|Emphasis on the word "FULL"|
Location: The preschool has to be located in close proximity to my home-to-work commute route. That is what sets the boundary conditions for the preschools I will consider.
Full time or Part time? Full day or half day? Unless something unexpected happens, I plan to still be working fulltime outside the home next year so I definitely need a full time, full day preschool program. The alternative would be to signup for a half day program and get a nanny or some form of homecare. I don't like that alternative because it will involve too many changes to the girls' routine so my first choice will be a full time, full day program or a program with in-house extended care options
Program type: There are so many types of preschool programs in Calgary, the choice is mine to make. The programs I'm most leaning towards are the Christian ones and the Montessori ones. Very undecided on this yet.
Accreditation: Not as big a deal for a preschool as it was when choosing infant care. I'm open to a preschool that's part of a larger, renowned educational body even if it's not accredited - I noticed that a number of the preschools affiliated with private schools in Calgary are not accredited. I'll evaluate based on a visit to the school
Daycare vs School environment? Our current daycare has a preschool class and so do a number of private schools in the Calgary area. The question is do we continue with the daycare until kindergarten or switch to a preschool that's part of a private school structure. Each option has it's pros and cons.
* Pro: Hours fit into my work schedule
* Con: Limited to the daycare's chosen curriculum
In-School Preschool (weird way to describe it)
* Pro: Girls get used to the school environment early
* Pro: There's a wider choice of programs available (See program type above)
* Con: Girls will have to be potty trained before admission. That may or may not be an issue as I just found out practically none of the kids under 3 in our daycare are potty trained
* Con: Some are part time or half day programs so I'll have to make complicated plans for extended care
*Con: The combination of school fees plus extended care is more expensive than sticking with a daycare