Do you want the school to be close to your home? Close to your office? Near Grandma’s house? How far are you willing to drive to drop off and pick up your child?
The nice thing about a school in your own neighborhood (besides the short commute) is that chances are lots of the other kids live nearby, too. That makes it easier to arrange playdates or run into the other kids at the local playground. There’s also a good chance that the same kids will end up in elementary school together, which gives your child ready-made friends when kindergarten rolls around. The advantages of choosing a preschool close to your office are that you can spend your commute time with your child and can get to school quickly for an event (or an emergency).
If you’ll be driving your child to school, check how easy it is to park or see if there are dedicated five-minute pickup and drop-off parking spots. Some schools have curbside drop-off in which teachers transport kids directly from the car to the classroom and vice versa (and you thought only fast-food outlets had drive-through service).
You might think it’s reasonable to drive forty-five minutes each way to send your child to a preschool you love—until you actually have to do it every day. It might not be worth all the back and forth and extra gasoline, especially if your child’s on a half-day schedule. Some parents in this situation opt not to bother driving back home and instead use the time to go to the gym or run errands near the school. Consider doing a test drive during the week to see how long the ride will really take. Driving to the school on a Sunday afternoon won’t give you a realistic idea of what traffic is going to be like during rush hour!
Source: “How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child”, by Jenifer Wana