Our younger two kids go to an in home daycare together. Our almost 4 year old has a little girl her age there that she loves to play with, and the other three kids are in the 1-2 range.

The little girl our daughter plays with will be going to a center next year for 4K. She’s timid by nature, and they feel being in that environment will help her prepare for kindergarten. Our plan had been to send our 4 year old to a morning 4K program (until about 11), then have her provider pick her up for the afternoon.

Now I’m wondering if it would be better for us to look into a center for her as well since the little girl her age will no longer be there. We aren’t worried about her transition to kindergarten, so the switch would be purely so she has other kids her age to play with. On the other hand, she will be with kids her age every morning for 4K, so she’ll really just have lunch and quiet time at her sitter’s house, with perhaps an hour of play time in the afternoon without someone her age around.

Positives to a center: She would have kids her age to play with all day. She is social and likes to play with others.

Negatives: She wouldn’t be with her little brother (he’ll be nearly 2 at the start of the school year). We would have three separate drop offs/pick ups each day (her older sister is in elementary school). Cost is more, but we can make that work as well.

If it’s for the best, we can make that work for a year. What would you do in this situation and why?