Posted: Mar 03, 2013 10:00 PM
Early preschools or 2s Programs are popping up across the country, but are they really necessary? If you enroll your 2-year-old in early preschool are you also signing yourself up for Tiger Mom status?

I am Tiger, hear me roar!

As the mother of a recently turned 2-year-old, who is not yet enrolled in a 2s program, I actually feel like I'm behind the ball. The main reason she's not in one of the preschool preparation classes is out of my control — there simply isn't one available in our area (cue sobs). If I could find one closer than an hour away, she'd be there with bells on. And if that makes me a Tiger Mama, then so be it. I believe my daughter will thank me for it later.

Double your education!

The terrible 2s aside, many good things do come in 2s. Twins. Double headers. Two scoops of mint chip ice cream. And 2s programs. I say, why not get your little one started early? Their brains are like sponges — eager to absorb everything. My daughter, eyes wide, is constantly asking, what's that? And not only does she hear the answer, but she retains it. I want to capitalize on this time when she's fully engaged in everything going on in her surroundings, when the world is exciting and she's discovering what everything she is. Why not put her in a program that can jump start her excitement about being in a classroom, that can help her learn to see a teacher as an authority figure, to learn how to interact (share, play with, bond with) other children her own age? She can sit at home and play with her baby doll and blocks until the cows come home. I'd like her to reap the benefits of what a skilled teacher can do for her.

I don't find it aggressive at all. I think it's forward thinking, just the way I hope she will be.

And okay, so I'll admit it,  I'm also a little competitive (insert roar) and I see this as an opportunity to give her a head start on her education which I hope will, in turn, put her at the head of her class. But what's wrong with that? I don't find it aggressive at all. I think it's forward thinking, just the way I hope she will be.

Do your homework

Although these 2s programs are popping up across the country and plenty of moms are eagerly enrolling their toddlers, the only way to decide if a 2s program is right for you and your child is to do your research. Visit some schools and ask a lot of questions. Bring your child and see how she responds to the environment. And no matter what type of school you ultimately decide on, there are important things you should consider:

  • What are the credentials of the teachers?
  • What is the ratio to teacher to student?
  • What is the policy on toilet training?
  • Is the school /play area set up for younger and older children?
  • What is the curriculum?
  • Can parents visit/help in the classroom?
  • And most importantly, when you visit, ask yourself how you feel. Are you comfortable? Is your child?

Read more about schools for your toddler

We skipped preschool and lived to tell about it
Preschool prep: How to pick the perfect preschool
Questions to ask when choosing a preschool