I follow a blog called CPSobsessed and the topic of pre-school was on the agenda. Even though it is only March, now is the time to start researching the schools in your area where you may want to send your child for the 2014/15 school year. CPS starts taking applications for children that will be 3 by September 1, 2014 in September of this year, 2013. It is a daunting task since it is a whopping year in advance. I feel like we are constantly living in the moment with our toddler that 2014 feels light years away, however we must dive in if this is the route you want to go. Even the private schools have 9-12 month deadlines prior to the 2014 school year, so you should start looking at all your options.
What I loved in CPSobsessed recent post were the comments, all 111 of them! It was really interesting to see what many parents and teachers thought about pre-school. Many thought that it was a waste of money to send their child to a pricey pre-school, while the teachers could really see the difference in the child that went to a ‘good’ preschool vs. one that either didn’t go to preschool at all or just an average preschool.
If you are inclined to send your child to preschool but also need daycare, the tuition based CPS programs may be a great option, especially if you only have one child. That program has a full day where 1/2 the day is devoted to preschool curriculum and the other 1/2 (roughly) is play based learning and care. If you have 2 then you may be spending double duty for child care for the little one and the preschool aged child. For us, we decided to ease our toddler into the schooling system, more so to get him used to the structure of school, socialization and the like. I think our expectations are realistic rather than thinking he is going to become a world scholar at 3 due to preschool. Both my husband and I went to nursery school and preschool, so it is something we want our children to have.
We have decided to go the Catholic school route for Sept. 2013 (transitions program for kids under 3 for 2 hours/day for 2 days/week), but I’m still researching our options for 2014 when he meets the 3 year old age and potty trained requirements. I would love to put my tax dollars to work and get him into a public (aka free) preschool, however many CPS schools are eliminating the preschool program and/or becoming tuition based (apx $12,000/year for 5 full days a week). I’m still not sure how the requirements work for the free preschool as there may be certain salary requirements in order to be applicable for the free preschool (ex: you can’t make more than $60k/year). We should find out more on the CPS changes by the end of this month. I’ll continue to update you on the schools in our area (Lakeview/North Center), but please comment on the schools in your area.
Check out this blog and come to your own conclusions on what route you want to go. (http://cpsobsessed.com/2013/03/10/back-to-the-begining-a-pre-k-post/)
The Yeager Team: A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move