What to consider between part-time and full-time preschool enrollment

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Many parents assume part-time enrollment is better for their toddler or preschooler simply because they are young, however, there are distinct benefits to some full-day experiences that can help young children thrive. What to consider between part-time vs full-time preschool enrollment?

You’re not alone if you feel pressure to “ease” your child into their first educational experience, thus leaning towards part-time programming. However, if your decision is weighing on what will help them transition, full-time enrollment can often be the better choice. 

Young children are sensitive to routines 

It might feel counterintuitive to send your child to school more in order to help them transition, but the reason this works is due to their developmental need for order and routine. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers  adapt to change with greater ease when they experience predictability in their day-to-day lives. Going to school five days a week satisfies this need for consistency.

If they go to school just 2-3 days a week, it can feel unsettling to have “one foot in, one foot out.” This creates less consistency, which often requires a longer adjustment period – especially if their at-home routine is different from their at-school routine. 

Meeting the child’s need for order 

Many Montessori schools address this common pain point by offering part-time enrollment that is designed around the young child’s need for order. Instead of attending 2-3 days a week, part-time Montessori programs commonly run five days a week with a half-day pick-up time. 

Still, many children are ready for full-day, full-week experiences when the learning environment is one that has been carefully curated for their stage of development. 

Features of full-day Montessori school

If you find yourself torn between the two enrollment paths, here are some things to consider unique to full-day enrollment: 

  • Consistent support with toilet learning at the toddler level
  • More outdoor and gross motor time
  • A consistent nap routine for the younger levels
  • Community-style lunches for the children 
  • Special activities and hobbies like art, music, yoga, gardening 
  • More structure in their daily routine with predictable morning and afternoon rhythms.  
  • More focus time for older preschoolers and kindergarteners who benefit from a second Montessori work period 

The early years are the most opportune time for learning

By Kindergarten, 90 percent of the child’s brain is formed. When sourcing any level of enrollment, it’s important to align with an early education program that considers the child’s natural mode of learning. The goal of school this young is not to prematurely ask young children to memorize facts; it is to appropriately inspire them to meet their current developmental needs.

A school day designed to empower your child

Determined to honor the critical learning periods that exist for all children from birth through age six, N4 Montessori offers one full-day experience that runs Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. For families needing more care, Extended Day programming is available from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

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N4 Montessori delivers an authentic Montessori education for independence in North Texas. 

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