Congratulations, you are ready to make the next big step in your journey as a parent of multiples — preschool. It doesn’t seem so long ago that you were a sleepless wreck with newborn twins does it?
Pat yourself on the back, but don’t get to excited, there is still a long road ahead. That road begins with ensuring that you have all the facts and information needed to decide which preschool is right for your twins.
Are my twins ready for preschool?
When trying to determine if your twins are ready to go to preschool there is one factor that stands out, potty training. Most preschools require that your toddlers be fully potty trained before enrolling in classes. Even if your twins are potty pros at home, make sure that they are also able to “go” on the go. Some children suffer anxiety when it comes to going to the bathroom at school. Make sure that your twin toddlers feel comfortable asking their teachers to use the restroom when they need to.
It is also important that your twins each have a certain level of independence before they start preschool. If your children are used to being with you all day every day, they might have some difficulty adjusting to being apart. It may be beneficial to see if the preschool will allow you to drop them off for an hour or two at a time before starting full-time. This way they can get used to the new environment in small doses.
Which preschool is right for my twins?
Once you fell that your twins are ready to start preschool, the next logical step is finding a preschool that fits both their needs and yours. There are likely many different preschools in your area and each of them may vary in cost, scheduling, curriculum and other factors that are important to your decision. Let’s spend some time talking about those factors.
How much will preschool for my twins cost?
The big determining factor in choosing a preschool for most parents of multiples is cost. No surprise here. By now we have all learned that “two for one” is nothing more than a cute saying. Even so, some preschools do offer multiples discounts so be sure to inquire about them.
Depending on where you live and the quality of the preschool, costs can range from $4,000 and $10,000 per year ($333 to $833 monthly) per child. For all you math majors, multiply by two for twins and by three for triplets. Now take a deep breath.
Many preschools offer payment installment plans and sometimes financial aid is also available. It is important that you get all the information related to cost before you can begin to make your final decision.
Does the preschool’s schedule fit your needs?
When comparing preschools you will want to learn their program hours. Some preschools may end at noon or 1pm while others may go longer. Some schools offer “after school” programs for extra coverage which you may or may not require.
Are meals and snacks part of the daily schedule? If so, ensure that they meet the dietary requirements that you have for your twins. Also, check to see if there are any additional costs associated with the meal plan.
Who will be teaching my twins?
Find out about the educational backgrounds of the teachers at the preschool. Are they trained to work with toddlers? Is there a high turnover rate in the staff? Another great thing to do is to observe a class in session. This will allow you to decide for yourself if the teachers show warmth, interest and respect to their students.
While observing, also check out the classroom and other surroundings. Do they appear safe and inviting? Are there areas for reading, playing and group activities? Most importantly, do you feel good about your twins being in this environment?
The teacher-child ratio is another important factor when searching for a preschool. Your twins are still young and require an attentive teacher. Because of this you will most likely want to find a preschool with the lowest teacher-child ratio. Many preschools limit their students to 12 children per class.
Does the preschool have any rules specifically for twins?
Some preschools may have a policy that siblings be kept together to encourage confidence, while others may require twins be placed into separate classes. You will want to ask about this and determine if the school’s policy matches your personal preference.
You know what’s best for your twins.
After having visited the preschool and getting the answers to all of your questions, you will have a sense of how it fits with your expectations. Imagine your twins in the preschool’s environment and base your final decision on your gut feeling. Your parent’s intuition is often the best decision making tool at your disposal.