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Attending 2 branches of the same preschool


Huinni March 20, 2013

My husband and I are separated for 6 months now an we have a 3 year old. We take care of our son every other week. Recently we are talking of changing his daycare to preschool. I suggested we send him to the preschool near my house on my week and the other branch of preschool on his week. The preschool offers the same program on either branch. My son plays well with others and loves to play with other kids. Can someone tell me the pros and cons? The preschool is willing to split the cost between the 2 branches.

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MagnetMom March 20, 2013

Hi Huinni, and welcome to GreatSchools Parent Community.

What a wonderful effort to compromise in the best interests of your son. You've already overcome the first hurdle by checking with the preschool chain and they are ok with the arrangement.

Next I'd look at my son. Knowing *my* son, he'd never have been able to deal with that much transition. On the other hand, you feel your son plays well with others and likes other kids, so if it's what you and your husband are willing to work toward, why not?

I'd say try it, and talk to the teachers (both of you and both lead teachers). What sounds like could work in theory might take a bit of smoothing out.

What happens if you get a few months in and he's doing better in one school rather than the other? Or if one of the teachers doesn't communicate as well? How will you address concerns when it's with 'your school on your week' versus 'your husband's school on his week'? Would either of you be willing to drive the further distance to the school that better meets his needs?

I think if you both go in knowing you are willing to do what it takes for your son's best interests, you could make this work. And if you're flexible, you could also change things that don't work down the road.


TeacherParent March 21, 2013

It's got to be a very flexible and very adaptable three-year-old to be able to go to different schools - even when those schools have the same program. Even schools with the same program can't have identical days and identical weeks Schools and preschools and daycare too are communities. Children will have birthdays on the week he's in the other school, he will only be part of half the life of the school.Preschools and daycare settings can be different from each other and preschool can suit three year olds and up really well but I'd still say it's a lot to ask of a three year old to go back and forth between two schools. He's had a great deal of change in life recently - does he like his daycare? Has he always gone there? Is he fond of his teachers at the daycare?

If he likes his daycare and is close to his teachers and the children there, I'd hesitate to take him out of that familiar place and put him in not one but two unfamiliar places. A great deal has changed in your son's life lately and he might benefit from being with the teachers and children he knows while he adjusts to your new family situation.

But if he's never liked his daycare, that's another matter. Good luck with this decision.


Huinni March 21, 2013

I would say that he is a very adapting kid. He makes friends easily and even in his current daycare, they have different teachers taking care of him. Unfortunately his current daycare will be closed on 6/30 due to funding issues. The way I look at it, he won't have the same teacher teaching him all the classes anyway when he is in school and he will make twice as many friends from 2 preschools and will sharpen on his adapting skills for the future.

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