It’s that time of year again. We all need to start the planning process for the 2008-09 Weekday School Year, like immediately! Most preschools start accepting applications in mid-January and mail out their acceptance letters in February/March. If you are a first-time stay-at-home mom and you have a child turning one year by the summer, then this applies to you. You are probably thinking to yourself, “you have to be kidding me! People actually send their children to school this young?” The answer is yes, especially in Charlotte. We stay-at-home moms need our personal time – ha, ha, just kidding! This is all for the benefit of our children and their enhanced education. Putting your child in preschool will actually help with his socialization skills, self-confidence and learning ability. I remember when my neighbor told me about this Charlotte phenomenon and I was very skeptical. I was a new stay-at-home mom and this was my job to teach all of these things to my child, not to mention Ansley was all of nine months old when this process began! But I could run up and hug this neighbor every time I see her. This was the best decision I have made for her and I am doing the same with my other three children. They love school and we couldn’t be happier for a variety of reasons.
I have yet to find a complete list of weekday schools in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. But here is a short list of schools that I have friends who attend and love them. Let me emphasize that this is just a hint of preschools primarily in Center City and South Charlotte (trust me, there are tons more!):
–Carmel Baptist Weekday School
–Calvary Child Development Center
–Charlotte Preparatory School
–Christ Church Preschool & Kindergarten
–First Presbyterian Weekday School
–Little Church on the Lane
–Myers Park Baptist Through-the-Week School
–Myers Park Presbyterian Weekday School
–Myers Park Methodist Weekday School
–Providence United Methodist Weekday School
–Sharon Baptist Weekday School
–Sharon Presbyterian Weekday School
–Sharon United Methodist Weekday School
–St. Gabriel’s Cradle
–St. John’s Episcopal Preschool
For a more extensive search, I would recommend you start by looking at some of the weekday schools close by. There is something to be said about a neighborhood school, even at this young age. Plus, you don’t want to spend half of your free time driving to and from, which is usually a skimpy three hour stretch, max anyway. Make sure you interview the director, teachers and take a tour of the school. All of the schools will be happy to accommodate you and will look forward to the chance to sell their school to you. Make sure you inquire about licensing and rating information provided by the North Carolina Division of Child Development of the Department of Health and Human Services. Look at the teacher/student ratio and the curriculum. Many schools offer foreign languages which I think is huge. Most importantly, ask around. Ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. – word of mouth is one of the most important references you can get. Make sure you get on a few waiting lists because these schools fill up quickly. You may get in, but you have to be on the list.
Good luck! Feel free to help me out by adding your preschool, a blurb on why you like it and their web address, please! Thanks!