This post is sponsored by KinderCare. But as always comments and opinions are my own.
Nobody ever said motherhood would be easy. I went into it with an open mind and heart. But I knew it was going to be the hardest thing I’ve done. And from the moment my little one was laid on my chest, it became real at just how hard things were going to be. Emotionally, physically, and mentally I walked into that OR thinking I knew what it took, to being rolled out of that OR room thinking “no one mentioned how much I would change so quickly.”
Over the past 6 years, I have done some changing. I went from working full-time with my oldest in daycare for 12 hours a day to SAHMing with both girls home full-time to now working from home with them in preschool and one about to start Kindergarten. It was when my oldest turned four that we decided it was time for her to go back to school. I have teamed up with KinderCare to help you mommas out that are in the same boat and need suggestions on what to look for while hunting for the best preschool.
Things to Consider When Looking for The Best Preschool
I needed peace of mind that my child was safe, loved on, learning and growing all while having fun. Not asking too much right? haha. Let’s not forget Location. Both when searching for a daycare then later a preschool, I personally wanted them either close to home or close to work. Each time, I went with home. Both my husbands and my job is flexible, having them closer to our home just made more sense for us. KinderCare actually has three separate locations in my town which makes deciding if closer to work or closer to home works better.
I wanted small group learning. KinderCare knows the real value of having small-group activities in which kids learn things like cooperation and friendship. Small group learning is a critical part of learning for children. One thing I really had to come to grips was with knowing I needed somewhere that would pick up the slack from my lack of teaching ability. I needed somewhere that would teach them the things that the elementary schools expected them to know by kindergarten. KinderCare offers classes from infant daycare and early education all the way up to Kindergarten. Including before and after-school programs, school break solutions and so much more. What a piece of mind knowing your kids are taken care of when work doesn’t fit the traditional school calendar.
How Do you FEEL About the School?
What I trusted most was my gut and it’s typically something we overlook or try to make quiet. When we were taking tours and I felt pretty quick whether it was going to be a good fit. I wanted us to walk through the doors and feel welcomed and loved. She would look at me and I could look at her and we would know pretty quick if it was a contender or not.
One thing that was very helpful was letting her go back into the classrooms. Kind of walk around, explore, meet the kids and teacher while I watched the interaction. Preschool teachers really are special humans. The love they show for other peoples kids is truly amazing. I knew we found the best preschool when I could just see the comfort and ease she had as she was walking around exploring solo. KinderCare knows that if the children love their teachers, they will love school and learning.
Now Comes the Easy Part, Sign Em Up
As we were talking with the director, she noticed my youngest and mentioned she had room for both. This whole time I had planned on keeping her home with me. She was only two and I didn’t feel like it was a necessity yet. But I also knew my youngest. And she was so different from my first in that she needed the socialization. Up until this point, she had never been around other adults or kids her own age, to be honest. She had actually never been away from me up until this point. So I signed them both up! I was very excited about knowing they would be together too.
Trust Your Gut
Sending my then two-year-old was one of the best decisions we have made up to date. She needed that, I needed that, we all really needed that. She has grown so much socially over the past couple of years. Seeing her confidence soar makes this momma heart so happy.
You know you’ve made the best preschool choice when the kids get into the car in the afternoon and excitedly tell you about their day. They talk about what they are learning, ask you to help them practice, sing the songs and dance the dances they learned. You can just tell how excited they are about learning and excited about going back (even when they tell you they don’t want to, it’s just a test momma).