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Old 08-26-2009, 09:17 AM
 
29 posts, read 161,159 times
Reputation: 17

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Hi,

My daughter is only 21 months right now and we don't want to put her into preschool until 3 or 4, but I am still researching now as 'everyone' says do it early.

We are looking for a school that has a tuition on the lower price (not a super expensive one) or a free one (like a Montessori school).

We are a multicultural family as my husband is from overseas. We are both very creative people and love art, music. We speak Japanese and French. I'm looking for a super fun environment that also facilitates independent thinking in problem solving.

Does anyone know of any great schools?

Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
577 posts, read 1,790,955 times
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What geographic area would you like? Fairfax, DC, Manassas, Leesburg, Woodbridge, Arlington...
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:23 AM
k8p
 
141 posts, read 355,057 times
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I live in Alexandria and most of the preschools in this area run about $200-$250 a month for a 3 day program. This is a lot cheaper than other cities I have lived in.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Prince William County, VA
664 posts, read 1,625,329 times
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Most Montessori's I've seen have not been free. If anyone knows of a free Montessori school in the area, I'd love to know about it!
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:18 AM
 
29 posts, read 161,159 times
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Sorry about that! I live in Alexandria
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:45 AM
 
1,332 posts, read 2,701,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k8p View Post
I live in Alexandria and most of the preschools in this area run about $200-$250 a month for a 3 day program. This is a lot cheaper than other cities I have lived in.
A month...that is really cheap. I paid almost $350 a week! It was 5 days, I think 3 days was about $300.

And I've never heard of free Montessori..great if you could find it. But it would really depend on where.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:20 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,058,741 times
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Are you looking for a true "preschool" -- a part-time program that generally runs for 2-5 mornings a week? Or a fulltime daycare program?
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:35 PM
 
29 posts, read 161,159 times
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Just a couple times a week in the morning. Not full time. thanks!
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,757,263 times
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Generally, preschools have their open houses in January thru March every year. This is when they take applications for the following September. Getting a spot in a school is not hard - unless you want one of the most exclusive (read: most expensive) schools in the area - as long as you are diligent about attending open houses and getting applications in as soon as the schools start accepting them. You shouldn't need to apply to more than 4-5 schools, tops.

However, you have to watch the age cutoffs. If your daughter was born in November or December, she won't be eligible for a 3 year old class in 2010, because she would have to be 3 by September 30, 2010. And it doesn't sound like she will be. Even if she's very advanced and whatever...well, most parents around here claim their children are advanced; it won't get you very far. If you want preschool in 2010, you'll have to find a preschool that offers a 2 year old class. And some certainly do, but it's just something to think about when you're looking.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:06 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,058,741 times
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The most important factor in a preschool is location. You, or your child's caregiver, will be making two round trips within three hours. The advantages of the "best" preschool (however you define "best") will pale in comparison to the school that gets your child home ASAP for lunch.

By all means, check out the schools nearest your home this fall. Ask specific questions about their capacity and the size of the typical waiting list, if any. Many programs are housed in churches and give priority to church members, and most give priority to siblings and current students. It can sometimes be difficult to enroll a new student in a 4 year old program because so many families start with preschool at age 3, or even earlier, and there just aren't many openings for new 4 year olds unless families move or transfer their child to another program. If you think you might put off preschool until a later age, make sure to ask about that when you tour the schools. Sometimes it pays to apply for the year BEFORE you actually want to enroll -- some schools give priority to students from last year's waiting list.

Ask around at your local playground and other places where parents of young children gather. You'll soon learn which programs are "hot" and require strategic application approaches.
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