When we look back on “the great debate of ‘08” we both cringe and breathe a sigh of relief that the results are in. No, I’m not talking about Obama vs. McCain. I am referring to the debate of whether to send your 5 year old to kindergarten or wait a year and send them when they are 6. This is an oh-so-important this time of year as preschool registration is just around the corner!
In my family, the good Lord blessed us with 4 summer birthdays. I used to relish in this because we saw nicely spaced gift-giving with Christmastime, outdoor parties are a blast and kids were less likely to be sick. However, in 2008 I would have given anything for a January birthday! A birthday that has the question answered for you. We had the bonus “fun” of an early summer boy and a late summer girl just 1 year apart. So if you hold him and send her they’d be in the same grade! Our heads were spinning.
May I offer a bit of unsolicited advice? Your kids will be fine in kindergarten. I recommend thinking about the middle school years and beyond. And, most importantly, no matter what, remember that you know your kids best…period.
That being said, we decided to send all of our summer birthday kids when they were 6. Our littlest two have birthdays in April and February (hooray! Decision made automatically!)
The reason for posting this in the bleak midwinter is now is the time to be pondering this. If you don’t send them to kindergarten, but they need a little structure, preschool registration is coming soon! Registrations for preschools fill up fast and most of Marshalltown’s preschool registration times are in February!
Marshalltown has great options for preschool! Many 4 year old options are tuition free, even if other classes charge tuition (St. Francis Catholic School and Bobcat Academy included).
If you have experiences you’d like to share about local preschools, please feel free to comment below!
Where can I easily register?
The Healthy Family Fair, located inside Marshalltown Mall 2500 S. Center St., is February 24th. Preschool and Kindergarten registration for the 2018-2019 school year within the Marshalltown Community School District will be available. The Healthy Family Fair is at the Marshalltown Mall on Saturday, February 24 from 10 am.-1 p.m. Your child must be 4 on or before Sept. 15, 2018 to join preschool and transportation is offered for preschoolers. You’ll need to bring a copy of your child’s proof of birth. Kindergarteners must be 5 years old on or before September 15, 2018. You’ll also need to bring a copy of your child’s proof of birth and immunization records. (We’ll have more details about what to expect at the Healthy Family Fair next week on the blog so stay tuned!)
Here is a list of your Marshalltown Preschool Options
- Bobcat Academy (1910 S. Center St.) – Bobcat Academy will be holding its registration day on Thursday, February 15th from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuition is charged for the 3 year old preschool program but they have joined with MCSD for a free 4 year old program! Please contact Ashley Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amber Young at email@example.com for details or questions.
- Community Y Preschool (108 Washington St. in the YMCA Cultural Building) – Programs run for 3-5 year olds at the Community Y Preschool as well as Fit Kids after school program for school-aged children. Registration for preschool will be held on Thursday, February 22 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Community Y Preschool will also be represented at the Healthy Family Fair on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Please contact Ashley at Ashley.Woodruff@ymca-ywca.org or call 641-752-8658 ext. 302 for details or questions.
- Elim Children’s Center (Elim Lutheran Church at 302 W. Church St.) – Programs are offered year round so please contact the center’s director, Melinda at 753-8760 for more information or to get your child registered.
- Head Start Early Childhood Programs – (6 S. 2nd Street in Marshalltown) accepts applications year-round! Programs offered are in-home development programs, early head start for pregnant moms-children up to age 3 as well as preschool programs for children ages 3-5 years old. Head Start is an income-based programs and needs to meet with one of Head Start’s Family Development Specialists. Please call their office at 641-753-5523 and ask to speak with Abra, Sami, Maira or Araceli. They will schedule a time to meet with you and walk you through the process. Head Start will be represented at the Healthy Family Fair on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. as well.
- Sonshine Preschool (First Baptist Church at 700 E. Olive St.). – Summer and fall program calendars and applications will be available on their website on February 8, 2018. New this year will be a 2 year old program! Check it out! Please contact Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 753-3082 for details or questions.
- St. Francis – (310 Columbus Dr.) St. Francis will hold its registration day at the Healthy Family Fair on Saturday, February 24 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuition is charged for the 3 year old preschool program, but they have partnered with MCSD for a free 4 year old program! Please contact Melanie Maddick at email@example.com or call 753-7977 for details or questions.