Ay de mi, I am back into the throes of the preschool decision making process! When last we left me, I had made a decision on a local (as in on my island local) presbyterian daycare/preschool. I went to pick up their paperwork this week and they had raised their prices. The cost was already pretty exorbitant, since they make no distinction between the daycare and the preschool prices, so I would be paying the same price whether J went to school for 5 hours or 20 hours week. And suddenly, that price seemed untenable.
So then began the scramble, because, of course, now I am in the weeds, since I should have done all this legwork back in February when I went through all this the first time! Luckily, a few well recommended places still have a few openings (as in two per place) in their three year old classes. And, since I have thrown out my must be on the island requirement, we have a few more affordable offerings than before. Which means that this week I have been rushing around to program after program, three so far this week, with at least two more to go. I've also shanghaied my very busy friend into letting me sign her daughter up when I sign J onto whatever lists I put him on, so we can carpool off the island is possible. Luckily, she's left all this to even later than I have, so she's willing to do whatever we can!
But now the choices are starting to blend together. And how does one decide, anyway? Based on the size of the playground? the enthusiasm of the director? the kinds of toys in the classrooms? the qualifications of the teachers (okay, yes, I know that one is important)? the evident organization of the program? The costs are similar, within $10 in either direction, the program durations are identical, the parking and drop-off systems more or less complicated, and the "enrichment" activities comparable. All the facilities are clean and bright and colorful, cheerful beyond reason...I am having information overload!
But, decisions must be made, so we are soldiering on. Baby E and J are confused by all this visiting rooms filled with toys for them to play with, but they are enjoying the change of pace...for now! Let's hope their patience doesn't run out before we're through!