Tuesday Toddler Tales
Now that 2010 is here and with Emily turning four years old this fall, we are in Preschool Enrollment Season here in The Bay Area.
We started with making the decision to only look at Preschools in Alameda, CA because:
1) Neither of us wanted to spend a good hour driving her to/from school in another city as Preschool starts during morning rush hour and ends during the lunch rush hour
2) Emily has a lot of friends living here who will be going to Alameda Preschools as well and there's a good chance some of them will end up together
3) We wanted her to have a good chance of getting to know kids she will be in Elementary School with
4) We want to continue to meet and make new friends in our community
Then, we attended the East Bay Mom's Preschool Fair to ask questions about the different types of Preschools (Waldorf, Montessori, Academic-focused, Play-based, Co-Op) and to get our first feel of what Preschool was all about, how much it would cost and when we needed to be enrolled by. To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement... thank God we decided to leave Emily at home with a babysitter and go alone so we could concentrate!
Once we got home, we threw away everything to do with the Preschools that were completely out of our budget (some cost over $35,000 for the year!) and looked up each of the schools we were interested in on Berkeley Parents Network as well as SavvySource.com to read reviews and get more in-depth information on their curriculum, tuition and enrollment process.
Today, I spent a good part of the day putting together a spreadsheet to compare ALL Alameda Preschools (as not very many were represented at the East Bay Moms Preschool Fair), in order to more easily compare them and keep track of their Information Nights, Tours, enrollment dates, deposits and tuition & application costs. This further helped David & I to begin to narrow things down as we are really wanting a play-based Preschool rather than one focused solely on academics and wanted one with a Monday/Wednesday/Friday, half-day option.
We are down to 17 Preschools (we started with 35!) and thus, begins the tours, interviews and classroom observations in the coming months.
Wish us luck!!!