I was walking through the neighbourhood enjoying a lovely evening stroll when a woman who was out working in her garden stopped to ask how far along I was. At that point I was about 8 months pregnant. She looked like an experienced mum whose children must have been grown up enough to allow her the luxury of puttering in the garden. Her second question had a sense of urgency like a woman about to hand down advice from lessons learned the hard way... “have you got your name on the waiting list for the Little Mountain Preschool yet?” I searched for words to respond, since preschool was at least 3 years away and the farthest thing from my mind, she must have sensed my astonishment. She then proceeded to tell me how hard it was to get into “the good” preschools and that most had a 3 year waiting list! I thanked her, somewhat skeptical and of course proceeded to look into this sought after opportunity for my unborn child the next day.

If you are thinking of putting your children into preschool why not check out the local preschool fairs happening in your area? I had the opportunity to volunteer at one of these fairs for the preschool my children went to and found it a wonderful place to hear from parents whose children attended these schools and what their experience had been. Today there are so many preschool options and formats that are differentiated through emphasis on either academics, free play, art, music and outdoor activity. As every child is different and excels in different environments, there are preschools to accommodate. It does require a bit of homework but well worth the effort. Check out these upcoming preschool fairs:

North Vancouver Preschool and Childcare Fair

DATE: January 22, 2011

TIME: 10am to 1pm

PLACE: John Braithwaite Community Centre, 145 West 1st St.

The BabyTime Show “prenatal to preschool

DATE: April 15-17, 2011

PLACE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Hall 5


And don’t forget the 9th Annual Baby and Family Fair later this fall at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Mark your calendars for Saturday October 29th and Sunday October 30th 2011.

If you would like to share your preschool experience, please send us your comments. We'd love to hear from you!