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Montessori American School

3604 Bonita Rd Chula Vista CA, 91910 | (619)422-1220

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How to Choose Your Child's Daytime Care Wisely
Posted on:Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Line up of children

Searching for a place for your child to stay while you work?

Unsure of the different day care options available to you?

Concerned with not being able to fit child care into your budget?

We understand your concerns and want to help you make the best decision for your budget. Here are a couple of options that are available to you.

Home Day Cares

Home day cares are typically going to be your best bet for low-cost child care. Your child will be cared for by one or more women who have opened up their homes to care for young children. Since they typically have the least amount of overhead, they will pass the savings along to you. Some, although not all home day cares will even implement a food program to ensure that your child is fed 3 meals or more.

Child Care Centers

Child care centers are a great option if you'd like your child to learn more social skills around numerous other children. Child care centers usually have playgrounds, a common eating area for meals, and plenty of staff on hand to ensure your child is supervised. Many child care centers also implement a federal food program that provides meals throughout the day so you don't have to worry about sending your child with a bag lunch (or breakfast).

Preschools a.k.a. Early Learning Centers

If you want more for your child than just a care taker, you'd probably want to look into a preschool, otherwise known as an early learning center. These child care centers not only look after your child but also educate them in the process. These days, the lines between child care centers and preschools are becoming more and more blurry because most child care centers educate your child in some fashion. It all depends on the curriculum they implement.

Some early learning centers implement the creative curriculum which allows teachers to individualize the curriculum to meet each child's needs at every age.
This child-centered approach allows teachers to guide children through in-depth studies and meaningful work based on the children's interests and needs, making the learning relevant to all children.

Then there are parochial schools that implement a curriculum based on their religion. These schools tend to have a wider range of ages that they accept due to their small size. Whereas many preschools accept children ages 6 weeks - 5 years old, parochial schools will accept children up to middle school, sometimes even high school.

There are many other curriculums that preschools subscribe to but the one we have chosen is the one that was invented by Dr. Maria Montessori in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Montessori Preschools

While home day-cares tend to be the least expensive, Montessori schools tend to be on the other side of the price spectrum because they not only prepare your child for elementary school, they also instill a life-long love of learning. When a child loves to learn, this is a critical component to success in later life because human minds stop flourishing when they stop learning.
So if you have enough money in your budget, sending your child to a Montessori preschool is the way to go.

That's because in a Montessori environment, children are placed in a family-like setting. For instance, each classroom has a mixture of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 year old children. The classrooms are intentionally structured this way to encourage the younger children to learn from the older children. The older children's knowledge of a subject is improved even more when they teach their skills to younger students.

Some schools offer additional programs designed to enrich your child's life such as:

  • Art history

  • Music

  • Introduction to art

  • Spanish as a second language

  • Yoga for children

  • Introduction to sports

Finally, it's so important to do your homework when selecting a Montessori school because they're not all alike. Search for a school that is a member of either the American Montessori Society (AMS) or the Association Montessori Internationale. Both of these governing entities have school locators on their site which will help you choose a certified school.

While there are numerous preschools in San Diego County to choose from, our preschool and kindergarten is the only one that is a member of the American Montessori Society AND offers music, art, Spanish, art history, and children's yoga as enrichment classes.

The child-centered approach allows teachers to guide children through in-depth studies and meaningful work based on the children's interests and needs, making the learning very relevant to all children. - See more at:

In summary, a home day care will usually be your least expensive option. Child care centers are a great option too but may be a bit more costly. Be sure to check your state, county, or city websites to see if they have links to child care assistance programs that you may be eligible for. If you can afford to invest in a Montessori education for your child, you'll find a great deal of satisfaction in the way your child loves to learn new things.

For more information on how to make a positive impact in the life of your child, download one of our free eBooks.


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