I don't think I've ever done a personal debate before. Don't worry, I plan on getting furious if you all don't agree with me (Joke!!!)
Actually, I'm not even sure if this is a real debate, particularly since I haven't made up my mind about what I am going to do. More like asking for opinions and advice from other, possibly BTDT moms.
So here's my situation.
Our son, 3 years old, has been attending the same day care since he was 12 weeks old. We like his day care lady, we have no complaints about his care or how he spends his days, and I personally like the fact that he has been with (mostly) the same small group of children his entire life - I think that provides him with a sense of stability. His day care lady is great, she feeds those kids like kings (think home made lamb stews and fresh baked goods and things like that, her house always smells AMAZING) and they do some pre-school type work like singing songs, counting, colors, crafts, things like that. So anyway, I'm very happy with her, and it hasn't been a big priority to me to move him into a formal preschool setting. I had no plans to move him until kg.
Recently, my in laws offered to enroll DS in the preschool at their synagogue (and pay for it.) Basically, he would go two days a week for part of the day, and then if he/we liked it, he could change to 3 days a week.
It would be convenient too, because the school that DH will be teaching at this year is about 5 minutes away from his parents' house. MIL said that DH could either drop T off at her house, or she could meet him at his school and take T on to her house from there. T would stay at his grandma's house until it was time for preschool to start for the day, she would take him to preschool (it is walking distance from their house) and then she would pick him up when it was over and keep him until DH got off work.
This would likely cut our daycare costs in half. Although, I have to say that I do feel a little weird about letting DH's parents pay for stuff like this, so that's kind of a subset of thought.
I also like the idea of T spending more time with his grandma. I really like my daycare lady, but between having him be at daycare and having him spend that time with his grandma, I still think it would be great for him to have that time with his Oma. He adores her and I know that he would love being able to spend several mornings and afternoons a week with her, and I think that it would be great for him to have that time to grow his bond with her.
I also think it could be beneficial for him to have some experience with more of a "class room" type setting before starting school.
Cons: DH and I are not religious, and I don't know how I feel about sending him to a preschool in a religious institution. I'm not really violently against it per say, but it feels a little weird.
I don't know how I feel about letting DH's parents pay for preschool. They freely offered (we weren't like complaining about the costs of daycare or anything). Our relationship with them is very good and there has never been any weirdness about money or gifts so I don't think that it would change anything, but it still feels weird. I'm an adult, dangit!!! I can pay for my own childcare. Right?
So thoughts? BTDT mamas, do you think that preschool is important for getting kids ready for kg? Would you send your kid to a religious school if you yourself were not a member of that religion? Is it weird/a bad idea to let your ILs pay for your kid's tuition if you have a good relationship with them and they offer?