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Before sending your child off to preschool, there are a few factors to consider.
(1) Cost. Is this something your family can afford? With the economy still on the recovery, preschool can fall under unnecessary expense. If it's still something that you want to do, but find it puts a stress on the pocket book, consider letting the child go two days a week instead of three or five. Try church based pre-schools as well because sometimes they are far less expensive than private daycare/preschools. Usually, it does not require you to be a member of the church for the child to attend.
(2) Socialization is essential for children and preschool offers both good and bad examples of this. If the child is more of a wall flower, preschool may help and the child can learn to become more self-sufficient and possibly make life long friends. They also learn about how to act in a social situations and how to follow instructions by someone besides their parents.
(3) Preschool can be enriching, but some experts stress that kids can learn the same skills at home if they are adequately nurtured. Teaching the child at home is easily obtainable, but some parents don't have the patience to sit through day after day of talking about letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. After watching the Wiggles for the nine hundreth time can cause even the most sane parent to lose it. Know that another way to teach these things is to watch for them at the grocery store, while driving/walking around town, and at home. Sometimes the best teaching and learning occurs in a much less informal situation.
(4) Going to preschool also increases exposure to illness and kids in daycare and or preschool can get sick more often. On the flip side, other kids get sick less because their bodies are exposed to viruses and illness and they fight them off, increasing their immune response.
(5) If the program is high stress and performance, it can lead to toddler burnout. Talk to other parents who have their children at the preschool you are considering and watch a class or two with your child. I'd also recommend watching a class without your child there so you can completely devote to observing the teacher and students.