whats the deal with pre-school?

[deleted account] ( 15 moms have responded )

So, My eldest daughter is 2 years old. I stay home with both my girls everyday but I wanted my eldest to socialize and learn some things. I went to this daycare/pre-school center and their rates were outrageous! I can't afford it. My question is...when she is 3 years old and potty trained are there a public schools that have pre-school for free?

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Hilda M. - posted on 09/08/2010

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I reside in the Ann Arbor, MI area and our elementary schools began a pre-school in the same building as their kindergarten classes. They also began to offer full-day kindergarten classes too. I do hope that it was our tax dollars at work offering pre-school. Place a call to your local superintendent's office to inquire or plant a seed. :-)

Taryn - posted on 09/18/2009

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Well I guess it depends on where you are... I live in Oregon and there is a free preschool called KidCo headstart... and its free but you have to apply early or be subject to a waiting list. Maybe you could go online and search for a free preschool in your area or call (if there is one in your area) WIC. They should have some sort of information about how to find a free preschool :)

Andrea - posted on 09/18/2009

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I am not sure about your area. I am in Canada. My youngest goes to a co-op nursery school, she started at 2 1/2 and did the preschool program and is now in the kindergarten afternoon program on her off days from big school The cost is 1/4 the cost at the local day care. I am also a stay at home mom but wanted her to socialize and be able to be away from me for a bit to get used to what "big school" would be like. She liked the preschool program so much and learned so much i put her in the kindergarten to expand what she will learn at 'big school" I know in my area there is 3 other co-op nursery schools that are all run out of churches (not by the churches) All the ones here offer duty days where a parent helps for one day a month for a reduced price or non-duty where they are not required and pay the full fee.

I am not sure if there is any pre-schools for free but for under a $100 a month for 3 days a week i thought it was a great price for what she got out of it.

Maria - posted on 09/18/2009

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Here in CA, I have yet to find one that is free. Unfortunately, it has been 17 years since my oldest has been to one, and I agree with you, the rates are getting up there, it seems cheaper to stay home and tutor my own children which I did until they went to kindergarten. Thank goodness they're only a year apart!

Vicky - posted on 09/18/2009

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p.s. - sorry (re my post below) if you aren't in england you may not get child tax credits - don't know what they have everywhere else?!

Stina - posted on 09/18/2009

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I am in Washington on Whidbey Island. They have a headstart program kids from low income families can go to. You have to qualify financially. I understand it's a great program. My son is special needs so he qualifies to be placed in preschool regardless- They have to be 3 yo... Unfortunate 'cause my dd just misses the cutoff for this year and she soooo wants to go to school too.

Samantha - posted on 09/18/2009

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I only know of Headstart if you qualify. My 3yr old is in a preschool two days a week two hours and it cost $50 a mo. That is the best I found. Good Luck!

Vicky - posted on 09/18/2009

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my 2 yr old goes to a nursery for 3 days a wk - it seems expensive but we get nearly all of it back in child tax credits/child benefit & a £70 a month subsidy from work! you can get up to 80% back for child care costs in child tax credits! x

Elaine - posted on 09/18/2009

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I suggest contacting the public (elementary schools) in your area and ask them who they recommend. If there are no free pre-schools, try posting notices around your neighborhood looking for other moms with same aged kids who also want to provide a social outlet for their kids. You could plan trips to the zoo, kids museum, together as well as create reading groups where each parent takes turns reading aloud to the kids.

Tracy - posted on 09/18/2009

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in england children at 3 years old are entited to 16 hrs free childcare in pre school xxxx

Hilja - posted on 09/18/2009

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Hi, when my children were small we lived in Seattle, WA. I too stayed at home and did not need full time childcare. I agree that the cost can be outrageous.



I used several different childcare programs. One was a parent cooperative run preschool. The cost was reasonable, but there is the time commitment of parent teaching to be part of it.



I also found a drop in program that was not free, but very low cost (pay by the hour) and was housed in a church. The teacher Mary Jo was amazing. That way I could control how little or how much I spent each week.



Also, a community center had an area that you paid a few dollars to go into that was just for children under age 5. I could not leave them there, but it was a great low cost way for them to socialize and play with neat equipment and toys.



Another option is organizing play groups with a few families and you rotate the house each week. Maybe 1 mom could stay to help, but the others could have a couple of hours of free time. Other than snack costs this is free. I would meet first to discuss the "curriculum".



Also, some community colleges have onsite childcare with drop in programs if you are registered in a class.



Best wishes and hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone that posted do far...We have enrolled her in some activities and that should help out with some socializing =) Some kindergarten classes have a pre-requisite that the kids have been in pre-school first! It's crazy

Melissa - posted on 09/18/2009

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Some do.. Mine never went to pre-school we did all the learning at home with books and tools I picked up at the local book store... as for socializing I say gt involved in a rec center in the neighborhood/public pool, park... there are soooo many mom's out there down for a play date and a new friend!!! FYI pre school for free maybe at age 4

Nadine - posted on 09/18/2009

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I know how expensive daycare can be. Everytime minimum wage goes up, so do the prices. I pay $560 a month for daycare. That doesn't include book fees at the beginning of each semester or classroom fees that are also due at the beginning of each semester. I know that there are some churches out there that do have free programs that you can leave your kid for the day a few days out of the week.

Kim - posted on 09/18/2009

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In my state I haven't found any preschool programs that are free. There is headstart if you qualify, but they only admit so many children. My 3 yr old goes to a christian based program. It is 2 days/week from 8:30am to 11:30am. They offer before and after care if needed for $4/hr. The tuition for the month for just the basic 2 days per week is only $135. I sugguest looking around and possibly look at preschool programs based out of churches. They are normally a bit cheaper because they don't have to pay rent.

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