Dear Dr. Ada:
We have just moved to a new area and are investigating preschools for our 4-year-old daughter. All of the preschools that we’ve encountered so far seem to have a strong academic emphasis, which worries us….. We need to find one that is more play oriented, so we’re considering just hiring an at-home nanny, but we worry that then she won’t have any playtime with other kids…
It is important for your 4-year-old daughter to have playtime experience with other kids. Preschool may not be absolutely necessary for a 4-year-old child if she gets enough stimulation at home, but playtime with other children her age is an absolute necessity. I think you worry too much about an academic preschool program. All these programs also provide unstructured time for play. My advice to you is to take your daughter along for a visit to some of these programs, and observe how she reacts to the place, and if she would like to go there every day.