14. I actually found that I became more busy and stressed when I put my oldest in preschool at 2.5. I thought I would have time to get so much stuff done, while toting around only one (at the time, now I have two) other child while she was in school. But I realized that, between the drive to school and the relatively small amount of time between drop off and pick up, I had barely enough time to get much of anything done on those days, and I resented having to pretty much block of Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from any other activity besides school.
    I took her out of preschool about a month ago (not because of the time thing or any problems with preschool itself, but because I decided to homeschool, a whole other topic! :), but I’ve realized that I feel so much freer with my time now. Maybe it would be different with both of your kids being at school at the same time so you’d be child free for the whole time they’re in school…
    Just my two cents!
    I’m a new follower from the weekend hop! – Amy
    http://motherhoodandmiscellany.com

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