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At what age should you think about sending your child to preschool?

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I think most programs start at age 3. The daycare my daughter goes to they start a curiculum once they move up to the one-year-old room, but the real "pre-school" part doesn't start until they are 2 1/2-3 years old. I only went to preschool for one year, when I was four...which I think was pretty standard in this area in the late 80's. Do some research in yur area and also see what your pediatrician has to say about it.
I wanted to add that if you are a stay-at -home mom your child doesn't necessarily even need preschool if you are confident that what you are teaching him/her at home is enough. It might be a good idea for socialization, though. Kids are less afraid of that first day of kindergarten if they have already been to school before.
you could start her around 2. i personally homes school my daughter, who is 21 months old. i checked out preschools in my area, and the only thing they want to teach a 2 year old class is numbers and letters, and  they turn the tv on for  2 hours a day! i teach numbers, letters, colors, shapes, animals, days of the week, month of the year, weather, seasons, art, music, etc.  i pick a weekly theme such as bugs, etc. we also read atleast 10 books a day. my daughter would love nothing more than to sit in my lap and read all day. seems like my efforts have really paid off, she arranged her alphabet flashcards from a-z by herself last month, and is writing more than half her alphabet. she spoke in sentences at 13 months, and her doctor tells me that she is the most brilliant kid he has seen in over 15 years of practice.
Why on earth would they watch tv for two hours in pre-school!? Most of the kids probably get more than enough TV at home. Pink, you do an awesome job with your daughter. I hope that even though I work full-time I can still work with Claire on things she isn't learning at daycare.
I believe for most public preschools the enrollment age is 3 years old, and they usually hold two classes, one for 3 year olds and one for 4 year olds.  Most have requirements of being fully potty trained.  Private schools have different enrollment guidelines but I believe the average  is 3 years old and they ask the children to be fully potty trained. 
Preschool has a lot of important qualities that most parents forget about. Find the right school who is has a good reputation and the right guidelines. In most preschools TV time isn't allowed at all on a regular basis, if it is RUN, most often teachers who have access to that use it more than they would like you to know. At 3 years old is a good time, even 2 in some cases.The right preschools are such a great oppertunity to give children a head start on basic social skills. It's easy to run away and hide behind mommy when she is around, but at school they will be taught how to deal with issues head on. Children need that time away from parents.If you are a stay at home mom, I would enroll in a part time program. You will save some money, and still get plenty of time with your little one. When you tour the school go mid morning, it will be when they are in  full swing. Ask anything and everything. Their teacher to child ratios are really important. For a 3 year old any thing over a 12 to 1 is way too many, not to mention illegal (atleast in florida). Ask about their routines, and if they combine classes when numbers get low. Those are the basics, make sure you do plenty of research on any preschool.
if social interaction is what your after, you could take her to sunday school, the park, etc. or enroll in a part time program.kimmieapples,thank you! i have no idea why they would put a tv in a preschool to begin with. they told me it's only educational, and it goes along with the curiculum. i'm sorry, but why am i going to pay $400-$900 a month for my child to sit in front of a tv all day? she can watch tv at home! i know that there are educational tv programs out there, like leap frog, preschool prep, my baby can read, etc. however, the best way for your kid to learn is not by putting them in front of the tube. it's human interaction that helps those little brains develop. i was appaled when one preschool told me that they turned on the tv for nap time and mealtime! i called the montessori school thinking, "this has to be the one! they will be able to cater to my little genius!" oh, no. i was far from the truth. they have no set curriculum,no structure, and they just let the kids do whatever they want all day. the class size for a 2 year old is  around 25  kids with 2 adults. their idea of a healthy meal includes fried chicken, mashed potatoes,creamed corn, mac&cheese, and the worst - fruit cocktail packed in high fructose corn syrup.  "you've got to be kidding me!", i told these people. there is nothing healthy about that. my kid eats 4 veggies, and 4 fruits a day. and that certainly doesn't include "creamed corn". the montessori school is the one that told me they would watch up to 2 hours of tv a day. however, every school i called told me they have a tv in the room, that is used every single day. i called over 30 schools, and after that, i just gave up. i knew that my child would get a much better education here at the house, for free!
In my state there is this program called Paths to Quality. It is voluntary for daycares and preschools but if they participate and qualify they get a grant I think. Well, there are four levels and they all have really high educational, health, and safety standards. My Claire is at a level three center right now and is on the waiting list for a few level fours. But they cannot get accredited if they use TV regularly for their curiculum.
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This is such a personal question for you and your family. Part time daycare can be a great option for socializing, education and structure. Plus it give you time to run errands and take some "me" time. As for what age, Children of America is a daycare that can take children from age 6 weeks up to 12 years (for after school care). Check out our website for a location near you

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