Top 3 Tips for Enrolling Multiple Children in Preschool

Choosing the perfect preschool involves a few steps: Not only do you have to pick a school based on its curriculum, but you also have to find one that fits your budget. Moreover, you’ll also want to consider the school’s location (since you don’t want it to be too far from your home or workplace). Picking the right school for your family can get a tad more complicated when you’re a parent of multiples — but we are here to help!

Parents of twins, triplets, or children close in age may find that choosing a preschool for everyone can be a bit of a process. Luckily, there are ways to navigate preschool enrollment so that your whole family can have a successful start in their academic life

Here are the top three tips for enrolling multiple children in preschool:

1. Ask if the Preschool Offers Discounted Tuition

When choosing a school for your children, one of the most important things to consider is what type of preschool they should attend. Whatever you choose, though, make sure that it aligns with your parenting style, your child’s developmental age, and your family’s schedule.

Once you’ve identified the type of preschool that’s right for your kids, visit the learning establishment. You can either take this tour in person or some daycares have virtual tours online. 

The top preschools on your list have a sibling discount. The best schools might offer up to ten percent discounted tuition rates for each additional child enrolled. 

Typically, preschools require a downpayment. The payment dates vary as well, so choose one that’s within your budget. Preschools that allow for multiple payment avenues (some might include checks, bank quick pays, Zelle, credit cards, or similar). 

2. Decide if You Want Your Kids To Be in the Same Class

Most multiples get along so well they prefer to play, eat, or just sit quietly with their siblings. Since twins or triplets have limited experience being apart before starting preschool, it may make sense to keep them together. Joining the same classroom may help your children to adjust quickly to this new environment. 

Attending the same class may even benefit kids’ social skills: A recent Canadian study found that placing preschool-aged children in the same classroom positively impacted their behaviors and how they interacted with others. 

However, like all things in parenting, there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. Being in the same classroom may be comforting for some, but not all. Twins, triplets, or children close in age might thrive when separated into different groups. This can prove especially true for young ones who are highly competitive with each other. 

Some find their children form independent friendships and a sense of individuality when in different classes. They might also find it helps curb youthful competitiveness and possible sibling rivalries. Little ones who are dependent on each other might struggle at first to be separated but find it helps promote social growth in the long run. 

If you need to consider other factors before deciding on this matter, it may help to ask your kids about what they want. Talk to them separately as one child could easily influence the other during your conversation. Encourage them to tell you why they should be in the same classroom as their sibling or why they’d rather be in a different one. It’s also wise to talk to your family pediatrician about the matter. They can offer an evidence-based opinion based on your unique family dynamics. 

3. Get Ready for Preschool

As a parent of multiple preschoolers, getting organized can prove key to a hassle-free (or hassle-minimized) school year. 

Set and Practice a Routine

A few months before the school year begins, plan out transportation:

  • Can you and your family take turns doing drop-offs and pick-ups instead? 
  • Is there a neighborhood carpool?
  • Can you call the preschool to see what their parking situation is like? 

Consider practicing a preschool routine at least two weeks before school starts. The routine may include waking up at a specific time, getting cleaned and dressed, packing school bags, and eating a healthy meal. Doing so can make getting ready easier on the big day itself, and you and your kids can start the first day of preschool on a positive note. 

If the school is close by, perhaps walking to preschool can be an option. Decide what’s best and safest for your children, and keep everyone who’s involved with drop-offs and pick-ups updated on your kids’ schedules.

Go School Shopping

A few weeks before school starts, take your children back-to-school shopping. This can make them look forward to attending preschool, and it also helps ensure they have everything they need. 

Ask your particular daycare for specifics, but a few classic essentials on your shopping list might include:

  • A backpack
  • A pencil case
  • A lunch box
  • A spill-proof water bottle
  • A change of clothes or shoes 
  • Empty gallon-sized plastic bags (for dirty clothes)

Let your kids pick out their own supplies and put their names on their respective items so they won’t be accidentally swapped with their classmates’ things. If your family has a lot of identical items, labels are critical there, too. 

Wrapping Up on Enrolling Children in Preschool

By choosing a learning institution that fits your children’s learning styles, knowing your payment options, and planning ahead, you can successfully enroll your little ones in school and give them access to quality early education.

 Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool