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SusanStoHelit

What to do for kindergarten (preschool)?

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SusanStoHelit

DD3 is off to kindergarten next year (15 hrs a week, pre FYOS).

 

I have two options for placements: kindy program at current daycare, or the community run kindy my older two attended.

 

Obviously daycare is more convenient for work (I do 0.6, 3 days a week). But I haven't seen much of the program.

 

The director of the community kindy is fantastic, and it's an awesome learning environment. (IME with the other two). The problem is it is strictly 8:30 drop off, 2:45 pick up. With the expectation of roster days and other activities where a parent is needed during kindy hours.

 

If I enrolled her start of the week (my work days), she would be with my preferred teacher aide. But I would never be able to pick up, drop off or otherwise be involved. I would be reliant on DH and my parents to do it all. DH is a shift worker so not always available, and my parents have warned me they're going on a two month holiday next year. So there would be days where I'm scrambling to find care. Nanny? Random babysitters?

 

If I enrolled her end of the week, I could be around more and pick up / drop offs would be easier. I would have child free time at home to catch up on work / housework. But we would be paying for both daycare and kindy. She would also be out of the house 5 days a week (very tiring for a kindy kid) and activities like playgroup and kinder gym would have to stop.

 

Sorry for the essay, but thoughts? Which option would you pick? any suggestions for managing the juggle?

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AdelTwins

Is there any chance you could start work later and do the drop offs?

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Let-it-go

Daycare.

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FuzzyChocolateToes

My older kids all went to the local preschool as I was lucky enough to have family support for drop offs and pick up. Last year i used a nanny for some kinder drop offs ( she took my older kids to school too). My youngest goes to day care and I've decided she will do kinder there. It is so much simpler having the extended hours and not having to rely on others to do pick ups.

 

I personally wouldn't do both due to the cost.

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Mrs Claus

I found the kinder program fantastic and so much more then the one offered at our local daycare so I would find a way to make it work

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cinnabubble

I had a child go to both daycare and preschool one year and daycare won hands down.

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Pooks_

I'd look closer at the daycare program and if unhappy I'd look for a daycare with better 4yo program.

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twin2

I did both with when my two did their kinder year (as I was working three days too at that stage) They loved it. They are extremely active kids so loved being busy 5 days a week.

 

Having said that if day care works best for you don't hesitate to enrol her there as it did get stressful having to rush back for pick ups on the kinder days but it really was invaluable for my two. I was very lucky knowing that as I had twins it was only going to be stressful for one year if that makes sense.

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daybreaker

I'd choose daycare. My eldest went to a private preschool and my younger one (4 yrs old) who now attends a daycare has learnt more there than my eldest ever did at preschool.

 

Daycare pre school programs can be better than dedicated preschools. And I found the short days and fixed pick up/drop off times of preschool too difficult when here are other children to manage. Not to mention he frequent school holidays.

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Flaxen

My daughters daycare has a great kindy program,so I'm biased in my experience there. But I know it would be nice for your youngest to follow in siblings footsteps.

 

Can you investigate the daycare kindy program first before you ultimately decide?

 

Personally it would stress me out knowing I would need additional care to be arranged and relying on others.

Edited by Flaxen
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Pooks_

(FWIW OP, it's ok to do things differently with different kids. It doesn't have to be better or worse, just different. Circumstances change, all kids are different, and there's more than one way to skin a cat. I'm feeling my own weird feelings about doing things differently with each of my kids, but I need to let it go, and I just wondered if that's part of the deal for you too).

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Treasure Island

If you have your heart set on the kindy do you have the option to go 4 days at work so you work kindy hours? You would still need a day at daycare as well. Otherwise I would just go with daycare as its the easier option.

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Just Another Cat

DS does both at the moment. 15 hours at kinder and then daycare for the other days.

 

Sessional kinder is so much better than daycare.

 

I have a friend that is the director at a daycare and even she sent her child to sessional kinder and then daycare the other days.

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Let-it-go

 

Sessional kinder is so much better than daycare.

 

 

That is a massive generalisation. My DD's government kindy was utterly rubbish as they had a new director who couldn't organise a Bunnings sausage sizzle let alone 30+ kids everyday for a full year. I had friends who kept their kids at the daycare and they had a much, much better program. My DS is at an ELC for his kindy year which could be an option. Same price as daycare with the rebate, 3 full days, OSCH available for working parents and it's brilliant.

 

So I said daycare above, but to clarify, I would be checking the program. Having said that, it's kindy, my DD has done just fine at school after a kindy year where she didn't so much as learn what a butterfly was.

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SusanStoHelit

OP back again.

 

There is no possibility of altering my work hours to do pick ups / drop offs. But hey, I get the school holidays off :-).

 

Thanks for your comment Pooks, it really bought home why I am having such a hard time making a decision. My older two both had such a fabulous year at this kindy. They also had no dramas transitioning to school and are both doing well, which I attribute largely to how good this program and teacher is. I worry that the daycare based program won't be anywhere near as good (had a walk through the room on orientation and it didn't have the same vibe).

 

But I have to be practical about how realistic it is going to be to make it work. Cost is not so much of an issue. We go public for schooling, and can afford to wear the extra cost for one year to give her the best start possible. It's more the logistics of getting her there and picking up.

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Neeps

I would try and make the kindy option work by arranging a nanny or getting your DH to help out more. But this comment is based upon my experience with daycare kinder compared to the kindy program at my local community kinder.

 

My youngest did kindy daycare last year and is now in a local kindy (we red-shirted him). It is hard making it all fit together with my work hours but I can see he is getting much better preparation for FYOS at kindy than he did at daycare.

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Riotproof

I think you need to look at the preschool program in your daycare. It may be exactly what you need.

 

I'd ask about what specific school readiness features they do. There seems to be a big difference across centres.

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ollies-mum

Does the kindy have before or after school care or a local day cars offer that service ?

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Mumsyto2

Way back when mine were that age i remember everyone trying to get out of the local preschools to get into our daycare specifically for the preschool program and teachers. Now many years later I hear nothing has changed except there is only one preschool left in the area but many more daycare facilities, some supposedly better than others in regards to preschool programs and having to attend the preschool if unable to get a spot in any of the centres is drawing the short straw. My kids are teens so no first hand experience these days just going on what people in the neighbourhood say, supposedly the centres pay a lot more for teachers in the preschool rooms than the preschools do and ratios are better (that info came from someone who's mum worked at one as a cook). Not sure if correct or not and no idea of ratio at preschools, back when mine went to daycare they had one teacher and one daycare worker per 15 children in the 3-5 room so if you had 30 kids you hàd a teacher and a helper for the 15 3-4yo's and a teacher and helper for the 15 4-5 yo's doing the school readiness program. The helpers were generally daycare workers who were studying externally to become teachers. No idea how this works at preschools.

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seepi

I would do daycare on your work days and the preschool at the other end of the week.

 

My kids did this and enjoyed both places.

 

Preschool was a lot better for learning/structure/school readiness, but daycare was longer days and their friends were there already.

 

Our daycare was great, but the preschool program was very weak. It is much harder for them with the kids changing every day, a room full of 3, 4 and 5 year olds, and the long day.

 

Preschool is one class of 4 year olds, with their own teacher, just like school. And in my experience, more materials, excursions and programs.

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Isolated Old Elf

We were in the same situation as you OP. Great kindy but not work friendly hours. We found a fantastic elc with a brilliant program. Not once have we regretted this. Dd thrived and has fit right in at the school the kindy is a feeder to, despite not knowing any kids when starting. Don't add extra stress to your current situation. If the daycare offers a good program, and your child gains confidence there, that would be my choice.

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