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View Full Version : Need advice - should my daughter change preschools?



ser42
Feb. 22, 2013, 05:07 PM
DH and I work full-time. I have a preschooler and a toddler who have both been in daycare since my maternity leaves ended (8 weeks old for each).

I love the current daycare in many ways. The infant room teachers were fantastic, and I do think my preschooler is advanced for her age as far as reading readiness, etc. It's a multi-room daycare facility, but still has a somewhat "homey" atmosphere. However, the daycare has grown since we started there. The preschool teacher:student ratio is at least 10:1 now, for example. The rooms are small, and I think the operation is out-growing its space.

To complicate things, my youngest will probably need to go to private kindergarten as she misses the public kindergarten age cut-off by less than a week. There is NO WAY this girl can wait until she's 6 to start kindergarten. She would be bored out of her skull.

Another family has moved to a different daycare that's brand new, big, and offers a kindergarten (current daycare only goes to preschool). It's a little more corporate feeling, but they get great reviews and have earned grants and awards. It's less convenient for our commutes, but doable.

I think I'll definitely move my youngest there when my oldest starts public kindergarten (so that youngest can start kindergarten at age 5), but I'm torn about whether to move my oldest who would have one year of preschool still before starting kindergarten.

Pros to moving: Bigger space, smaller teacher:kid ratio, and I think closer attention to academic goals

Cons to moving NOW: Oldest will move twice in two years. Not as convenient from work. We're fond of many of the teachers at current place, but really do feel like it's getting to be a more chaotic environment.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice? TIA!

aspenlucas
Feb. 22, 2013, 05:22 PM
To complicate things, my youngest will probably need to go to private kindergarten as she misses the public kindergarten age cut-off by less than a week. There is NO WAY this girl can wait until she's 6 to start kindergarten. She would be bored out of her skull.

My youngest was born 9/7 and the cut off was 9/1. She was MORE then ready for Kindergarten but we had to wait a year. She is in Kindergarten now. Her teacher has a son born in June and told me BECAUSE of my daughter she is thinking of holding her son back. She said that the maturity level of my daughter versus the younger kids is huge. She finds my daughter grasps things quicker and is ready to learn.

If your youngest is a toddler how can you tell she will be bored out of her mind? She has a few years of growing to do yet! I could see saying that about a 4 or 5 year old, but not a toddler.

Now if you have issues with the glass sizing at your current day care you may want to address that, but I wouldn't move them just to rush a child into kindergarten.

ser42
Feb. 22, 2013, 05:30 PM
Yeah, I get that it's early to really make a decision on the youngest. However, she's always been the type to push her limits. She HATED being an infant. Absolutely hated it. Hated being so dependent on us as an older infant. Just very frustrated when she can't do things. Honestly she really became happier when she became mobile. Developmentally she's been off the charts, although I know a lot of that has to do with being the second child.

There have been some studies that suggest holding children back a year later when close to the cut-off date does not necessarily mean they will do better academically; in fact, some studies have suggested the reverse. Again, just studies, and each child is different. However, knowing what I know now, I don't think she can wait until age 6. Of course we will make the final decision later, though.

aspenlucas
Feb. 22, 2013, 05:38 PM
Yep, my youngest was the same way. She was putting alphabet puzzles together. Every piece was the same but letter on it, IN ORDER at age 22 months. She could unhook and hook HER carseat at 2 and did her sister's also who was 5! LOL She is six now and you'd think she was 16. Picks her own clothes out and does her own hair. She is a trip! She is doing so well in school and I never regretted allowing her to go at the time she was suppose to. It wouldn't be holding her back it would be pushing her forward. We could have done private and put her in kindergarten last year, but I'm so glad we didn't. Putting them in school early is not something you can undo, and you may not realize if there is any struggle until they hit later grades and then it would be harder. Yes, I think my daughter could be a first grader now, but I'm glad she's not. Both my girls were reading before kindergarten also. The youngest the other day added 10 + 2 + 5 in her head while counting her money!

Good luck though, I'd be more worried about the class size that seems to bother you, but then again if the teachers are GOOD maybe 10 to 1 is not as bad as 6 to 1 in a corporate setting?

NoSuchPerson
Feb. 22, 2013, 05:41 PM
I can only tell you my personal experience. My oldest was very close to the cut-off date, but on the early side rather than the late side. Letting him start kindergarten right after he turned 5 was a big mistake. He was plenty smart enough, loved books and could already read a little bit. But, most of the kids in his class were much more mature than he was and it was a constant issue. I mean, the kids whose birthdays were just past the cut-off date were almost a full year older than he was. I really regretted not keeping him in day care for another year.

As far as changing daycare at this point goes, I'd say it depends on your daughter's nature. I had one who was the classic "never met a stranger" type. He could go to a new school and have a dozen new best friends by the end of the first day. My other one was a shy introvert and changing schools was an ordeal. Putting him through 2 school changes in 2 years (which I had to do one time due to job changes) was not fun.

Unless, of course, you feel like there are true safety concerns with the current school, then by all means change.

Angela Freda
Feb. 22, 2013, 06:42 PM
The preschool teacher:student ratio is at least 10:1 now, for example. The rooms are small, and I think the operation is out-growing its space.

Are you sure that's a legal ratio?
That sounds WAY off to me.

ser42
Feb. 22, 2013, 06:46 PM
I think that ratio is correct, but I should double-check. I know in my oldest one's class, the ratio is at least 8:1, but was told by another parent the class underneath is 10:1.

Yeah, my oldest tends to be a little quieter, although she's one of the sneaky, quieter alpha girls ;)

I am favoring staying put until oldest starts public kindergarten, but am torn as I do think the other school has things to offer. I do think changing her two times in two years may be tough though.

Miss J
Feb. 22, 2013, 06:52 PM
I held my son back a year in pre-school befor going to kindergarten and that's what worked for him.

You can always hold her back an extra year in kindergarten if she doesn't seem ready to advance to grade 1.

and agree with an above poster the ratio seems waaay off! Is that legal?

And a great piece of advice for moms/parents, follow your gut instinct:)

Good luck!

Angela Freda
Feb. 22, 2013, 07:04 PM
I thought 1:10 sounded off.

Here are the NY regs
http://daycare.com/newyork/

3 years (1:7) - Maximum Group Size 18
4 years (1:8) - Maximum Group Size 21
5 years (1:9) - Maximum Group Size 24

6-9 is 1:10

I know you are not likely in NY, but it still sounds like alot of kids/teachers and in my experience this is a common way for daycares to make $$, and it is not safe, nor is it legal.

faybe
Feb. 22, 2013, 07:49 PM
Putting them in school early is not something you can undo, and you may not realize if there is any struggle until they hit later grades and then it would be harder.

Yes. My brother and I were both held and were each the oldest (or close to it) in our class. We were both very bright but I was so shy my mom thought an extra year of preschool would be good for me. Our younger sister was very young for her class and, while equally bright, struggled tremendously in school- enough so that she and my parents elected to have her repeat the 7th grade. It involved changing schools, new teachers and classmates, and enough emotional trauma that I would have a hard time justifying starting any kid earlier than need be. They'll spend the next 12-16 (or 20+) years of their lives in formal education, what's the rush?

Janet
Feb. 22, 2013, 08:03 PM
I can't help with your specific issues, but I need to address all these people suggesting "holding back" their children.

My birthday is in January, and I skipped kindergarten and started first grade a few days after my 6th birthday (in the middle of the year).

I was always the youngest in my class, but it never did me any harm. In fact, by high school. I was often taking specific classes a year FURTHER ahead.

Obviously it doesn't work for everyone. But don't automatically assume that skipping ahead is a bad thing.

ser42
Feb. 22, 2013, 09:15 PM
I can't help with your specific issues, but I need to address all these people suggesting "holding back" their children.

My birthday is in January, and I skipped kindergarten and started first grade a few days after my 6th birthday (in the middle of the year).

I was always the youngest in my class, but it never did me any harm. In fact, by high school. I was often taking specific classes a year FURTHER ahead.

Obviously it doesn't work for everyone. But don't automatically assume that skipping ahead is a bad thing.

Thanks Janet. Yes, I'm going to wait and see on the youngest... I'm aware of the practice of "redshirting." Here's a NYT article arguing against it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html