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  1. #1
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    Default 1 day "preschool" enough for a 4yo?

    My daycare centre is asking for how many days/what days we want for next year. Dd1 will be 4 and the year before school/kindy.

    There are no real preschool options here, just daycare preschool options. Mind you, our daycare doesn't really have a proper transition to school program, it's basically free play and not like school at all so not sure how much it is helping. However nearly all the kids there will be going to her primary school.

    I'm happy to keep her on just 1 day but worry it won't be enough to help transition/prepare her for big school 5 days a week.

    If I bump it to two days I'm scared she won't cope- she's STILL clingy and a mummy's girl AT 3.5 years, she already battles me to go just once a week, doesn't really enjoy herself and when I return to work it means only 1 day at home with me.
    (My mum will care for her 2 days, and I don't want mum responsible for drop off as she's a big sook and they both love the time together so will have to make it on a day I'm not at work).

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 05-08-2016 at 07:53.

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    DS2 (4 in October) will be doing 2 days a week of preschool next year at his school. He hasn't been away from me since before he was 2 (he had 2 X 5 hours at an occasional care centre) so I'm totally worried about he will cope! Anyway what I want to say is I eventually plan on him doing 5 days in the last term - so he's ready for 5 days of kindergarten (1st year of school in ACT) the following year.

    So are you able to stick with just the 1 day in the beginning and build up over the year to 2-3 days? Getting her ready for school?

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    Honestly, I would go two and even try to increase to three throughout the year.

    (Cold hard teacher hat not mum hat):

    - I don't think she'll get to a magic age where she suddenly loves drop off and it will be easy to send her (going by DS - every morning is a challenge).

    - playgroup/kindy/cc are a bit better equipped for the long goodbye/staying with a distressed child and this is less disruptive for other children than it is at school

    - children who are distressed can't learn. If she isn't used to being apart from you and is distressed for, say, the first term of school, then that's a term of minimal learning that she won't get back. The first 6 months of school are (generally speaking) crucial for future schooling

    - don't discount the learning that will occur at kindy even if there's a less formal education program. We can tell the children that start school accustomed to being round many other children, or more specifically the ones that aren't! This is a chance for her to practise organisational, toileting, social skills in a non-family setting (and also to train you as a parent to pack lunches, return notes etc :-p)

    I can present an opposing view to everything I've said above, and I'm already in actual physical pain at the thought of DS going off to school in 2018, so I get that it's not so black and white. Just trying to put some other thoughts out there.

    But yes, I would do two at least.

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    I would recommend sending her for 2 days, possibly 3.

    My DS went to preschool one day a week last year and is going 3 days a week this year (starting school next year).

    For me personally, the benefits of the extra days have become really evident. DS's development has really advanced this year, especially socially (he has ASD). Being an only child too, it's vital that he gets used to being around other children.

    I think it's a massive jump to go from one day a week to five days of primary school the year after. A clingy child would find this especially difficult I imagine, which is why I think at least two days would help prepare her better, separation wise.

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    My DS only did 2 days and he was fine settling into school , but he's very independent and outgoing , my niece was going 2 days a week last year and she wasn't coping at all ( very shy and clingy ) so they put her in 4 days this year and yes the first few weeks were bad but thankfully now half way through the year she's thriving and it will definitely help her with school next year as her confidence is so much better and she is used to the routine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    My DS only did 2 days and he was fine settling into school , but he's very independent and outgoing , my niece was going 2 days a week last year and she wasn't coping at all ( very shy and clingy ) so they put her in 4 days this year and yes the first few weeks were bad but thankfully now half way through the year she's thriving and it will definitely help her with school next year as her confidence is so much better and she is used to the routine
    Gah now I'm even more torn! To go to 2 or 3 days? (Financially 3 days will be very tight but if it makes it easier on her I'd find a way).

    I'd initially just put in for 2 with plans to increase later in the year but spots are almost impossible to come by and I'd risk not being able to get a third day.

    Maybe I should ask her carers at daycare today? (When I manage to convince her to get ready and go!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Sunshine View Post
    Gah now I'm even more torn! To go to 2 or 3 days? (Financially 3 days will be very tight but if it makes it easier on her I'd find a way).
    I hear you! 3 days is a total stretch for us, I've just tightened the purse strings to make it happen. Thankfully it's only one year and it flies by so quickly.

    I would go for the 3 days, then you can always drop down to 2 if you find it too much. It's easier to drop a day than pick up a day (adding an extra day would be impossible at our preschool as it's extremely popular).

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    In SA, our preschools basically do 2 days a week (well they do 15 hours, which is 2 days & 1/2 a day once a fortnight). So for me, I would say 1 day would be fine for the first half of the year,then increase to 2 days for the 2nd half of the year. MAYBE increase to 3 days in term 4 if you can afford it, but I dont think it's neccesary. My dd is a clingy mummas girl, & she adjusted abdolutely fine from doing 2 days at preschool to 5 days at school. I'm a big believer in letting 4 year olds be 4 year olds personally and not feeling pressure to push them into more than they are able to manage becaude we feel like we have to prepare them for the future. I always find they will adjust when the time comes. My perspective is both as a mummy and an Early Childhood teacher. And BTW, I taught prep kids & often had kids who had never attended preschool at all. They adjusted fine

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    Like the pp, I would go 2 days. It can be harder to settle in only 1 day a week as it's a whole week before they attend again.

    I'm similarly unsure how many days to send ds next year. The minimum is 3 days at his cc from next year. Currently he is in 2 days. I've put him down for 4 days but not sure if I should have put down 3 days and had his grandma look after him 1 day (as she is currently).

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    I'd be doing 2 days definitely instead of 1. My childcare centre won't take 1 day bookings as they believe children can't get used to it enough and become too unsettled only going 1 day a week.
    Whilst it might be hard it will be better for her in getting used to being around others in preparation for school. But that doesn't mean it isn't heartbreaking. I think about quitting my job every day that I drop DD at childcare

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