To Preschool or Not to Preschool


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Preschool education is the not-uncontroversial provision of education to very young children between the ages of zero or two and the age of five, before the child is set to begin mandatory education. Preschool is provided by many daycares but many private schools, especially Montessori , are able to provide preschool programs.

Private schools in particular offer superior programs that can substitute for any daycare program. Instead of paying an hourly rate for childcare, your child can actually receive early childhood education , pay tuition instead of daycare and come out relatively even (or even ahead, possibly). This option is underestimated or passed over by many parents.

Preschool’s proponents argue that it provides critical early stage grounding in personal, social and emotional development for children. Children learn to communicate better including speaking, listening and writing as well as interacting with others through play and learning together.

Preschool’s opponents say that it is most important for children to bond as much as possible with parentsthroughout their early years. There is some evidence that preschool is actually ineffective in giving children any kind of head start in school. 1 And there is other evidence that preschool’s long-term benefits are at least questionable. 2

Public Preschool Education

In Ontario there is full-day early learning for four and five-year-olds in the belief that this ensures that children get the best possible start in life and that this early start to education encourages them to grow up to be more creative thinkers, better problem solvers, more compassionate, engaged, and literate adults.

Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty wants the province to be a world leader in this respect. Other provinces seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach (as of 2010) but there is full-day early learning in some parts of some United States.

Daycare and Preschool in a Private School

Parents often forego considering preschool in a private school as a cheap alternative to daycare .

The average cost of daycare in Canadian provinces such as Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta can be as high as $57 per day . This comes to over $800 per month, more expensive than preschool tuition at many private schools, notably Montessori schools. Preschools at private schools offer a more structured environment, with the preschool learning environment created by professional educators.

Of course, not only do parents save money on tuition, they also give their child a head start on school. This is even more attractive to parents who have children close in age, as many schools offer sibling discounts, while daycare programs quite often charge more rigidly on a per-child cost basis.

It’s quite understandable when parents are leery of preschool. Perhaps they simply want to keep their child(ren) at home. There are many benefits to keeping preschool-aged children as close as possible to their parents. On the other hand, preschool at a private school offers your child a wealth of educational benefits that will carry forward much later in life.

 The decision to preschool or not is up to each family, but if you do decide to do so, as with any school or care choice, it’s important overall to consider a child’s particular needs and find the right environment to encourage success.


1. Head Start Doesn’t Work


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I founded Mums 'n Chums in 2009 after realizing that the area I live in was drastically underserviced as compared to surrounding areas for support and activities for growing families. Mums 'n Chums grew popular very quickly and I have been dedicated to nurturing that growth through frequent networking, social media engagement and in person meetups. By the end of its first year, Mums 'n Chums had close to 500 members and was receiving regular inquiries from fans outside of its service area, asking when we would be expanding to serve them as well. After much careful research and polling, I expanded the site in May of 2011 to cover the entire North end of the GTA (from Cambridge to Markham), areas I believe are still receiving far less attention than they deserve from other sites and family services. We also changed the focus from small scale local mom and tot meetups to more of an informative purpose, closing down our forum and adding several talented contributors to the blog. We do still offer several large scale family events per year, such as our popular Birthday Bash events and our Holiday Bash in December. Our contests have also become a member favourite, and we strive to offer amazing prizes from trusted brands like Babies R Us, La Roche Posay, Johnson's Baby and many more. In March of 2016, after months of work spent migrating all of the site's content to a new platform, Mums 'n Chums re-launched with its fresh, new look. The changes and expansion have proven a great success and we're still getting inquiries from several other cities within the Greater Toronto Area, whom we have decided to serve as well. I have built this site and its' reputation carefully and look forward to continuing its growth!