Appropriate age to start preschool?

I'm a stay at home of 2.5 year old. I have been feeling guilty lately that my daughter doesn't get much interaction with other kids. We do go to classes and storytime, a few playdates. But I'm wondering if maybe I should start part time preschool for her, even though it does come with a hefty price tag. When did you start preschool for your kids? Do you think they benefit it more than staying at home?

  • Marta
    Jun 29, 2018

    I started my daughter at 18 months at it was the best decision ever because now she’s 4 and can read add subtract and she has a best friend and is sometimes to social

  • Kelsie
    Jun 29, 2018

    I went through this with my daughter (now 3.5). We also did library events, story time etc and spent a lot of time with her younger cousin but I still felt bad! So we found a nice but (mostly) affordable school where she goes twice a week from 830-430pm. She LOVES it and it has been amazing. Her speech skyrocketed and now at library events she’s up front and interacting with the other kids. We started a little before she was 2.5 and it’s been great.

  • Hannah
    Jun 29, 2018

    My daughter is 3.5 and starting a preschool in the fall 2 days a week. I can’t speak to if it will be amazing and sill regret not starting sooner, but just know it’s ok to wait. We have lots of friends that are starting at the same age and all of the kids are intelligent, social, etc.

  • Shruti
    Jun 29, 2018

    We started at 2.5 and it was the best decision ever!

  • Dana
    Jun 29, 2018

    Started at 3.5 but she was ready at 2.5. I only did two 3 hour days at a Montessori school.

  • Sofia
    Jul 01, 2018

    Really it just depends on the child and the family. I’m still very close with my preschool teacher, so I reached out to her right around the time my daughter was turning 2, after freaking out i was starting too late. After contacting some preschools only to be put on some ridiculously long wait lists, which some people had been on for years, I was feeling guilty that I should’ve started earlier, especially after hearing some start wait listing their kids when their still newborns! However, thankfully my preschool teacher talked some sense into me and let me know not to base what’s best for my child what others may or may not be doing with their own children. She said parents have been wait listing their kids as early as when they’re still in their mamas tummy, and there’s always those few trendy preschools that parents want their child to go to purely based on the length of the wait list. Yes, there are some wonderful and very popular preschools, but we’re lucky enough to live in a time that offers so much in terms of different styles and teaching methods, it’s hard not to find somewhere that works best for you and your family. If you’re starting to notice she’s craving more social activity, maybe showing less interest in the activities she used to enjoy while at home, and starts showing interest in other kids whether it’s when your out and about running errands, while playing at the park, really anytime there’s kids around, it might be time to start looking around. We found our preschool by our 2nd tour but only made the decision to enroll after visiting a bunch more places just so I was confident we had made the best choice for her. When you do find a preschool program to enroll your child in don’t rush into things, take it slow, it’s a big transition, so start out with just two or three days, a week, even consider half days, which is what we found worked best for us the first month, and by her 2 month she had moved into a full day schedule. If you decide to start your search, good luck, but don’t stress yourself out too much, there’s so many options out there, you are bound to find one feels just right for your family. If your concerned about cost, which was definitely one of our main concerns, I’d definitely look into co-op preschools which tend to be significantly cheaper than other programs. However, the trade off is the required parent participation at the school, which can get pretty demanding at some. Co-ops are more affordable because the success of their programs rely heavily on parent contribution in the day to day functioning of the school. Each program is different in terms of how much time u have to commit to, some require a few hrs or couple days every week, i found one that even asked parents to enroll in early childhood development classes at the local community college; but as a fellow sahm, it’s definitely something to look into, although we chose to go in a different direction, there definitely some great benefits to the co-op style program.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 01, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your experiences,Sofia, its exactly what we are going through right now.I have started touring some preschools and the ones we liked do have a long waiting list,I was feeling guilty not starting sooner. My daughter is ready for more social activities however she is definitely not ready to be separated from me. I'm not sure if "pushing" her to be on her own will benefit her or will cause more stress. We do go to California First Five,which is free classes that requires the parent contribution and she loves it,but only because I'm there with her.

  • Lisa
    Jul 02, 2018

    My daughter is also 2.5 years old and considered putting her in a preschool for social interaction. My mom took my daughter to a preschool and she enjoyed playing with the kids but when my mom told her she would pick her up later she said she wanted to go home with grandma. She’s not ready and I don’t want to push her. There’s plenty of time for school and I don’t want her to get burnt out.