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Daycare is an enormous expense, but preschool isn't any cheaper. We were lucky enough to have family members watch our son in his early years, but we soon learned that the transition from a family home to kindergarten would be a tough one. We decided to enroll him in preschool to ease the transition, but the cost of preschool is as much as daycare. Instead, we found some cheaper social activities that would prepare him for kindergarten without paying the price of daycare facilities.
With full membership my son enjoys swimming lessons and a twice a week preschool class as well as team soccer, t-ball, and babysitting services. The total cost for a year's worth of activities is less than half a year of daycare/preschool costs, and he has gotten the social interaction that he needed.
When considering the costs of these transitional child care activities, remember that many are tax-deductible. If a child is cared for at a facility for three hours a day or more, consider declaring the cost as child care on your income taxes; it helps to ease the burden of the cost of child care.
It's no wonder early childhood professionals struggle to get the distinction they deserve with articles like this! The first 5 years of a child's life (that means the infant, toddler and PRESCHOOL years) are the most critical in terms of their brain development. How can you put a price on that?? It's clear that the author is making the classic stereotypical assumption that preschool teacher and daycare providers are BABYSITTERS!
Sure if you choose uneducated and untrained people to work with your child, it will be no different than hiring a teenager to watch your kid (that's what a babysitter is). The majority of Early childhood professionals have equivalent if not higher degrees than the kindergarten teachers you send your child to. Parents should be urged to find the programs that will benefit their children, not encouraging them to bypass preschool for some cheap/free babysitting services. Social experiences are necessary, but not all a child needs to be prepared for kindergarten.
A preschool teacher with a degree and teaching certificate