the sparkly life: Here's The Surprising Thing You Need to Consider When Choosing A Preschool

Monday, April 30, 2018

Here's The Surprising Thing You Need to Consider When Choosing A Preschool

tribeca preschool
tribeca kindercare

Back when I was initially searching for a preschool, I didn't know much about what I was supposed to be looking for, but I did have a few basic requirements. I wanted a school with great teachers. I wanted one that fostered a love of learning. And I wanted a place where kids could be kids and would have a chance to learn through play. 

But there was another huge criteria (one that I now know is one of the most important, if not the most important characteristics) that I wasn't really even considering at the time: You want a preschool that's close to your home. 

tribeca kindercare

Sounds simple, right? But when I say I wasn't really even considering this advice, I mean I was practically ignoring it. During my two preschool searches (we lived in Brooklyn for my daughter's first year of preschool and then moved to Hoboken starting with her second), I was considering schools that were both just a few blocks away from our home, as well as schools that were in Manhattan, i.e. a river (and a train ride!) away. 

When we were in Brooklyn, we chose the neighborhood school, but when we were in Hoboken, we came thisclose to picking the Manhattan school solely because it was considered "better" (which basically meant celebrities' kids went there). In the end--after an agonizing decision that included tears and major anxiety--we ended up choosing the local school, and I'm so thankful we did. Our lives would have been very different (and, honestly, so much more difficult and really worse in so many ways) had we gone with the further school.

biergarten kids

And here's why preschool is all about location, location, location: Your family's life is going to revolve around your school. Big time. Not only will you be dealing with the daily drop-off and pick-up, which is obviously made infinitely easier by living close by, but having your kids' friends living close makes it so much easier to do an afterschool or weekend playdate and even attend a birthday party. It's also really nice when your school is in your neighborhood and you see friends (and even teachers!) every time you're walking around town. This all fosters a real sense of community and closeness that I'm so happy we have.

But here's the part no one thinks about: It's not just about your kids and their friends. It's about you and the parents of your kids' friends, too. Because believe it or not, they are going to become your social circle.
kindercare tribeca

luau party

This is not something I ever considered before having kids, but surprise! Your kid's school is where you will now make your friends. Remember how easy it was to make friends when you were in school? And then later in college and in your first job? But after that, making new friends becomes so much harder for adults, right? But once your kid goes to school, suddenly you'll have a group of parents that you see over and over again, whether it's during school dropoff, at birthday parties, at back-to-school nights, or (if you're lucky) at extracurricular get-togethers, events, and outings planned by your school.

This has been such a pleasant surprise for me. I chat daily about big and little things with a group of several moms in my daughter's class, and more and more, these are the women I grab a drink with or celebrate birthdays with. Our husbands are friends, too, so we do things as couples sometimes, and of course, often with our kids, as well. We even went on our most recent vacation with a family we met through our school; they have become great friends. School has really opened up an entire new world of local friends for both my kids and for me, and that has been such an awesome, rewarding, and surprising bonus.

tribeca kindercare

tribeca kindercare
For this reason, I think it's really important to choose local schools that really value bringing people together and creating that sense of community. Recently, I told you about KinderCare and their new Tribeca Learning Center, and some of the things I love about it. But one aspect that I hadn't had a chance to mention was that community is very important to them, too. 

Not only do they have a great preschool curriculum for the kids, but they are committed to planning fun activites for the parents, too! For example, they are going to be holding enrichment events and workshops on the weekends (with childcare!) where parents can get together, learn, and socialize, as well as special "parent night out" events where KinderCare's childcare providers will watch the kids late into the evening, so the parents can go out and spend time with other parents. 

KinderCare's Tribeca Learning Center is also close to my heart, quite simply, because it's in Tribeca, which is where we lived when my daughter was born. We moved to Brooklyn when she was about seven months old, but I have so many amazing memories of those early months whether it was strolling with her for hours through the loft-lined streets, taking her to Barnes & Noble for storytime, meeting up for "playdates" with other moms in Washington Market Park (which is directly across from the KinderCare location!), and so much more. Tribeca is truly an amazing area for families, and I'm so happy they have such a great new neighborhood option for daycare and for preschool.

KinderCare Education is a child care provider and learning center with locations across the country.
If you'd like more information about KinderCare Education or its brand-new Tribeca Learning Centerclick here!

Thank you to KinderCare for partnering with me on this post.


Unknown said...

I just went through this process myself. I'm so happy that there's a wonderful preschool just down the street!

Unknown said...

For me, a flexible school was key. Being able to swap around days and opt in for extended care at the last minute is big.

Chasity said...

Very informative post. Thank you for sharing. Why do you think that some forget bout where the school is located?

Ashley S said...

Definitely smart things to think about!! My son is past the pre-school age, but I'm definitely going to share this with my brother who has two younger ones approaching that age. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yes, location is so important! I love that you preschool plans things for parents too

Lady In Read said...

yes, location is our primary criteria for many things - from preschool years ago to classes for the kids to after school a couple years later and to classes today:)

Being Ecomomical said...

I completely agree with choosing one that's close to home.

McKayla said...

Great info! I'll be putting my daughter into preschool soon. There are so many options where I live, it almost makes it harder! I bet there's at least ten right down the street from me. So i won't have to worry about finding one that's close. But I definitely want great teachers who teach a love for learning as well!

Estefania said...

A sense of community makes any experience in life a better one.

S.Kerr said...

So many important considerations when selecting a preschool. Being close to your "village" is definitely an important one!

Janet Locane said...

Very interesting!

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