Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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at the age of 4 and now wishes she had done things differently. "I didn't realize as a first-time parent what was expected of a child in kindergarten. I believe her not having been to preschool had a lot to do with it." Dr. Russo also points out, however, that children with late birthdays who are at an appropriate developmental level cognitively may be bored or under-challenged if held back purely because of their age. Every child needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. Colleen Mulready from Esopus made the decision to send her 4-yearold son, Desmond, to kindergarten last year. "We felt he would be bored and unhappy as it was clear that academically and socially he was ready for the challenges of kindergarten." Mulready says they also considered the results of his kindergarten screening to make their decision. Now they cannot imagine having done things differently. "By October, he was flourishing in his classroom and had an amazing kindergarten year. I like the idea that he may be challenged in these early years, as opposed to being bored because he is older and more advanced than his peers." Financial constraints For parents who have trouble affording childcare or preschool for their child, redshirting can be an even more difficult choice to make. Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start are programs that can help offset costs for preschoolers, but are not available to students who are school-aged. However, the Department of Social Services offers childcare assistance to families who meet the state's low-income guidelines and need childcare to work or to look for work. Eligibility is granted on a caseby-case basis and is an option worth looking into for those who are held back by finances. Special needs considerations Parents of children with special needs also have more to consider in (Continued on Page 23) Hudson Valley Parent 21 n hawk meadow montessori school preschools elementary schools middle schools after school enrichments art clubs voice clubs drama clubs academic clubs pediatric dentists pediatric dentistry youth services family services

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